80-year-old Poker Player Rips DAs Office to Shreds in Texas Poker Club Raid Response

1 week ago
80-year-old Poker Player Rips DAs Office to Shreds in Texas Poker Club Raid Response
24 May

An 80-year-old poker player caught up in the police raid on the Watauga Social Lounge Poker Club in Texas has sent an open letter to the District Attorney berating him for “robbing” him...

Gerald L Foreman told the DA exactly what he thought of the raid, which saw 49 players fined $360 each when law enforcement gate-crashed the final day of the social poker club’s Fall Classic tournament late last year.

“Robbed by our own government”

“Today is my birthday. I was only age 80 when your office robbed me and allowed your law enforcement harm to further damage me,” wrote the disgruntled man, who shared his letter with PokerNews.

Mr Foreman explained the situation to new DA Phil Sorrells, who ousted former DA Tiffany Burks just weeks after the raid which saw the entire $205,000 prizefund confiscated.

“Each of us who qualified was guaranteed a return of $1500 for making it to the final day ... Less than a half hour into this final day, we heard the words: “Hands over your heads now. At first, I thought we were being robbed by criminals, but it turned out to be worse. Indeed, we were going to be robbed, sadly by our own government, a government funded by citizen tax dollars.”
The raid saw 10 employees arrested and 49 players fined, with the club closed down as police also confiscated everything and anything conceivably related to poker and gambling from the club, including tables, chairs, chips, and cards.

Left shaking from hunger

Mr Foreman, who suffers from health problems, claims he wasn’t allowed to use the bathroom during the raid or take his medication as required.
“I was shaking from hunger, needed to urinate to the point I was in pain, and I told him that if I couldn’t go to the toilet, I was going to “piss my pants.”
The criminal charges were later dropped by the DA’s office, one victim, Darryl Gresham, posting on Facebook:

“First part of the injustice has now been dropped for all 46 of 49 who wanted their/our day in court. Now let’s go get our 205k the TCSO (Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office) robbed from us at gunpoint … This isn’t over til you return our money and justice is served!!!!”
The “46 of 49” comment references the fact that three of those charged accepted a plea last December, before the majority of cases were dropped reportedly due to so many players requesting trial by jury.

Mr Foreman in his letter bemoans not only losing his $400+ buy-in and the guaranteed $1500 he had sewn up with potentially much more to come, but also the waste of time, money and resources to defend himself.

Demands for Justice

“I had to research for many hours my potential defense for the jury trial I was going to demand. I had to pay $20 for parking and lose a whole day to sit in a courtroom for 3 hours where I was offered a deferred sentence if I allowed Tarrant County to rob me of another $100 for court costs. Tarrant County caused me, and many others, much anguish over this issue. The cherry on top of the poisonous sundae your office served is the letter I received from the court stating that my case was dismissed in THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE.”
Describing the raid as “easy to see it for what it was: A MONEY GRAB by Tarrant County,” Mr Foreman has demanded, “reimbursement to make me financially whole and an apology from your office. If not, I want my trial.”

Texan Poker Problems

The law in Texas surrounding poker has created huge problems in some counties, none at all in others.

While The Lodge, co-owned by Doug Polk, Andrew Neeme and Brad Owen has gone from strength to strength, others have been less fortunate.

The Top Shelf Poker Room in Flint, just outside the town of Tyler, about 100 miles east of Dallas, was similarly raided in March last year.

Police seized “gambling paraphernalia, US currency, financial ledgers as well as other documents and electronics believed to be associated with the promotion of gambling.”

Sheriff Larry Smith claimed that some of the investigators had been working undercover at the cardroom and they had “probable cause” to believe illegal gambling was taking place on the premises.

An earlier pair of raids didn’t work out quite so well for the Texan authorities in Houston, however, when multiple arrests at the Post Oak Poker Club and the Prime Social Poker Room backfired.

All the charges were later dropped when it was discovered that District Attorney Kim Ogg’s own consultant had scammed the two poker clubs out of $250,000.

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Andrew from Edinburgh, Scotland, is a professional journalist, international-titled chess master, and avid poker player.Read more


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