The primary suspect in the slaying of a young Peruvian woman, Joran van der Sloot, is a known online poker player and was in attendance at the PokerStars sponsored Latin American Poker Tour during its early leg before coming to Lima.
Van der Sloot has confessed to the beating death of 21-year old student Stephany Flores in a Lima hotel room registered under his name. He was also the number one suspect in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway from Aruba in 2005.
Van der Sloot is now known to have played in at least five online poker rooms and won over $12,000 in a poker tournament sponsored by PartyPoker.com last year. His most recognized poker handles was AANOTILTKK at PartyPoker.com.
He used the handle (player name) angryshark68 in both the PokerStars.com and UB.com online poker rooms, according to reports. He was reportedly using the handle pokerpro68of on Full Tilt Poker.
A 'shark' as it applies to the game of poker is a very good poker player, one who usually wins. At the poker table, a shark looks for the fishes at the table and eats their chips up. There is a bit of irony in that van der Sloot was detained by Chilean police on while traveling in a taxi, about halfway to the coast on Route 68, a number appearing in two of Joran's online poker handles.
Van der Sloot is known to have traveled the world and was able to pay for the trip to South America, quite possibly with money obtained through extortion.
Federal agents, in an attempt to catch him for Natalee's disappearance five years ago, gave Joran $25,000 payoff. During the sting operation, van der Sloot had promised to offer information on where Natalee's remains could be found.
Joran appeared to be budget-conscious while following the Latin American Poker Tour. A single room at the Hotel Tac where he was staying cost a mere US$16 per night. Ironically, the Hotel Tac's most emphasized amenities were its 24 Hour Surveillance, video cameras and permanent security, mentioned prominently on its website.
Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher