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Old 08-14-2008, 05:52 AM   #1
HorribleCall
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Houston poker room raided

I stopped by a local poker room tonight on the north side of Houston about 1am. The inside door was open which was weird because it is almost always closed. I rang the bell and there were four people inside who all came to the door -- also weird...

Turns out that the county sheriff had raided them about 9pm tonight. The people that were there (I assume cleaning up or gathering some things) let me inside to see the place. All of the tables and flat-screen TVs were gone (about 9 tables and half a dozen TVs). All of the chairs were left, but the rest of the place was cleared out.

They told me that the cops came in in masks with guns out -- I assume in riot-type gear (a la Dallas SWAT). They handcuffed and arrested the dealers and issued tickets to the 50 or so players that were there (Wednesday night is always a big tournament night for this place -- like a $50-75 buy-in... Big money!!!)

There have been other places in Houston that were shut down in the last year, but this room had been around for a while. Plus, the others did a LOT of internet advertising -- as in, I received emails from them even though I had never played there. This room always seemed to stay under the radar -- they had been around for at least the past couple of years.

I went and played in another room a few miles away (this is Houston - they are everywhere!) and they said that the problem with this room was that the bar next door had complained several times to the sheriff's office because the poker room was interfering with their parking. Not sure how true that is or not, but one of the better rooms on the north side of Houston is gone ... at least for now.
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Old 08-14-2008, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: Houston poker room raided

The parking complain sounds believable; and it sounds like something the poker room guys could have tried to fix amicably with the bar owners before letting it get to this point.

Surprised to read the cops took the TVs; I'm not a lawyer but it's kind of a stretch to consider the TVs gambling paraphanelia (unless they were using them to broadcast tourney clocks, then that's some creative seat-of-the-pants thinking on part of the cops).

Anyone have a link to mainstream press?
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Old 08-14-2008, 03:29 PM   #3
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Re: Houston poker room raided

I live in Vegas but know this poker room very well. I used to play there EVERY night when I lived in Spring. I know all the owners and all the dealers, and damn near all the players. I was one of the first to know about the bust, and i live 1500 miles away, lol. It is very sad, and the bar that is next to this place is owned by nits. The poker room parking did not interfere with the bar's parking. The parking lot has about 200 spots, and the poker room is on the opposite end of the shopping complex. If anything, the poker room helped the bar with business. Patrons of the poker room, and dealers, often went to the bar during breaks to have tequila shots.

The bar is owned by some religious nuts that think poker is the devil. If this is why the poker room got raided, then that is just so so horrible. I understand that it is illegal to operate a poker room in Texas, but give me a break. They are hurting no one. It costs sooo much for police to bust a poker room....undercover player for at least six weeks, SWAT, and everything else...I heard the figure was near $50k to raid a room....and for what...$60x60 players....that's tax payers money at it's best....and for what...to arrest dealer's trying to make a little extra money...to keep people from playing a game that they all love to play...just WTF!
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:32 PM   #4
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Re: Houston poker room raided

If the bar owners are in fact religious nuts who have a moral problem with the poker room, that's some mighty fine hypocracy right there.

As I'm curious though about the underground rooms- what kind of setup does this poker room have? Is it just some regular storefront in a shopping center (albeit without signage, obviously)?
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:54 PM   #5
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Re: Houston poker room raided

Exactly! Yes, the underground rooms in Houston are usually located in a strip mall with no sign. Most all of them have a video feed from the entrance onto a screen inside, you ring a bell to get in, they buzz you in, etc...pretty much like Rounders.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:56 PM   #6
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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Originally Posted by eco74 View Post
As I'm curious though about the underground rooms- what kind of setup does this poker room have? Is it just some regular storefront in a shopping center (albeit without signage, obviously)?
I'm not sure exactly which club this was, but there is literally a hundred of these kind of clubs in Houston and most of them are blacked out store fronts. A few of them are setup other ways, in condos/houses, backrooms to legit business, etc..
But the rooms I cut my teeth at in H-Town were all like store front blacked out with a buzzer and camera system. Inside was pretty much a hollow space that had been made to look like a card room. Some of them were really friggin' nice others total dumps. They all had great action though even with the insane rake.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:31 AM   #7
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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They all had great action though even with the insane rake.
No kidding. People who complain about a $6 max rake at a casino need to play in Houston. Its insane there and its still beatable. Too bad about this room getting raided. I liked it.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:22 AM   #8
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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Originally Posted by RUFFNECK View Post
I'm not sure exactly which club this was, but there is literally a hundred of these kind of clubs in Houston and most of them are blacked out store fronts. A few of them are setup other ways, in condos/houses, backrooms to legit business, etc..
But the rooms I cut my teeth at in H-Town were all like store front blacked out with a buzzer and camera system. Inside was pretty much a hollow space that had been made to look like a card room. Some of them were really friggin' nice others total dumps. They all had great action though even with the insane rake.
Wait a minute... you're telling me that playing Texas Holdem is illegal in the state of TEXAS????? The world must be upside down.

