Lara Gavaldon: Violence Masked by the Thrill of Win

Lara Gavaldon: Violence Masked by the Thrill of Win

Lara Gavaldon was the wife of an abusive poker player, Rudy Gavaldon. She suffered at his hands and was left fighting for her life after what Rudy did to her back in July 2022. What makes her story controversial is that while awaiting trial for this violent crime, Rudy went ahead and won a gold bracelet at the World Series of Poker (WSOP) on in Michigan, which didn’t make sense to the fans of casino games of poker.

Today’s casino news looks into the details of the brutal assault on Lara Gavaldon and Rudy’s twisted poker tale.

The Assault on Lara Gavaldon

On the night of July 29th, 2022, in Traverse City, Michigan, Lara Gavaldon’s neighbors called the police after seeing Rudy carry his youngest child and lamenting about feeling like he was dying. Authorities found Lara with severe injuries, including a damaged eye, shattered teeth, multiple facial cuts, and open nasal and orbital bone fractures, leading to Rudy’s arrest on assault charges with intent to commit murder.

The assault occurred after Rudy had taken a massive dose of psilocybin, waking his wife at midnight, and claiming he was dying. Lara called 911, but when no help arrived, Rudy brutally attacked her. Lara was rushed to a local hospital and then airlifted to a more advanced facility due to the severity of her injuries. She survived the ordeal. Despite the assault, Rudy was released on bond and allowed to await trial at home, free to play any of his poker blinds and any table position in online poker games.

Poker Success Amidst Legal Troubles

Despite his horrifying ordeal against Lara Gavaldon, Rudy, a poker player, continued to play online casino poker under the screen name “Flyheim86.” First, he almost won an online WSOPC ring after finishing third in the $20,000 NLH PKO 6-Max event. Six days later—eleven months after his arrest—he competed in the $500 No-Limit Hold ’em Turbo 6-Max online WSOP event. Having made a good decision with the poker blinds, Rudy won a poker bracelet and $20,193 in Michigan.

This victory stirred many in the poker community, as they struggled to understand how someone accused of such a heinous crime could still be allowed to compete and succeed in the public eye. He might be good in all poker variants, including Pai Gow Poker, but who cares? A background investigation was launched on Rudy and found that he had prior criminal records, including theft and home invasion charges in 2011.

Ruby’s story raised the need for online gambling establishments, including those providing Keno online games, to revisit their terms of service and policies.

Re-arrest and Confinement

In September 2023, Gavaldon, who had been released on bond in August 2022, was re-arrested for violating the terms of his bond agreement while awaiting trial for the attempted murder of his ex-wife, Lara Gavaldon. According to reports, Rudy failed a drug test in August 2023, testing positive for opiates. Though he pleaded not guilty, he was convicted and confined to the Grand Traverse County Correctional Facility on August 8th.

Aftermath of Lara Gavaldon’s Terrifying Ordeal

Rudy’s brutal attack on Lara left her with a permanent impairment, including the loss of her right eye. She required multiple surgeries and extensive medical care, leading to significant financial strain for her and her family.

Her friend Brittany Haskin started a GoFundMe campaign to support Lara during this challenging time by raising funds for her medical expenses and lost wages. The outpouring of support from the community has been significant. Even poker enthusiasts who understand what is straddling poker donated.

Justice Served?

This story of Lara Gavaldon reminds us of the devastating effects of drugs and the changes that need to be made to prevent similar situations from occurring in the future. Another key takeaway is the importance of thorough background checks and screening processes in professional poker, particularly in online events where players can compete anonymously. This would ensure the maintenance of the game’s integrity.

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