Police have arrested Thomas Dougher, who, according to the Hendon Mob website, was the Borgata Summer Poker Open 2015 Champ and he won a cash prize of $149,127 in that event.
The police arrested him around the end of the holidays on suspicion after incidents of multiple bank robberies occurred. The FBI described that Thomas Dougher, age 41, is a serial bank robber, and stated his most recent crime spree included two robberies within a span of four days in and around Atlantic City.
Christmas Crime Spree
On December 29, 2017 (Friday), Dougher allegedly robbed the PNC Bank in Absecon, New Jersey. An hour later, he was captured at a nearby Quality Inn. Police allege this was his 9th robbery in four states. Aside from the banks in New Jersey and New York, he apparently also robbed banks located in Pennsylvania and Delaware, two of the four states in the USA where online poker is considered legal.
Current charges on Dougher are for three bank robberies in Atlantic City. Surveillance footage presented by the Sun National Bank in Northfield, New Jersey showed a cleanly-shaven suspect giving a teller a demand note on December 26, 2017 (Tuesday), and the following Saturday, the same scenario occurred at a PNC Bank in Pleasantville.
Police found the car that Dougher used which actually had been stolen in Maryland, right in the parking area of Caesars Atlantic City casino.
Mugshot of Thomas Dougher:
The Past Record
Back in 2007, Dougher was jailed in federal prison after doing a string of bank robberies. Three years later, he was released.
Pleasantville Police Capt. Matt Hartman said, "The successful cooperative investigation and uneventful arrest of Dougher, who previously served prison time for 11 robberies in 2007, is a testament to the importance of interaction between all levels of law enforcement from local to federal to achieve a common goal."
Bankroll of a Bank Robber
According to the Borgata Poker blog, Thomas Dougher was mainly an online poker player who played 12 to 15 tournaments a day on regulated New Jersey poker websites. In July 2015, he successfully won in the live tournament scene when he dominated against a field of 2,525 players, winning the $400 Borgata Summer Poker Open Deepstack for $149,127.
After Dougher won, he said to Borgata officials, "I played an $80 bounty three years ago and finished third. I swear I've played like three live tournaments in my life."
Dougher has just had two other live tournament cashes after that. In December 2015, he got 117th place in the Parx Casino Big Stack XIV $300 event for $715; and in September 2016, he finished 134th place in Event #1 of the WPT Borgata Poker Open, a $560 buy-in NLHE, for $2,136.
Dougher is not the first ever bank robber with a poker background. Gerald Heckathorn from Wisconsin, a regular on mid-tier stakes tournaments such as the Mid-States Poker Tour, is a retired bank robber. He went on an 18-month cross-country spree in the early 1980s.