Sunday, April 01, 2007

NC Private Game Goes Bust

From the "it seemed like a good idea at the time" comes the latest tale of a poker raid from the Bible Belt. One entrepreneur learned the hard way that renting a vacant storefront/warehouse and turning it into a private club for poker tournaments probably wasn't the greatest idea. And borrowing parking-lot use from the church next door wasn't the brightest thought, either.

At least two Cary, NC television stations broke the news of a raid last week on a private club where tourneys where being held. The games, running in the overnight hours at least five nights a week, drew the attention of neighboring businesses who noticed the steady stream of traffic going to the back door of the presumably empty business in the late-night hours. One witness claimed that at least a hundred people had been present at the location, though only 41 people were at the site when the raid went down.

The club, called Table Image, was run by 25-year-old Matthew McCoy, who faces additional charges related to liquor violations besides the misdemeanor gambling citations issued to all people present. The club was apparently the outgrowth of a $40/player tournament that had grown far too large for home-game hosting; the authorities conducting the raid reported that six poker tabkes were present.

Those authorities, which included local and state police and the NC National Guard, seized about $20,000 from all the players present. They also found one handgun and a small amount of heroin, likely discarded by one of the players as the raid went down.

Surprisingly, the church next door proclaimed that they had no clue about the poker games running just a stone's throw away. Still, trying to run this type of unlicensed, unregulated operation in the vicinity of a church and several stable businesses is just asking for trouble... and that's what happened. As for Table Image's table image? That one's busto for sure.

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