G
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:35 AM   #9
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Re: Houston poker room raided

has their ever been issues with other rooms calling the police ?
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:58 AM   #10
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Re: Houston poker room raided

Good ****ing riddance. I'm glad the Houston police closed this place down because the owners were guilty of ****ing theft.

Do you guys have any the rake these Houston rooms charge? 10% uncapped, usually, and then they teach their dealers to slip several of the highest denomination chips out of the pot and into the rake bin.

Raking $500 out of a $2500+ PLO pot isn't unheard of, and $50 out of a $500 pot is all but standard.

So I'm ****ing glad these scumbags got shut down because they were, and still are taking tons of money out of the poker economy. ****ing thieves.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:58 AM   #11
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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Originally Posted by MYSPACETOM View Post
Good ****ing riddance. I'm glad the Houston police closed this place down because the owners were guilty of ****ing theft.
It was outside of HPD jurisdiction, the county sheriff handle this one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MYSPACETOM View Post
Do you guys have any the rake these Houston rooms charge? 10% uncapped, usually, and then they teach their dealers to slip several of the highest denomination chips out of the pot and into the rake bin.
Now a days most are capped but you're right about the 10%. Stealing does happens but not everywhere.

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Originally Posted by MYSPACETOM View Post
Raking $500 out of a $2500+ PLO pot isn't unheard of, and $50 out of a $500 pot is all but standard.
I have seen $50 out of a $500 pot but I wouldn't say it's the standard. Today less than 20% of the rooms in Houston will rake $50 out of a $500 pot.

Last edited by DissMember; 08-15-2008 at 08:16 AM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:19 AM   #12
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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Originally Posted by MYSPACETOM View Post
Good ****ing riddance. I'm glad the Houston police closed this place down because the owners were guilty of ****ing theft.

Do you guys have any the rake these Houston rooms charge? 10% uncapped, usually, and then they teach their dealers to slip several of the highest denomination chips out of the pot and into the rake bin.

Raking $500 out of a $2500+ PLO pot isn't unheard of, and $50 out of a $500 pot is all but standard.

So I'm ****ing glad these scumbags got shut down because they were, and still are taking tons of money out of the poker economy. ****ing thieves.
Just think of the fish that must play at these games! Seriously its not going to be a table full of pros with that kind of rake... nevertheless its BS. IMO, a person should go to these games to recruit the fish to better games with less rake.
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Old 08-15-2008, 09:43 AM   #13
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Re: Houston poker room raided

i keep hearing about the crappy rake in H-town - my question is : why doesn't someone start a room with fair rake - seems like their might be demand for it
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:33 PM   #14
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Re: Houston poker room raided

Having played at rooms throughout Houston, the bigest problem I have discovered is the players. Obnoxiously drunk, underage, and disrespectful seems to be the norm. These fools oftenly can' keep ther mouths shut and just invite trouble. While I hate making the drive, I would much rather play in Lousianna or a good home game than any of H towms room where some sense of control exists. Hopefully this will be the year we finally get legalized gambling. I know Landry's (Tilson/Fertitta) and Trump are set to go in Galveston the instant it happens.
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Old 08-15-2008, 02:41 PM   #15
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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has their ever been issues with other rooms calling the police ?
My guess is if word gets out that a room is fingering other rooms to get rid of competition, then the stool pigeons would have a very hard time getting any players to play there. (not to mention the risk of it creating a domino effect of everyone turning in everyone else).
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:12 PM   #16
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Re: Houston poker room raided

To MYSPACE TOM: This room was one of the few that didn't overrake....their rake was known by all the players, 10% to 10$ max in Holdem, 10% to $15max in Omaha.....don't ****ing run your mouth about **** you don't know. I worked there for a long time before I moved to Vegas, and it was the only room that I would work at b/c they didn't tolerate overraking. They found one dealer overraking and fired him on the spot....I agree with you that alot of room in Houston to over-rake, but this one clearly did not....I agree that the rake is high, but it is known, and not like the other rooms who stole more than they said....so STFU if you don't know.
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Old 08-15-2008, 03:15 PM   #17
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Re: Houston poker room raided

