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Old 05-18-2005, 07:30 PM
Louis Cypher Louis Cypher is offline
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Default Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

By Jo Napolitano
Tribune staff reporter
Published May 18, 2005


Andre Potvin, 23, of Morrison told fellow blackjack players at Argosy's Empress Casino on Sunday morning that they "wouldn't believe what kind of day" he was having, his tone indicating that it wasn't good.

When he left the table just before 5 a.m. after losing some $900 in less than 15 minutes, fellow players said he turned to the group and uttered what may have been his final words: "`It was nice knowing you.'"

It was an odd departure as "Good luck, guys" usually serves as goodbye on the Joliet riverboat.

Police said Potvin walked out of the casino to his car and then returned to the entrance, where he sat down and shot himself in the mouth. The shooting was captured on surveillance videotape.

Potvin, a correctional officer at Stateville Correctional Center, died at the scene.

Anthony Alyinovich, 39, of Chicago was among the last people to see Potvin and said he had a calm, quiet and pleasant demeanor at the blackjack table.

Alyinovich described Potvin as "a nice kid" with a short haircut and spit-shine black boots. He did not lash out when he lost two $400 bets or smaller bets, Alyinovich said, no matter how close he was to winning: Potvin had 18 to the dealer's 19 on the two hands, Alyinovich said.

Alyinovich said he was devastated by the death and would not be going back to the casino.

Mike T. Burke, 23, of Brookfield was at the blackjack table with his father. "It's just one of those nights that really makes you think," said Burke, Alyinovich's cousin.

Mike P. Burke, 54, also of Brookfield, said when he learned later in the morning that someone from the casino had committed suicide, he immediately knew who it was.

"I just got that feeling," he said. "It couldn't have been one loss on a boat that made him do that. It's got to be deeper than that."

Deputy Chief Fred Hayes of the Joliet Police Department said he was not sure how long Potvin had been gambling at the casino on the night he died. He said Potvin reportedly made a cryptic statement to casino patrons shortly before he left.

"He indicated to several witnesses inside the casino that `if something were to happen,' he would `put something to his head,'" Hayes said.

Jim Wise, a spokesman for the casino, called the incident tragic.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family," he said.
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:19 PM
TTinCO TTinCO is offline
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Default RE:Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

This happens more than you realize. I'm sure the casinos try to do everything they can to try to keep it out of the press.

LC, can I have a smore?[img]i/expressions/face-icon-small-tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:27 PM
sick gambler sick gambler is offline
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Default RE:Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

I have a very close friend of mine that works in the Casino De Montreal here and he has been a pit boss there for 8 yrs, and he told me that there have been over 25 suicides in that casino since he started working there.. A few have jumped off from the top.. (it's a 5 story Casino), and the majority have slashed their wrists in the washroom, and they were successful to save a few.. He told me that the Sino doesn't want word to get out that this occurred because it's bad advertising and will scare the people away, so they hide it.. This casino here is the worse. They love taking the old peoples social security and checks, and when you lose here, you can see the smirks on their faces. It's really sad to see these people all lose their life savings.. What an empty feeling they must feel when they lose their families savings acct. It must be very hard not to wanna jump off the 5 story ledge when you just lost all the kids' money and now you have to go face your wife and family and explain to them..

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Old 05-18-2005, 11:33 PM
bigboydan bigboydan is offline
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Default RE:Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

sad story.

what i couldn't believe was he killed himself after losing only $900
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Old 05-18-2005, 11:37 PM
alysheba88 alysheba88 is offline
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Default RE:Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

Quote:
Originally posted by: bigboydan
sad story.

what i couldn't believe was he killed himself after losing only $900
Yeah, but who knows how much went before that.

Very very sad


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Old 05-18-2005, 11:58 PM
JoeyrollNy JoeyrollNy is offline
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Default RE: Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

Sad to see stories like this.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:21 AM
taildragger taildragger is offline
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Default RE:Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

Permanent solution to a temporary problem.
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:24 AM
Higgysmalls Higgysmalls is offline
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Default RE:Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

I remember the first time I went to Vegas and I visited Harrah's. I thought to myself.........why in the hell do they have netting draped over the side of the parking garage?
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Old 05-19-2005, 12:28 AM
count zero count zero is offline
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Default RE: Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

Once, years ago at Harrah's in Reno, I commented "well, guess, I'll go jump off the roof" when leaving the BJ table following a humongous loss. I thought it would be taken as a joke. Going up to my room in the elevator, I noticed a couple of tough-looking guys seemed to be following me. I increased my pace when the elevator got to my floor and slipped into my room. A few minutes later, there was a knock on the door. My wife answered, and these two security guys told her they were going to take me into protective custody unless she could promise them that she could prevent me from killing myself. She reassured them repeatedly until they left, then broke down into howls of screaming laughter before she could even get the door closed. We had already had a very successful trip, and the table in our room was stacked with piles of greens. To this day, whenever I lose a bundle she says she hopes I won't be jumping off the roof.
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:06 AM
thehippy thehippy is offline
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Default RE: Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

If they publized all the suicides that can be directly attributed to gambling in vegas, their tourist and casino industry would suffer tremendously. Things like this happen everyday, but often no publicity. Very sad truth. People should never wager more then they can afford to lose.
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Old 05-19-2005, 01:38 AM
alm alm is offline
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Default RE:Gambler commits suicide in front of casino

That is very sad.

Not only does it happen more than you think, but these casinos can clean up the mess in just a couple hours. Last bad one I heard of was in the middle of a casino on Trop and The Strip. After the body was removed, the casino changed the carpet and wallpaper in about an hour.
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