One of my big fears here is having to report on the people I know. When we cover some particularly greusome accident I always check to see if the victim was a friend, that sorta thing. So it was with great distress that I read about a big poker bust.
In fact, thanks to the arrest report, I now know a lot more about people I met years ago.
Anyway, from conversations with police and various other reports, here's what we know....
THE OFFICIAL REPORT
A police report is a public document. I'm surprise more people don't take advantage of that fact. Here is an abridged summary :
Undercover police got an ANONYMOUS TIP that there were poker games inside this location on Tuedays and Saturdays. 5 deupities with the Greenville County Sheriff's office then staked the game out.
They observed about 20 cars in the parking lot of a fireworks warehouse after hours.
They moved 2 unmarked cruisers into the parking lot where the game was played and waited until another player tried to get in by using the buzzer on the front door. 2 of the deputies then walked up next to the man being buzzed in and acted as if they were with him. A "White Female" opened the door and let all 3 men in.
The deputies could see from the door that there was a poker game inside thus giving them probable cause to continue in where they saw two tables of Texas Hold-em.
The other deputies came in and stopped the game. The confiscated about $4,000, 33 packs of COPAG cards, a case of chips, and a laptop computer. Everyone there agreed to forfeit ALL OF THE CASH ON THEM and sign a waiver giving up those funds in exchange for a light fine and release.
In addition to the game's operator, it looks like 13 people were charged.
Evidently the deputies there that night spoke in a way that indicated that they had full knowledge of the location of at least 2 other active G-Vegas Underground games. In other words, they knew the address. Please remember there has never been a specific reference to any game's location or any player's real name on this blog or on Blood's.
Further, there is some reason to believe that these same officers intend to shut down those games.
It is NOT clear at this point whether or not those operators plan to take heed of this OBVIOUS warning.
Blood makes the very reasonable assumption that the recent robbery at the Black Stallion game and this bust (with potential to be bustS plural) are related. His theory is that the law knew these games went on but tolerated them UNTIL the threat of deadly violence emerged.
I wonder how, or IF, that relates to the "ANONYMOUS TIP" that police say led them to the game this week.
I would note that games like this have always been especially vulnerable to anyone who has lost badly and want to act in spite or just simply be a dick. Hell, it could have been the wife of a too-frequent player.
I will say this. I won't be at any underground game anytime soon. As Otis said yesterday, its a matter of EV.
As the odds of having every dollar on your person seized (with an ADDITIONAL fine) increase the EV of playing in a particular location declines SHARPLY.
Update from Otis: For posterity...
Without using the names here, here's a look at the age ranges of the people who were ticketed in this case: