Another Dallas-area Raid?

by , Aug 6, 2006 | 2:05 am

LAS VEGAS–Just getting word that a game got raided recently (like days ago, maybe?) in Highland Village. From the sounds of it, it was a home game … (or maybe a “home game”?) … with a little money taken out of the pot to pay for food and drinks. Could this be the case that brings the concept of rake to a real legal test?

Here’s what I know, thanks to an email from Sang in Dallas:

Dan I know you’re busy, but the local news had a story of how Highland Village cops busted a guy’s house to bust up a poker game. I think there was a rake, but he claims it went for food and drinks. The cops confiscated about 8 grand in cash and everyone went to jail. Highland Village is right north of Lewisville and a fairly affluent suburb. I think the channel was channel 11, pretty sure it wasn’t channel 8.

Thanks, Sang, for the on-the-couch reporting. Nothing’s up on Channel 11’s site yet (but that’s normal, I think). Perhaps some of the people who were there — cops, you are welcome to comment, too! — will fill us in on what all went down. In the meantime, here’s the story they ran on the Aces raid.

(Everybody loves to see poker on TV!)

UPDATE: Here’s the link to the Channel 8 story. Watch the story and you’ll notice a chip tray suggesting there was indeed a rake of some sort … and Jimmy Ray Everett admits as much. But at the same time, this was hardly a major “poker room.” This could be a very relevant case — cops busting into a private home where people are engaged in social gambling (which is legal) and freely choosing to take some money out of the pot to pay for snacks (which may or may not be illegal, but right now probably is) — if someone chooses to make it so.

At the last charity tourney I played, I sat next to a Richardson cop who explained to me why taking money out of a pot to buy pizza for a home game is NOT illegal. I believed him until this story emerged.

12 Comments to “Another Dallas-area Raid?”

  1. s-lamb

    The story is on today. There is a video clip as well. No one is saying how the law found out, just acting on an on-going investigation they say. Keep up the fight, I like reading your site.

  2. Brenda




    Hon. Stephen Harper
    Office of the Prime Minister
    80 Wellington Street
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    K1A 0A2

    Twenty-seven Canadian peace officers were praised today by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for their long and exemplary service to Canada.

    Congressman David Dreier
    233 Cannon HOB
    Washington, DC, U.S.A. 20515

    That is why I introduced H.R. 3900, the Justice for Peace Officers Act, with the strong support of Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca, to make it a federal crime to murder a peace officer — whether federal, state or local — and flee the country, providing concurrent jurisdiction for the federal government to prosecute the suspect.

    Dear Sirs

    I see you are doing legislation on behalf of federal peace officers or commemorating their service.

    As such, can you believe that Malaspina University College, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada V9R 5S5 says a letter received with a closing salutation of “former federal peace officer” is threatening??

    That is what Dr. Patrick Ross, Vice-President of Student Services, said in a recent meeting??

    This Dr. Patrick was referring to a letter received from a person who was a federal peace officer and since retirement he has closed his letters with “former federal peace officer” after his signature and name??

    I know I had trouble trying to get a simple class outline out of one of their History Professors, Professor Cheryl Warsh, who refused to send me a course outline for an interested student from America??

    What was so secretive about a course outline??

    In closing, have you ever heard anything so disgusting as a simple closing salutation of “former federal peace officer” being threatening as indicated by Dr. Patrick Ross from Malaspina University College!!

    Tell that to all those federal peace officers listed on the numerous memorial pages to those fallen officers!!

    I think people should tell this Dr. Patrick Ross E-mail: [email protected] exactly what they think of his statement!!


    Brenda Anne Bates




  3. DanM

    Um, murmur? Is this spam? Where does Patrick Ross stand on poker?

  4. Sommer

    I got this email last week from the Muirfield folks suggesting the game had gone residential/underground. Seems like a good move, hide your raked game at someone’s place- claim it as a home game in a pinch:

    “We closed up The Muirfield but of course still love to play cards.

    I have a buddy who lives in the Uptown area and several of us have started playing at his apartment. He’s got it tricked up to where it will hold 4 tables. We play 1-2 NL and tourneys several nights a week. Tonight (Monday) we’re doing a $25 rebuy tourney. We had 30 people last time and would like to have 40 tonight. Love to have you come by. [name, number deleted]”

  5. Str8lfush

    Here is the video Channel 8 ran on sat.

  6. Justin West

    I don’t mean to edify, but here’s what I’ve understood the three stipulations of a legal poker game to be in the state of Texas:

    1. All players must have equal odds (ie, no cheating)
    2. It must be in a private residence
    3. No one may profit off of the game but the players (ie, no rake)

    Now, if by some miraculous chance every dime that came out of the pots went toward purchasing food and drink for the players, and no one profited from it one bit, that might make this game legal. But… come on. What are the chances of that?

    I’ve been a dealer at a home game like this before. The rakes are huge in comparison to what a game of equal limit would charge in Vegas or California. Why? Because there’s no one to police it.

    The bottom line is that once someone starts raking a game, for whatever reason, they are going to be blinded by dollar signs. There is a LOT of money to be made from raking a game. I sincerely doubt those that ran this game were not profiting from it. And, that being said, it was probably technically illegal, at least given current Texas gambling statutes.

