PokerBlokes.net, a popular online poker site, was robbed of 273 quadrillion chips in a daring heist over the weekend. Investigators are describing it as the largest theft of play money in history.
According to a police report, two men showed up at PokerBlokes headquarters on Saturday morning, posing as florists. One man distracted an employee while the other man set a large potted plant in the lobby. The pot was large enough to hide a wireless router attached to a car battery. The men spent the rest of Saturday and all day Sunday downloading chips. The theft was discovered on Monday morning when players couldn't access the play money in their accounts.
"Right now we think it was an inside job," said Detective Daniel Waterson. "The men knew exactly where to put the plant for maximum bandwidth." Investigators have been studying employee records for possible leads.
Blake "Bloke" Dodge, the site's owner, told reporters he may be forced to shut down if the chips aren't recovered quickly. "Gaming rules require us to keep enough reserves in our vault to cover payouts. The criminals took 1,387% of all the chips currently in players' accounts." Dodge said he has filed for a two month waiver "so our software can generate enough chips to replenish our reserves."
Even if regulators approve the waiver, PokerBlokes might still collapse due to hyperinflation. "Our play money will be worthless if we don't recover those chips," Dodge admitted. "Also, many of our players have lost faith in our security. They're taking their winnings to other poker sites. The exodus is bleeding us dry."
Dodge believes the chips will end up on the black market. "It's a lucrative business," he said. "You can buy Monopoly money, EverQuest experience points, and poker chips for pennies on the dollar if you know where to look." Dodge fears the profits will be used to support Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks.
Police are warning auction sites and online casinos to watch for anyone trying to sell or launder chips. "I'd be suspicious if someone wanted to convert, say, 50 trillion PokerBlokes chips into 25 million chips at any of the tables I guard," said Greg Wilson, a respected poker security expert. "Contact a local law enforcement agency if someone offers you a billion poker chips at an unbelievably cheap price."
PokerBlokes is offering a trillion-chip reward "for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrators."