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Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Poker Game Busted

Written by Tom Somach in Poker News

Two people were arrested and a youth was referred to child protective services after authorities in San Mateo, California, USA, raided a house where illegal poker games were taking place.

According to media reports, Cutberto Cardenas, 42, of San Mateo, was arrested and charged with two misdemeanor counts of fraudulently obtaining money under false pretenses and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, while Patricia McCoy, 47, of Hillsborough, California, USA, was arrested and charged with one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

On Saturday afternoon, San Mateo County deputies, along with agents from the State Department of Justice, raided the house and encountered 20 adults and one child there, media reports said.

The authorities searched the premises and found three poker tables, poker chips, playing cards and $1,300 in cash, media reports said.

An investigation began three months ago, after the Sheriff’s Office received numerous complaints from residents of the area about heavy foot traffic and parking problems around the house, media reports said.

A background investigation into who occupied the house and who visited it led investigators to a website, www.meetup.com, that allows groups to promote public events, and which had a web page publicizing weekly poker tournaments at the house, media reports said.

The undercover investigation determined that the poker games at the house were more than just casual card games, and in fact were an illegal gambling operation run by Cardenas to obtain money from the participants, who were recruited online, media reports said.

The poker games required buy-ins from $25 to $55, in addition to a $5 cover fee to enter the house, media reports said.

After their arrests, Cardenas and McCoy were released on bail, while the 13-year-old youth was referred to the San Mateo County Child Protective Services, media reports said.

(E-mail Tom Somach at [email protected])

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