Posts Tagged ‘houston-poker-raids’

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.

Texas Poker: Vote Now!

by , Jan 27, 2009 | 1:37 pm

KTRH-AM 740 out of Houston followed up the Morning News story about our efforts to legalize poker in Texas with one of their own. In their piece, the opposition claims we poker liberators* are simply seeking a regressive tax that will punish the poor, and calls government “weak” for even considering legalization as an alternative to cracking down.

*my term, not theirs

And now, on the front page of KTRH’s website, their question of the day is:

Should Texas add poker to its gaming lineup?

Click here to vote. At the time of this posting, we’re leading 63-37 … as all of us who understand the skillful application of percentages can surmise, this is hardly the spread of domination we’re looking for. Seriously, I’m sorry to keep whining about this … but it’s a one-and-a-half-click vote … if we can’t nail this one down, we don’t stand a chance in Austin this year.

NOTE: This seems to be a very conservative radio station.

UPDATE: Encouraging, what their forum has to say.

Gateway Cannibalism

by , May 11, 2008 | 6:40 pm

Not super-related to poker … but as Houston poker-raid cases make their way through the notably harsh Harris County court system, I couldn’t help but think about how in Texas, playing underground poker is basically the same crime as decapitating a corpse and smoking pot out of the skull, which some kids not playing poker did there recently. [via Iggy]

Go Texas Poker!

by , Apr 16, 2008 | 11:13 pm

DALLAS–I happen to be on my old stomping grounds … to play a little Batface poker and try to do the work that police can’t and get to the bottom of the string of robberies here. (Pokerati’s conclusion, despite declarations to the opposite a few weeks ago: the Dallas Poker Bandits are a single group of three or four people hitting one room after another … not random coincidental robberies by different sets of two black guys in ski masks.)

Anyhow, this post isn’t about robberies in Dallas or police raids in Houston — everybody wants the poker money, don’t they? … it’s about the April ’08 issue of Bluff. Though these articles aren’t online yet, three of the four they highlight are about Texans:

One is about how to be like Houstonian Sammy Farha. Another is about poker politics and ledes with a certain group of Dallas players wooing Congressman Pete Sessions to get behind pending poker legislation. And a third is about Gavin Griffin, a former Dallas underground dealer who became poker’s first “triple crown” winner.

Not only do I think that is Texas neato, but also I think it says something about the state’s continued super-relevance in the game. But hey, maybe I’m biased.

Houston Tourney Raided

by , Apr 13, 2008 | 9:21 pm

Harris County sheriff’s deputies raided a poker room on the northwest outskirts of Houston this afternoon. There were about 8 tables of action — a $300 tournament had just gotten underway — and 11 were arrested. Police say the raid came after two months of investigation.

Hmm, sounds kinda like the Aces bust in terms of numbers. However some key differences are that nine of the busted were charged with organized crime. Yeow! No no no … Class C misdemeanor … maybe a Class A that can be pled down! Leave it to Houston to try to outdo/be tougher than Dallas.

From the local ABC news team:

they weren’t playing ordinary poker matches. Thousands of dollars were at stake in the sophisticated operation.

“You gotta know somebody to get in. They have two doors to gain entry. It’s operated by a button to gain entry, as well as they have cameras to monitor who’s at the front door,” said an officer.

Indeed, a button to gain entry. Case closed, obviously.

One of the other players arrested got cuffed for “unlawfully carrying a weapon” and the other guy ha an outstanding warrant.

This room had reportedly been around since late last summer. We’ll see if we can’t find out more about how this all shook down, where the room went wrong, and what’s really gonna come out of these organized crime allegations.

Thanks, Jim in Houston, for the tip.

Re: Poker Room Busted in Houston (4)
Harris County comes over the top, accuses dealers of felony crimes

by , Oct 10, 2007 | 6:32 am

Fourteen of the 15 people arrested in last week’s raid at The Palms in Houston have been charged with engaging in organized crime.

From KHOU:

The district attorneys office has now charged 14 of those arrested with engaging in organized crime, which is a felony offense. Those charged were allegedly dealers, game runners and waiters or waitresses at the club where the bust took place.

