Over the weekend, the Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club was raided by police during a huge $100,000 event. Local authorities made several arrests of staff members and booked individuals in the county jail. The poker club is located near Fort Worth and Dallas, having just opened for business this past January.
Details of the Event
Authorities raided the Texas facility on Sunday after securing a warrant for the premises. PokerNews reported that the warrant authorized the search of a gambling establishment. Authorities had the ability to seize currency, proceeds from gambling activities, financial instruments, and other items of value that relate to unlawful activity.
Additional items approved for seizure during the raid include:
- Bank bags
- Credit card receipts of tournament entries
- Add-on play
- Checks cashed by players
The warrant was signed by Judge George Gallagher early morning on Friday and then two days later, the warrant was executed. In a description of the facility, it said that all the windows prevented anyone from seeing inside and on the side of the door to go inside were images of playing cards and poker chips.
The police were also looking for other items connected to gambling that do not relate to poker. This included roulette wheels, dice, and video gambling machines. These items are in violation of Texas state laws.
Authorities could not find any other items in the venue pertaining to gambling but did take other items such as chairs, tables, and equipment.
Players Were Affected During the Raid
When the raid occurred, players at the venue were taking part in the Fall Classic Poker Main Event. The tournament was on Day 2 and featured a $420 buy-in and $100,000 in total prize money. The event also had a $20 dealer add-on that players could utilize. The tournament organizers planned on live streaming the final table so anyone could catch the action.
The poker tournament had 369 players competing with a total prize pool generated of over $130,000. On day 2, 53 players returned to compete. The tournament was interrupted at level 16 with 49 players left in the game, when the raid occurred.
The prize pool and any cash on hand was seized by police. Players at the card room were reportedly fined $360 each. They were asked several questions including how long they had played at the card room, if they were a member and how much they paid to play in the event.
Poker social clubs are allowed to operate in Texas and are subject to city and county authorities. In most cases, officials are accepting of the clubs and do not interfere with operations. However, in some instances, raids do occur.
Now that the Watauga Social Lounge Poker club has been raided, we expect it will be closed for some time until any issues can be cleared with authorities.