EDGEMERE, Md. (WJZ)—A high stakes game of Texas Hold’em is fine in Vegas, but Baltimore County Police say it’s not legal there.
Suzanne Collins reports on a poker bust at a social club in Baltimore County.
Texas Hold’em is a high intensity, fast-moving poker game and very popular right now.
At a Texas Hold’em tournament at the Lynch Point Social Club in Edgemere, police say the blinds or antes were as high as $200.
Police raided the place over the weekend.
The 41 playing cards were let go. Four were charged as card dealers, and Michael Gilbert faces more counts for overseeing the illegal gambling operation.
His lawyer says he’s not been in trouble before.
“My guy is a hard-working guy,” said Andrew Alperstein, Gilbert’s lawyer. “He’s a father. He takes care of his child. He’s not somebody who has any prior criminal record at all, and I understand the other people there were ordinary working people with no records.”
Neighbors of the social hall say there have been no problems. One participant wanted to speak but not show his face.
“This is just a bunch of local guys having a card game for the most part,” he said. “They don’t cause any problems, and I think the police can be using their resources for better causes.”
Police seized about $13,000 in cash and a couple grand inside the car of the director. Outside, they are worried this type of gambling can lead to more robbery cases.
Baltimore County Police say although people may feel poker games with big payoffs are fun, they don’t consider it a victimless crime.
“Gambling not only affects the person gambling, it affects the home family. It leads to domestic violence issues,” said Lt. Rob McCullough, Baltimore County Police.
Eight electronic gaming machines were also seized. Police say the patrons told them the club paid off for wins on those.
Police say poker games have been going on at the Lynch Point Social Club for more than a year.