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Poker Players Plot To Kill Operator With Rattlesnakes

Oddities, 2007-08-19, by Ozone

Two Colorado men await court hearings from jail after being arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. The men were plotting to kill Matthew Sowash, owner of Amateur Poker Tour, a group that hosts poker games in Denver-area bars, by subjecting him to attack from rattlesnakes.

Allegedly Sowash owed money to Herb Beck for investing in the poker business. Realizing he may not be paid in full, Beck contacted Christopher Steelman and offered him $50,000 to help murder Sowash. The men hatched an idea to build a wooden box in which Sowash's legs would be trapped while he was subjected to bites from rattlesnakes. They schemed to dispose of the body by ditching it on a nearby hiking trail.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation arrested the men after Sowash turned over threatening emails. Both of the suspects have extensive criminal records.

Perhaps the irony of the situation is that their plan, although unique, would have failed miserably. A rattlesnake expert likened the scheme to killing a man with a BB gun. Apparently the venom of a rattlesnake is relatively mild and does not cause a life threatening bite.

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