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Once Kidnapped, Shot Poker Pro Looks to Make Comeback With New Book

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
Aug/23/2021

A poker pro best known for owing loan sharks, getting kidnapped, shot and nearly killed, is set to release a book. 

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Costa Rica's Steven Thompson is delving back into poker and set to release a book called 4 Bullets about his many crazy adventures.

The 41-year-old father of two fell just one spot shy of victory finishing runner-up to Calvin Lee in the 2016 WSOP Event #21: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed and left $328,487 richer.

Two years later, Thompson found himself clinging to life.

Thompson was shot three times shortly after that 2nd place finish while walking in the Leon XIII, San José Province, Tibas.  Emergency services found the player lying in the road, where he immediately received first aid and was transferred by ambulance.  Police collected evidence from the scene of the attack. 

Sources told Gambling911.com at the time that Thompson owed in the area of $100,000 in gambling debts to local loan sharks.

Thompson would later confirm those reports in an interview with PokerNews.

“I was already hiding after getting hit in the head with a gun and threatened my life. I had to pay the money I owed to a drug dealer, or they were going to harm my family,” Thomson said. “I decided to turn myself in, they took me to an alley in a very dangerous neighborhood and told me to walk inside a very dark path. The guy that told me to walk had a mask on, and when we got to the end of the alley, he told me to turn around and that's when he shot me. I got hit in my leg and arm, it was a pretty bad injury, but with the right care I was able to heal in about a year.”

For the past three years, Thompson has been laying low.

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He revealed: “I met someone that help me through very rough times and gave me the blessing of being a father again, I'm more than grateful to her and her family, I would have never made it this far without their support.”

The book isn’t an autobiography, but rather a novel based on Thompson’s real-life experiences.

“It's about a good man that fights with demons and addiction, ups and downs during a career that could have been amazing,” he said. “In the book, you can see that it doesn't matter what we go through, it is a matter of attitude and desire of whatever result you want to accomplish. I've been down lots of times, but I've picked up myself from all of them and this one is no different.”

- Nagesh Rath, Gambling911.com

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