Another Big Dallas Poker Bust
More to Come, Police Say

by , Apr 15, 2007 | 2:09 am

The Dallas Police Department continues its crackdown on illegal gambling … busting a poker game at the Audie Murphy VFW Post 1837 just several hours ago. There were reportedly seven full tables running when nearly 20 police officers entered the room. It was the vice squad this time, not the SWAT team … though some undercover player-officers were donning black hoods, face masks, and sunglasses to keep their identity sealed — one of whom responded to the name “Curtis.”

No official numbers yet on tickets, arrests, and money seized … but it’s looking to be about 70 players issued gambling citations, and a dozen employees handcuffed and taken to jail[UPDATE: It appears they, too, may have just been ticketed] for “keeping a gambling place.” According to Deputy Chief (Vice and Narcotics) J.A. Bernal, most of the alleged poker criminals “appeared to be hardworking, normal citizens; average everyday working joes. That’s what we found here today.”


Tonight’s VFW bust comes after an attempted armed robbery at one Dallas room Friday night as police were reportedly raiding other poker rooms (including the Island Club and new Top Shelf). DPD tells Pokerati they also hit a couple 8-liner joints Friday … and that more gambling raids are to come.


Meanwhile, legislators in Austin are considering a bill to legalize some semblance of poker games similar to the one taking place at the VFW. Several state and local politicians support this bill ([tag]HB 3186[/tag]) … presumably as an example of sensible government … including Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins, whose office now has at least another 100 poker-related misdemeanors added to it’s caseload.


Police, of course, are kinda in a bind. They say this bust (like most others) was in response to a “citizen complaint” … and they are right when they say they are obligated to respond. Likewise, the DA has to prosecute — even if he doesn’t agree with the law. As a result of everyone simply trying to do their job in accordance with laws that may be outdated but are still on the books …. it becomes a simple question of resource allocation for both the cops and the courts in a city that has the highest violent crime rate in the nation. Frustrating, to be sure.

When Pokerati arrived on the scene, all the players were gone, but there were a few marked police cars, and cops were loading up the official DPD U-haul with chips and tables … Inside, eight or nine peace officers in dark, wrap-around sunglasses (and a few wearing black ninja-style face masks) corralled around the main table like, er, poker players … counting money and pushing stacks around as they took inventory. At the same time, two fatter balder older officers (perhaps from another agency) were sitting back in the cage, watching over the action on the table and waiting for it to finish.


Personally, I had no idea there was such a good 1-2-5 game so close to my house. I soo woulda played here had I known. This VFW is attached to a (licensed) bar and pool hall, too, where tonight a rhythm and blues band was playing — sorry, can’t remember the name … Lead and Love something Movement or Machine something. The Motowny musicians’ show was cut short by the raid, yet they were unable to leave because the police van was blocking their exit as officers continued to load up the evidence and officially shut down the game.


8 Comments to “Another Big Dallas Poker Bust
More to Come, Police Say

  1. jjbb

    were there multiple r00ms?

  2. DanM

    I know the VFW bust went down for a fact. I hear from multiple sources about Top Shelf and the Island Club (have never before heard of this place, however) — and tend to believe them. A Pokeratizen confirms being at one of these in a comment on the previous post.

    The phrase “three others” also keeps popping up … but in every Dallas poker bust I have followed, there are always reports of “three others” that never materialize.

  3. Shadow

    Heads up and hello to all. As i arrived home tonight after leaving the VFW I decided to look up our bust and to my surprise saw news of the Audie Murphey bust on this site . I FREQUENTED this particular establishment and was present during the raid. Just to clear things up, there were not 12 employee arrests, but there were at the very least 65 or 70 citations. It really sucks that they insist on forbidding us to PLAY CARDS. We have the lotto, bingo, horseracing, but not cards!! I don’t want to say specifically what all went down there so as not to further incriminate my extended poker family, but it was a good joint. What sucks about this bust is that a lot of vets play there. These guys fought for our country and don’t deserve to get a fine for gambling their money and having a little fun. I agree we all know the circumstances for gambling in poker rooms, but this time it really bites, nothing but families, vets, and hard working folk. The V was the “Cheers” of places to play poker and will be sadly missed. And no s*#t it was a FULL house. One of the cops stood there slowly pacing back and forth with one hand in his left pocket while he would ever so often reach into his right to take out his sunflower seeds and chew them out and spit them on the floor. He did this over and over for an hour straight. Working real hard he was! He told the players to put out their smokes so their officers weren’t in danger of being burned in an attempted attack!! Ha Ha! Real danger to society, our kind. Well, i’ve yacked and yacked. Can’t give myself away here. Where is there to play now???? Signing off-Shadow in the V!
    and no, there were not multiple rooms, just one big one, 8 tables. And the name of the band was Led and the Love Company! Good band too. Peace Out

  4. chris

    I too was at the V. I find it sickening. I was involved in a hit and run accident on IH35 last week. I got the vehical license plate number and a full discription of it and gave the information to the Dallas police. They informed me I would need to file with my insurance. Said THEY DO NOT HAVE TIME TO DEVOTE TO A NONE LIFE THREATENING SITUATION. To bad the guy that hit me wasn’t playing poker while driving.
    I waited over an hour for a police officer to come out and write up an accident report but none ever showed. Four did drive by me but they didn’t stop. MUST HAVE BEEN ON THEIR WAY TO A POKER BUST.
    My third call to 911, I was made aware it could be quite a few hours before anyone would be by. Obviously the Dallas Police and their management are misdirecting valuable resources to shut down GOOD PEOPLE HAVING GOOD Fun(a victimless crime)instead of focusing on catching real criminals.
    Sure will miss the V.

  5. Fresh Princess

    That really pisses me off.

  6. terry1

    I was there when the storm troupers
    come barging in (dallas police)we had to sit there a couple hours so we could get a ticket class c which like a parking ticket what i plan to do is plead not guilty trail by jury.

  7. terry1

    What gets me is that we play for charities and i no that for a fact.
    the vfw is a very clean family like place where people can get togather
    chit-chat have a beer, if you needed help you could get it from there iam going to miss this place. remenber this its not over untill the fat lady sings and ihave not heard her sing yet.

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