ALT HED: Murmur

Re: Poker Room Busted in Houston (3)

by , Oct 6, 2007 | 4:41 pm

Here’s the video:

Re: Poker Room Busted in Houston (2)

by , | 7:12 am

The Houston Police Department has fired back at Pokerati’s assertion that the SWAT team was necessary for their raid on The Palms.

From KHOU:

HPD’s Vice Division was so concerned about being able to get inside what they said was an illegal poker room, SWAT was called in to make sure the raid went off without a hitch.

This wasn’t an easy place to get into. The door was secured with locks and you had to have a special card to get in.

And a security company had been hired to watch the place from the outside.

Police tell us this was a place to play high dollar poker. Texas Hold ‘Em poker to be exact.


Re: Poker Room Busted in Houston

by , Oct 5, 2007 | 1:28 pm

This is not a stock photo. It is recent KHOU footage of poker players being rounded up so they can plea down to a traffic ticket and receive deferred adjudication.

So I just took a look at the pictures from the Houston poker bust at The Palms, which really I think has to be called a “raid” any time machine guns are brought into play. Maybe I’m just getting sappy, but these photos — they look soooo familiar — actually offend me. If HPD is trying to put a scare into poker players and operations, congratulations on your short-term success.

Now if you don’t mind, could you provide the people of Houston a detailed accounting of how much Operation Drawing Dead cost?

I thought we were moving into a “sensible government” phase in this country … but apparently not. And if the HPD would allow me to call at least one of its bluffs:

HPD said SWAT was needed because the building was secure and guarded by a private security firm.

Not true. Just ask the Dallas police about this … it only causes you more trouble, and makes the prosecutors and citizenry less sympathetic to your cause. Hey, I’m just a blogger — not a law enforcement specialist — but I can tell you a better way to do your job. If you want to shut down a poker room, simply park a marked police car outside the front door. It’s that simple. Dealers won’t go to work, and players won’t go in. And it will cost you the citizens you are paid to protect a lot less money.

ALT HED: Strong Means Weak


Palms Poker Room in Houston Busted

by , Oct 4, 2007 | 6:17 pm

That’s about all we know right now. We’ll try to find out a little more … please feel free to share what you may know, particularly if you were there.

Re: Re: Another Another Austin Raid

by , Feb 15, 2007 | 2:07 pm

A fresh comment on a relatively old post about a Dallas poker raid caught my eye … seemed relevant in light of discussions we’ve been having about police activity in other Texas poker scenes. In it, the accused houseguy makes claims of borderline abusive behavior from police — smacking an 83-year-old man in the back with the butt of a rifle, for example.

Nothing Rodney King-like, but still, pain-addled nuisances that might kinda should be expected when dealing with armed enforcers charged with putting a scare into a semi-criminal subculture.

Re: Houston poker raid

by , Feb 10, 2007 | 8:24 pm

Turns out the Houston poker “bust” was hardly a raid in the Dallas SWAT sense of the word, but presumably reliable sources tell Pokerati that six uniformed police officers were poking around in the Houston underground last night … stopping play at one room (unceremoniously and without violence) to conduct some sort of investigation.

Either that or this police squadron just happened to include a bunch of poker players looking for a fun and fair place to play after they got off-duty.

Cops arrived around midnight to a game located in an industrial office park complex in (West?) Houston, where reportedly about 30 players had shown up for a $60 tourney with $20 rebuys — your typical white-collar assortment of lawyers, accountants, realtors and housewives with maybe a few random thugs in the mix. Police entered through doors on two different sides of the room without guns drawn … instructing players to put their money and IDs on the table. While running standard warrant checks they asked a few questions about what was being played, whether or not there was a rake, who was running the game, etc.

(Not sure what answers if any were given, nor how many players in the house had notoriously bad poker faces likely to give off tells.)

The un-armored squadron left after about two hours — no arrests or citations issued — at which point several players also departed. Supposedly a few of them got pulled over on their way out and were asked more questions. Inside the poker room, play resumed.

Houston Poker Raid

by , | 4:18 pm

A Houston poker game was raided by the 5-0 last night … our H-town correspondent was off in Vegas yesterday (competing in an Ultimate Poker Challenge Ladies event), but she is now rushing back to the home office to get the real dirt have dinner with her kids.

Developing …

More info TK.