Yesterday we reported about a recent poker game raid in Saratoga Springs where two men were arrested for arraigning a poker tournament. Very little was known about this incident but according to the Saratogian, investigators have now come forward with more information.
Investigators of the State Police Special Investigations Unit have reported that the two men arrested in the incident were hosting an illegal poker club. The tournament was not simply a game between friends. The two men, John F. McTiernan and Arthur S. Wexler, were promoting gambling by setting up poker tournaments and taking a cut of every pot.
Lt. John Durling of the SIU commented: ‘Just a bunch of guys playing poker in their basement is not illegal. They were raking the pots and profiting from the games. Durling was part of the raid which took place on October 8th at 7pm. The court documents show that both McTiernan and Wexler rented the former school building to host the poker games every Monday and Thursday night. Durling stated in the report that as many as 40 people would come to the building to participate in numerous poker games.
Players would buy-in to the games for $300 and then the hosts would charge a $50 buy-in for the tournaments. Both men would also act as the dealer for the games and they would take a cut of each pot as well as accept tips. With the tournaments, the two men were taking a profit instead of paying out the full prize pool which would have been created from the buy-in.
The SIU was able to receive information about the poker games and surveillance was put in place. Several games were watched, one in august, two in September and then the game on October 8th. When the raid took place on the 8th, around 12 officers entered the facility and seized the poker items as well as around $3,000. Both McTiernan and Wexler were arrested during the raid and await arraignment.