Sunday, February 11, 2007

Austin Home Game Raided

Sunday February 2nd, 2007.* It was a 3 table $40 buy-in tournament held at a private home in north Austin. The tournament started at 6pm and there were 3 full tables. At about 6:30 a loud knock was heard at the door. One of the tournament players said, “That sounds like a knock of a cop.” Sure enough, the house was soon filled with 10-12 uniformed Austin Police Officers.

Eye witnesses say that they did not draw their weapons. An anonymous witness tells me that they took everyone’s picture, identified them, questioned them, and then made them leave. My witness heard another player ask one of the officers, “What is going to happen now?” The officer told him that they may be charged with class “C” misdemeanor gambling and receive a ticket. Asked if anything else, and the officer told him no. One officer mentioned that they were there because a neighbor had complained. But then another officer was asking a lot of questions like, “What is the rake?” and “Where is the dealer named “XXX”. This would lead you to believe that even if this was started over a complaint of a neighbor, the police knew more than they were telling. When the witness left the premises, it was noted that there was a paddy wagon type of police vehicle outside and it was believed they were going to confiscate all of the poker related equipment. No arrests were noted, or tickets at the time of the raid or at least by the time this particular witness left the scene.

This comes somewhat on the heels of a couple of home games in Austin being “broken up” for lack of a better term. A small 1/2 NLHE game held in north Austin was robbed in November. The host called the police and when they arrived, they basically confiscated all of the poker equipment. Two other games which were played in two different north Austin apartment complexes were ‘visited” by uniformed Austin Police Officers in October/November, broken up, and evicted from their respective apartment complexes. The games presumably moved to different locations. Pokerati reports a game in Houston being raided only days ago. And of course several games were raided in the Dallas area over the last couple of months.

Is there a state wide crackdown on poker games going on?
*Correction: Sunday February 11th, 2007

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