Gambling911 World Exclusive: Las Vegas Agent and Poker Pro Steve Prentky AKA Steve Penny Dead

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:

LAS VEGAS — Professional sports bettor and poker player Steve Prentky, who sometimes used the alias Steve Penny, died this morning in a local hospital.


He was brain dead and on life support and a family member gave doctors the order to “pull the plug” and remove the life-sustaining equipment that he was connected to.

He died a few minutes later, a family friend who was on the scene told Gambling 911.

It was not immediately known why he had been hospitalized, but it was known that he was diabetic and overweight.

According to the family friend, in addition to being a sports bettor and poker player,  Prentky was the main Vegas-based agent for numerous offshore sportsbooks located in Costa Rica and the Caribbean, meaning he collected monies from and paid off sports bettors who wagered offshore but lived in Las Vegas.

(Even though there are legal sportsbooks in Las Vegas, many who live there bet offshore because they have higher limits, can get credit and don’t have to pay taxes on their winnings.)

“The whole offshore betting scene in Las Vegas has been disrupted,” the friend said. “Nobody knows who is owed money and who owes money. There are no records. Steve was the only one who knew.”

The friend added: “The shit is really going to hit the fan next week when accounts need to be settled.”

According to official tournament records, Prentky won about $75,000 playing in poker tournaments.

He was mostly a cash game player though, his friend told Gambling 911, and had won about $60,000 in a cash game two weeks ago.

He was also high-stakes and very successful sports bettor, winning the prestigious Hilton football handicapping contest twice, the friend said.

Sixteen years ago, Prentky had a brush with the law but was never arrested.

According to the May 1, 2007, edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal: “In Las Vegas last week, search warrants were served at several residences of gamblers with Internet sports betting ties.

“Arizona police surveillance tracked Las Vegas residents Michael Buono Sr. and Michael Buono Jr. in a meeting with a target of the investigation where more than $250,000 in cash changed hands.

“The homes of Las Vegas gamblers Brandt England and Steven Prentky were also searched.”

Prentky was never arrested in connection with the investigation.

Prentky was only 52 years old at the time of his death.

By Tom Somach

Gambling 911 Chief Correspondent

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