According to a new article in the Washington Post, a high stakes private poker game in Great Falls, Virginia was infiltrated and taken down by a “heavily armed” SWAT team this past November where over $150,000 was seized in what appears to be another instance of “civil forfeiture.”
The private game, which in the past had allegedly featured big name pros like Antonio Esfandiari and Phil Laak, was a $20K minimum buy-in and featured 10 players. The house was taking a small rake (1.5%) in order to pay for dedicated dealers and a pair of assistants to “make coffee runs.”
Guns drawn, the masked SWAT team found no guns or other illegal activities and 8 of the 10 men were charged with a Class 3 misdemeanor which is punishable by a maximum fine of $500—or one hand of poker at this game.
There were no guns at the table, and no resistance, the player said. “They could’ve sent a retired detective with a clipboard and gotten the same result,”
So, what about the money? The police department graciously, as part of a deal with the poker players, agreed to give back 60% of the cash and keep 40% for themselves.