Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Conti's Raid

A little background here. From October through the end of January, I participated in something known as the Rat Pack Poker League at Skully's on Tuesday Nights. The Rat Pack is a local organization for serious poker players. The League consists of two freeroll (no buy-in) mini Texas Hold'em Tourneys each night, with the winner getting a prize (usually a Gift Certificate good for food at Skully's), but what you're really playing for is points. The top five finishers got between 12 and 20 points and everyone got 5 points just for playing in each game. At the end of the season, the top 30 point-earners were invited to the final tournament, which offered serious prizes, such as poker chips, plastic playing cards and poker table tops for the winners.
I'm proud to report that I earned a spot in the finals and made it to the final table, finishing in 8th place and taking home a set of Copag brand plastic playing cards ($30 value, according to the All In magazine Holiday Gift Guide).
I enjoy the Rat Pack League not only because I like to play poker, but because it actually gets me out of the house and interacting with other human beings rather than sitting around watching TV and moping about how crappy my life is.
That's why this story on the Channel 10 early news grabbed my attention. The police raid on the Texas Hold'Em night at Conti's Pub & Club does not bode well for the future of the Rat Pack Bar League. Even though the tournament director has gone to great lengths to enforce a policy of "No cash on the gaming tables" designed to avoid even the appearance of the dreaded spectre of "gambling", and there is, as I stated, no buy-in or entry fee, that apparently cuts no water with The Man. From what I gather, the Conti's event was similar to the Pack League, nonetheless fines were issued by the police to the players.
One man interviewed in the televised report opined that the police should have better things to do than raid bars and harass card players (how about those smoking ban violators, for instance. Now there's a threat to National Security for you), and I agree.
The other thing that surprises me about this is that the message board of the Internet poker group sponsored by the Rat Pack is so far silent about this. Given the above stated implications for the Bar League's future, I'd think the baords would be a burnin' and a buzzin'.
Of course, I saw this report at 5:30 a.m., and as I write this, it's just after 6 p.m., so maybe once peolpe see the evening news (if the report is repeated), then the reaction will roll in. I sure hope the Pack ain't gonna just roll over and take this lying down.


Eric Clark said...

as if its not bad enough that our federal government is ignorant about stuff like internet gaming,
now the local cops are getting in on the enforcement, breaking up those high stakes games where you pay nothing and get little.
There are lots of rapes and murders and drunk drivers and other real shit out there. The cops need to go take care of that and leave us casual gamblers alone!

Anonymous said...

I really need to get in a money tournament at home games

my name is clint