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egthareal
05-28-2005, 08:21 PM
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Cops FLUSH POKER CLUBS

As originally Posted Here (http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/313815p-268468c.html)

Two of the city's biggest gambling operations raked in millions

By CARRIE MELAGO and ROBERT F. MOORE
DAILY NEWS POLICE BUREAU

http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/727-poker.JPG


Sign taped to the door of W. 14th St. poker club Play Station, one of two poker clubs in Manhattan raided by the police Thursday night, sends one visitor away empty-handed.
The two biggest poker clubs in the city - frequented by celebrities and card sharks - were raided by cops after investigators infiltrated the gambling dens. The illegal operations raked in millions of dollars while offering players valet parking, shoulder massages - and the chance to win big payouts, police said yesterday.

"I can't believe it," said a well-dressed 30-year-old Manhattan lawyer as he stood outside the New York Players Club on the upper West Side.

"My wife is out of town. What am I going to do now?"

After initially keeping a low-profile, the Players Club and the Play Station grew immensely popular with experienced and novice gamblers.

In February, the Daily News revealed that actors Macaulay Culkin and Hank Azaria, who have both appeared on Bravo's "Celebrity Poker Showdown," tried their luck at the $20 ante table at the Players Club.

It was not clear if either won - but the house folded Thursday night.

Vice cops raided the gambling parlor at 200 W. 72nd St. around 11 p.m. At almost the exact moment, more cops executed a search warrant at the Play Station at 6 W. 14th St., police said.

Cops seized about $100,000, along with a small amount of marijuana, and arrested 39 dealers, runners and managers. The clubs were owned by many of the same people, police said.

The suspects were charged with promoting gambling and possession of gambling devices, misdemeanors punishable by up to a year in jail.

Cops checked the players for outstanding warrants, took their names and let them go. They included lawyers, doctors and "regular guys," police said.

They were forced to leave their winnings behind.

It's not illegal to play at the clubs. But it is illegal for the clubs to take a percentage of every table's pot, authorities said.

The Players Club has been open at least a year, while Play Station set up shop in 1999, police said.

The stakes ranged from just a few dollars to more than $10,000, and the clubs allegedly netted more than $20,000 a day. More than a dozen other illegal poker clubs continue to operate in the city, police said.

In August, The News gave New Yorkers a look inside the Players Club, finding 10 poker tables, more than the number offered at most legal casinos across the country.

Sexy young women walked around in black dresses or tight jeans, bringing food, sodas and gambling chips to players in the second-floor parlor.

Giant televisions, large couches and an autographed cast photograph from HBO's hit show "The Sopranos" greeted gamblers. No alcohol was allowed.

News of the raids popped up on the Internet, but some found out firsthand.

"I'm p-----," said a 29-year-old man, who showed up on W. 72nd St. hours after the raid with four friends. "I guess everyone has to play at home now."

egthareal
05-28-2005, 08:22 PM
This is one of these cases in which its a real life "rounders" situation with underground card clubs. Pretty sweet story - sad ending.

--EG