2007_11_desena.jpgThe underground Flatiron poker club robbery that left one player dead on Friday may be connected to a robbery at a swank Upper East Side club back in June. The Post notes that the two robberies were similar, with gunmen holding up patrons and making off with a lot of cash.

The Upper East Side robbery at the National Card Room (a joint that Alex Rodriguez used to frequent) did not turn violent, whereas the Flatiron robbery did, when one of the robbers "accidentally" fired his pistol when picking up a shotgun. A 55-year-old man from NJ, Frank DeSena (pictured, left), was fatally hit. The robbers were masked, and witnesses have been unable to tell the police what race they were. A police source told the Post, "[The robbers] were good, they were professional."

Reports say that dozens of people were playing at the make-shift poker club on the seventh floor of 251 Fifth Avenue. The club was run by owners who owned a similar establishment called Straddle and had been open for a week, attracting "middle class" or "well-to-do" players. DeSena, who had worked as an economist for AT&T, is described as a regular guy with a wife and 16-year-old son.