One year ago, Daniel Negreanu topped a field of 688 players to win the British Columbia Poker Championships at River Rock Casino in Richmond, British Columbia. He took home $371,910 CDN in prize money and gave the tournament a marquee Canadian champion. It was a dream scenario for the tournament series, but this year’s champion has been a nightmare for the event. Sophon Sek won the 2009 B.C. Poker Championship on Sunday, taking home $364,364 CDN for topping a field of 679 players. On Monday, he was arrested on charges of manslaughter and breaking and entering in connection with the Surrey Six slayings. The crime in question took place in October 2007, and it is considered to be one of the worst instances of gang violence in the history of British Columbia.Sek is the sixth person to face charges in the deaths of six people that took place in the Balmoral Tower highrise in Surrey, British Columbia. Four of the suspects face first-degree murder charges. The 30-year-old Sek could face additional counts according to Dale Carr of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.Howard Blank, vice-president of the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, was still waiting for Sek to return to the casino to collect his winnings when the police called on Monday.“The RCMP has informed us it is the same person who won our tournament, and the RCMP has requested that the funds be held for his winnings. So the funds have not been issued to the winner,” Blank told the Vancouver Sun . “He was just one of many local players who came out.”Sek is currently in custody, and his trial will continue on Nov. 30.
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