I received a couple of phone calls and emails letting me know that another Austin Home Game was "broken up" last night. Actually, this game had been broken up once before when it was being held in an apartment complex in North Austin. At that time, uniformed officers broke up the game and they were evicted from the apartment complex. It didn't take long for the game to move locations to a quiet neighborhood of single family homes in north Austin - minutes from it's previous location.
I'm told that a 5/10 nlhe game was underway when 4 plain clothed men approached the door of the house where the operation was moved to. The game girl didn't recognize any of the men, so the game operator answered the door. The men identified themselves as police officers and the game operator allowed them entry. My understanding is that they did not have a warrant and that they were believed to be part of Austin Vice Squad.
Upon entry, they questioned all the players, the game girl, and the operator. They took down everyone's id, and then let everyone go. There were no arrests, no tickets issued, nothing was confiscated.
The police officers went on to say that they weren't sure what was going on here, but that basically, it had to stop. Apparently, neighbors had been complaining of too many cars on the street. Parking is always an issue when you run a game in a residence, especially when you run a game several times a week. This group would routinely run 2 table tournaments, which equates to 20+ cars lining the street.
A game that I have been to a few times up here in the northwest suburbs of Chicago tries to alleviate this problem by having players park at a nearby shopping center. I personally won't park there though, as I think there is a greater risk of getting towed. I am not really sure what the answer is, except maybe to pay off your neighbors. Apartment complexes afford you a bit of anonymity that you don't get when you run in a single family home, but even still players will always park closet to the apartment where the game is held, leaving residents in nearby apartments hoofing it to carry the groceries in.