Missing Poker Champion Alleges Kidnapping, Sends Coded Message

Posted on: January 4, 2024, 04:23h. 

Last updated on: January 4, 2024, 04:23h.

Incredible new details have emerged in the case of Michigan poker player George Janssen, who reports being kidnapped and held captive. Janssen was reported missing by his family and was later found zip-tied and covered in blood on a rural road outside of the city of Bad Axe, Mich. He claimed to have escaped his captors, according to a recent report.

George Janssen, kidnap, poker
Janssen pictured at a Heartland Poker Tour event in 2019. He claims he was terrorized and extorted by a criminal gang for two years before his alleged kidnap, according to a missing person’s report. (Image: HPT)

According to a missing person’s report obtained by PokerNews, Janssen told a friend he was terrorized and extorted by a criminal gang for two years prior to the incident.

Extorted then Kidnapped?

The report states that Janssen’s ordeal began when a man held him at gunpoint in a parking garage, demanding $2 million. Janssen didn’t have the money and was subsequently instructed to meet with other gang members who handed him a phone. The gang used the phone to contact Janssen periodically over a two-year period and threatened his family if he didn’t comply with their demands.

Janssen was directed to leave cash in boxes provided by the criminals at drop-off points. Sometimes a new cell phone would be waiting for him in the box, according to the document.

On the day of his disappearance, Janssen’s car was found abandoned with several $50 bills strewn on the floor.

Coded Message

A family member received a handwritten letter from Janssen containing the names of six family members who did not exist. Using a cipher, the first letters of the names spell “K-I-D-N-AP.”

Janssen had been a successful poker player but had also been borrowing money. He was reportedly in debt at the time of his disappearance and the FBI is now investigating the case.

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