Poker movie fans are very familiar with Teddy KGB's place. The fictional underground poker club from the movie Rounders was based on a real-life New York City venue, which wasn't that different from the two poker clubs that were raided by the NYPD on May 26.
The New York Players Club and the PlayStation were subject to fully-armored, early-morning NYPD visit that led to the confiscation of $100,000 in cash and the arrest of 39 employees of the clubs.
According to a recent New York Daily News article, the politically-motivated raids occurred after high-profile celebrities Macauly Culkin and Hank Azaria were reported to have spent an evening playing at the Players Club. The illegal club had previously drawn attention from police after being selected by the Village Voice as the "Best place to deal like a gangster."
The raids have done little to stop underground clubs in New York and will be the subject of a protest that will take place on Thursday July 14, at the entrance of One Police Plaza. Led by the Libertarian candidate for Public Advocate Jim Lesczynski, the No Poker, No Peace Penny Poker Tournament will begin at 6 p.m. and will be preceded by a press conference that will address the NYPD's illegal confiscation of the $100,000 from the two clubs.
"The Manhattan District attorney admits the players themselves did nothing illegal, yet the police walked off with $100,000. They claim the money was confiscated for 'evidence'as if anyone needs evidence that poker is played for money. The police say the have no plans to return the money to the players and that it will eventually become city property. It is not hyperbole to say that is simply armed-robbery by the NYPD," said Lesczynski.
According to NYPD member's of the NYPD special investigation's vice-squad, there is an ongoing investigation about the possible link between the poker clubs and organized crime activities. Police see things quite differently than event protesters. "We don't know where the money (gambling profits) is going," said Lt. Pasquale Morena.
The NYPD's attitude toward the clubs is not dampening the spirits of New York protesters and a good turnout is expected. The No Poker, No Peace tournament on the steps of police headquarters is open to all types players and at penny-ante stakes the tournament is more about proving a point than providing a quick cash.
Lesczynski isn't the only politician to try to tackle the ambiguities of the antiquated poker laws. Earlier this year state Senator John Sabini, a Queen's-based Democrat, introduced a bill that would allow bars and restaurants to sponsor low-stakes games. The bill limits buy-ins to $50 and would cap first-place prizes at $100.
Member's of the NYPD special investigation's vice-squad don't see things the way event protesters do. "We don't know where the money (gambling profits) is going," said Lt. Pasquale Morena.
Ed Note: No one will bust your door down if you play at Noble Poker