Phily Man Sentenced For Breaking Into Poker Player Darren Elias’ Home

After breaking into the New Jersey home of poker player Darren Elias, an armed robber faces a 13-year period in a state prison. At the time of the robbery, the high-stakes star was out, but a 19-year-old babysitter cared for his two-year-old child.

Shannon M. Soroka, a 25-year-old Philadelphia man, had pleaded guilty in July to robbery and related offences for the March 31 incident. He is charged with holding a gun in the head of the babysitter and demanding to know where Elias was keeping his money, while he searched the home.

The woman put the child she was watching in a bedroom, and later escaped through a window and ran to a neighbour’s house to call police.

On Friday, Soroka was charged with robbery, worsening assault, making terrorist threats, unlawful possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, and related crimes.

During the trial it was discovered that through gambling and drug use, Soroka, also a poker professional, who had participated in local poker tournaments, including at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, had accrued significant debts totalling tens of thousands of dollars.