Boston-area restaurant may lose license over poker

Joe Angelo, 56, owner of Brockton, Massachusetts, restaurant, Joe Angelo's Cafe and Deli, is awaiting a verdict from the city's License Commission as to whether he violated any city licenses by allowing Texas Hold'em tournaments to be hosted at his establishment last summer. The hearing is set for April 26.

"I hope it all works out," said Angelo, who claimed he didn't know that poker games were illegal in the state.

"I knew they were playing. I just didn't know what they were doing was wrong," he said.

Angelo was acquitted of legal charges Tuesday in a Hingham District Court, following the bust of a poker tournament at his restaurant and bar in July, 2005. He was ordered to pay $500 in court costs, and promised to never permit poker playing in his establishment again.

"I guarantee there will be no more Texas Hold'em in my place. If a charity comes by and wants to hold one, I won't allow it," he said. "I don't even play the game."

Joe Angelo's Cafe and Deli was raided after police conducted a surveillance operation using an undercover state trooper who competed in the games.

A Brockton police offer was caught on videotape participating in the games during the investigation, and was later suspended from the force. He is scheduled to resume his duties on May 15.

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