FBI, County Sheriff, Local Police Raid Houston Underground Game

by , Jul 21, 2010 | 10:19 am

With limited factcheck, we do have a little more poker-minded info to go on beyond the hedline and the TV news report:

14 arrested — “at least,” authorities say — presumably to be charged with traffic-ticket offenses. Though you never know with Harris County … they’d be up for Class A capital punishment there, I suspect, if that dang constitution didn’t get in the dern way.

Not clear on what the FBI’s involvement was here. The Feds generally haven’t gotten involved in these sorts of local raids throughout Texas. And in general this raid seems a bit peculiar as there supposedly hasn’t been any sort of crackdown for a few years, a Houston player tells us.

Some basic info about what was known as the I-45 South game:

It’s a very large game that’s been running for many years. They have $2,000 freerolls every night. Games running from 1/3 NL up to 5/10 on a regular basis.

Also a bit odd/lame … commentors in this news report seem intent on naming names and tattling on other games that may or may not be involved in the Houston poker underground but have yet to be raided. Cool raw video footage though, if you want a closer glimpse of handcuffed players.

20 Comments to “FBI, County Sheriff, Local Police Raid Houston Underground Game”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    Looks like the embed code is screwed up. Neither link from the ABC 13 page works here.

  2. DanM

    both work totally fine for me. usually i’m the one with the tech probs! anyone else having troubles?

  3. Kevin Mathers

    Get a blank window and a lot of code underneath.


  4. DanM

    did this ever fix itself for you. kevin, on reboot?

  5. DanM

    that;s what you’re seeing in the main post?

  6. Kevin Mathers



    Yes I find it odd the FBI was involved with this. Possibly there was some illegal sports betting going on using a computer also or there was a bookmaking operation going on.

    If the parties involved are not charging a “Rake” at these tournaments I do not see anything illegal about them.

  8. DanM

    can you see the vid, scott?

    and without swearing over any bibles here, i can assure you places that look like this building in texas are always statistically super-likely to be taking a rake.


    Yes I saw the video…There has to a LOT more going on.

  10. aces-up

    the fbi was probably involved because of the dvd’s being sold by numerous people…

  11. aces-up

    i used to work there but was not into kissing butt to keep my job. mostly honest room, but they employed house players, and the floor’s decisions many times went the way of the “house player.” I heard this from several people, at different times. It was only a matter of time before he (Santos) pissed off the wrong person. The fliers were targeting the players who tend to be loose with their money and will see a whore once in awhile. but i doubt if there was a connection to a brothel. the rule is “break only one law at a time”


    FBI would not get involved for counterfeit DVD’s the Movie and Music Industry have special units that go and seize these items once Law Enforcement finds them. We give them a report number and they document every DVD and give us a receipt for our report and then come testify.

    Prostitution the FBI is not involved with unless there is a female that was kidnapped in another state. I am pretty sure there was some bookmaking going on and they had wiretaps as it might of been throughout the USA. Local Law Enforcement can handle the illegal gaming and prostitution things and even if there were drugs there its all the local cops.

  13. Mojo

    Yeah, that FBI angle has a lot of us wondering. Rumor tells they also raided the house (S’s wife, J, must be pissed!). We thought income tax might be an angle but that wouldn’t bring down the FBI. That they had an ATM on-premises might bring in a wire-fraud/UIGEA angle, maybe? I just hope they don’t hit him over the head with the RICO Stick –hey, if you’re going to do that, go after the owner of the strip center, too; or are you going to seriously have us believe that s/he was compleeeeeetely ignorant of what was happening, hm?

    And if booking is such a crime, there are plenty of games that freely allow book (or C would’ve gone to jail years ago!). And the locals included the gang unit –W T F? This looks like a huge operation whose primary purpose was to make the agencies involved look important.

    And yes, the obvious rumor is going around: a certain other runner in that vicinity “mysteriously” shut his game down that night, and it wasn’t the first time he’d had the “incredible good fortune” not be running his game on a night when multiple raids went down.

    Ultimately, the morals of the story: keep your neighbors happy, don’t trash your nest (especially with beer bottles and escort-service fliers), and don’t run multi-table tournaments frequently in an open venue, even if you do have Denny’s as a cover for the parking.

  14. DanM

    there were multiple raids that night?

  15. Mojo

    Grapevine indications are that three raids were originally scheduled. The FBI was only involved (supposedly) on S’s room. The other room –in the same area– was hit only by locals, and arrests were made (trying to find confirmation; not covered by the khou.com article). The third room was dark that night, which was unusual by all indications I’ve heard.

  16. zeroman

    Its an IE problem.

  17. Mojo

    Further fallout: at least one other notable game has now shut down for the visible future, owning to concerns over “we’re next.” This game had been going on for a very long time near the Galleria.

  18. kk

    mojo, u know a lot. what club with

  19. Ggoogle

    I hope this criminal stay in jail. My cousin said they are open,it back up across the freeway on fuqua. He has lost his job last week becuase of gambling. Free roll 2000. Everynight end up lost the paycheck. Got kick out apartment too.

  20. Jim

    I hope these people should stay in jail..my cousin said they are open again right across the freeway…2000 free roll everynight.