Poker Pro Clings to Life, Shot by Loan Sharks

Written by:
Published on:

A poker pro who reached the final tables of two LAPT events is fighting for his life after being shot in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Steven Thompson was shot three times late Monday night 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 tell Thompson owes in the area of $100,000 in gambling debts to local loan sharks at the time of the shooting.  Police have not yet identified the culprits.

Steven Thompson fights for his life

Thompson has won $328,487 life time and ranks 7th on Costa Rica’s all time money list.

He is known for his partying lifestyle, which included hard drugs and alcohol. 

Thompson told ESPN he was working to clean his life up.

"Today I'm getting ahead of many things that are not good, paying debts and how I'm moving forward and I feel strong and healthy."

Costa Rica is a peaceful Central American nation where many poker players relocated following a series of law enforcement actions against online poker sites targeting US citizens in 2011.  Certain neighborhoods in the capital of San Jose are known to be dangerous at night.

Costa Rica is also the second largest online gambling hub after the Mediterranean island nation of Malta.

- Jagajeet Chiba,