    The case will not reach the Texas supreme court. That won’t be permitted. As we all know, they’re going to keep the money, fine the players, the runner of the game will plea-bargain and the coppers will drop the charges against everyone but them. That is, at least, if they follow the status quo so far.

  7. Sang

    Dear Mr. West I distinctly find objection with your whole argument and find your fallacy riddled with a major hole. You jump from one assumption to literally a crime. If I take some cash from a home game, regardless of the amount, and purchase any food or drink, according to the law it is a crime. You assume that a greater amount for expenditures are automatically used. “What are the chances of that” is your quote. And in fact you assume your experience is indicative of the whole home game paradigm. But you in no make any allowance for a two dollar profit or a three dollar profit, in other words any profit that is so nelligble no self respecting D.A. would demean himself or herself with the case. You recuse the very existence of a home game that in no way reflects or mimics the possible profit a cash room generates. You immediatley equate one with the other. I find this wholly insulting to numerous people who do play home games and if any monies are exchanged you sir assume the profits, if any, are equal to a cash room game. Am I to assume that no home game is safe? That any group of individuals are subject to legal prosecution if they are gathered together for a game of chance? And a meticulous set of records must be recorded in order to escape any legal retribution? The very ramifications you imply with your missive are so byzantine I fear no person would ever play poker again. There is sir a dangerous tone of cynicism in your post that, I believe, is reflective of a small percentage of the poker playing contingent. If I am wrong then so be it, but there are a myriad of poker players who would find the tone of your letter Orwellian in scope. Is your post realistic in tone? Absolutely, but does it capture the reality of poker play among the rank and file of the poker community? No sir not one iota, I fear the very tone of your last paragraph is a paen to a laissez faire mentality that encourages a “if you get busted so then accept it” mentality. If I sound in any way insulting or grandiose, then I apoligize. I simply hate white people and their laws.

  8. Richard

    This was in no way a “home” game just because it was in someone’s house. This residence had been under watch by local officials for at least 6 months. Neighbors complained of cars blocking the streets and parking on their grass 3-4 nights a week. The gentlemen that ran this game took a rake to the tune of 6-7 hundred dollars a night and 3-4 nights a week. Do the math. I think that far exceeds the cost of a bag of chips and some drinks. They employed a dealer who took tips and they had a drop box for the rake. Still believe this was a “home” game? They better hope the ATF doesn’t see the video showing a bar in the background and that the IRS doesn’t get involved. They’ll be out a lot more then 8 grand.

    I believe poker should be legal in Texas. But don’t make heroes out of a couple of greedy men raking large amounts of money just because they chose to have the game in their house.

  9. SDiva

    So what’s up with the Rounders Club? Haven’t heard a thing from them despite their claims that they will reply to emails.

    Will there ever be poker again in Dallas? What else can we do (besides lobbying and paying money to the lobby’s) to get poker legalized here?

    Is EVERYBODY in Vegas except me???

  10. DanM

    poker is indeed coming back in dallas. i am sure it is only a matter of time before they find you and get an invite into to a private “home game.”

  11. Justin West

    In response to Sang: (yes, it’s late, but I just now came across his post)

    You are, quite frankly, wrong.

    Sure, there are some games out there that are legit, rake-free, and if they are raked the money really does go straight to food, drinks, etc., and nothing more. These are fine, and I never said they weren’t.

    I’ve been playing poker for five years now, and each and every “home” game I’ve been to that actually takes a literal rake has taken a LOT more money off the table than is necessary to pay for food and drink. A lot. You said do the math? I strongly urge you to do that, yourself, Sang.

    If one is to rake just $1 a pot, which is well below what you’ll see at most “home” games that take a rake, and the table averages 30 hands an hour… let’s say the game lasts 8 hours. That’s $240. Now, like I said, if that $240 goes straight to food and drink, etc., that’s fine, but come on man… are you really that naive? Do you really think that once a person starts running a game like this they aren’t going to see the massive potential for profit, and exploit it?

    Now, do not mistake my meaning here. I’m not implying that there is anything morally wrong with raking a game. It’s part of poker. Sure, I have a problem with ultra high rakes designed not to help keep the game alive but to make its runners’ wallets fatter… but that’s the nature of the beast. I make a choice when I sit down to play in the game. If I don’t like it, I’ll go somewhere where the rake is more reasonable.

    Like I said, I don’t think there’s anything morally wrong with it. It’s a fact, Sang. Most “home” games, at least in Austin – and here I would go so far as to say almost ALL of them – are only a “home” game in that they’re in someone’s house or apartment. Hell, a lot of the time the apartment itself serves no other purpose than to house the game, with no one ever there for any other purpose. That’s not a home game, my friend – that’s a card club. Almost all of the other home games (and I’ve played at dozens here) are ran just like a card room, with a considerable rake taken.

    Like I said, there are some games that are just guys playing poker and there’s no rake, but maybe $10 is taken from the pool to pay for a pizza or something. I ran one of those for about a year, and I know of a few others. But by and large most of these “home” games you so strongly defend are “home” games only because they’re in someone’s home. Beyond that it’s a business venture for the runners. I think Richard said that, anyway.

    As for my last pararaph – if you perceive it as a “laissez faire,” well then so be it (how’s that for irony?) It is quite simply the truth, Sang. I’ve been in Austin for the raid of two clubs and they follow the same pattern every time. I’m not condoning it, but it’s there. History repeats itself, does it not?

    All for now.

    – J

  12. sestabillo

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