I was a dealer and a player at this club. I stopped dealing there almost a year ago because other clubs were getting busted and I didn't want to risk getting a felony.I knew it was a mater of not if but when it would be busted. I started playing there again last month. Some of the reasons I choose to play there was the quality of players, structure (tourney and rake),safe enviorment, good dealers and honest game runners. I will miss playing there.
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Old 08-15-2008, 05:57 PM   #18
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Re: Houston poker room raided

What kind of trouble are you looking at if you get caught playing at a place like this? Is the money you have on the table taken away?
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:08 PM   #19
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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Originally Posted by Repsychler View Post
What kind of trouble are you looking at if you get caught playing at a place like this? Is the money you have on the table taken away?
As a player the trouble vary from a $500 ticket to nothing, unless you have an illegal weapon, drugs or a warrant on you.

You wouldn’t be able to cash out your chips. Sometime they will take the money from your pocket, most times they won't.

Last edited by DissMember; 08-15-2008 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:18 PM   #20
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Heart Re: Houston poker room raided

This is so sad.
I live in Chicago and gambling is legal here in my neck of the woods.
I would go batty if I had to drive really far to a casino or play at a place where there was a chance of a raid. I don't understand why Texas hold em' is illegal there in Texas? I think others have said it before, but I am sure there are much more horrible things going on in Houston than a bunch of people playing poker (murders, rapes, thefts, etc. etc. ).
Houston is a nice big city ( I have been there ) and their citizens deserve the right to play poker/gamble without the fear of being arrested.
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:37 PM   #21
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Re: Houston poker room raided

In Houston you have a strip mall where there is an empty store. One day the windows get blacked out and a discrete camera installed. In the dead of night people slip up and are admitted to this "empty" store where poker ensues. How long are these rooms run before they're busted? It would seem to me that no one has to drop a dime on them, the fact that these empty stores have become busy is a tell to the cops and all they're doing is waiting for the time to strike.
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Old 08-15-2008, 10:35 PM   #22
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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Originally Posted by MYSPACETOM View Post
Good ****ing riddance. I'm glad the Houston police closed this place down because the owners were guilty of ****ing theft.

Do you guys have any the rake these Houston rooms charge? 10% uncapped, usually, and then they teach their dealers to slip several of the highest denomination chips out of the pot and into the rake bin.

Raking $500 out of a $2500+ PLO pot isn't unheard of, and $50 out of a $500 pot is all but standard.

So I'm ****ing glad these scumbags got shut down because they were, and still are taking tons of money out of the poker economy. ****ing thieves.
While the regular dealers were usually honest the club did rent out their space on mondays and tuesdays to a third party who ran a cash game. He was of questionable moral character and his rake was 10% up to $10 ($100 pot) and $1 for every $100 in the pot after that. Example a $600 pot was a $15 whack. I have also heard of the dealers in that game over raking but with that rake structure who would know...lol
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Old 08-16-2008, 08:11 AM   #23
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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In Houston you have a strip mall where there is an empty store. One day the windows get blacked out and a discrete camera installed. In the dead of night people slip up and are admitted to this "empty" store where poker ensues. How long are these rooms run before they're busted? It would seem to me that no one has to drop a dime on them, the fact that these empty stores have become busy is a tell to the cops and all they're doing is waiting for the time to strike.
HPD knows where all the games are. They don’t care unless there is a lot of complains or other illegal stuff is going on. There are over a hundred illegal poker games in Houston. In the pass three years HPD only raided one room.
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Old 08-16-2008, 03:01 PM   #24
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Re: Houston poker room raided

Get politically active. Get your rooms all legal and shipshape.

Tuff <<<<<< not a lawyer or politician
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Old 08-16-2008, 04:11 PM   #25
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Re: Houston poker room raided

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HPD knows where all the games are. They don’t care unless there is a lot of complains or other illegal stuff is going on. There are over a hundred illegal poker games in Houston. In the pass three years HPD only raided one room.
Actually, they've raided way more than 1 room..LOL...but DissMember is right, they usually don't bother unless there are complaints or drugs/prostitution in the room as well. I know of four rooms that have been raided within the last 2 years; and I'm sure there are more that I don't know of. Before this raid, the last raid occurred b/c the church across the street was complaining---more nits!
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