Charity poker event cancelled due to legal issues

The Southwest Poker Invitational in Fort Worth, Texas, was cancelled this weekend after legal questions came up. It was determined that Bass Hall's Maddox-Muse Center, which was set to host the event Sunday, would be in violation of its alcoholic beverage permit if it ran the event.

The main issue was the $400 buy-in. Texas law prohibits a holder of an on-premises alcoholic beverage permit from hosting a poker tournament in which participants risk money for the chance to win a prize.

The Southwest Poker Invitational was promoted as featuring six-time T.J. Cloutier and was touted as a charity event, with some proceeds going to the Peace Officers' Memorial Foundation.

All the players in the tournament were to be asked if they would like to donate a percentage of their winnings to the memorial foundation. In addition, the organizers had planned to raffle off a Southwest Poker Invitational finals table, signed by the celebrity poker champions present, with proceeds going to the foundation.

If the tournament had taken place, it's possible the participants would have been cited for gambling, a Class C misdemeanor, and any money and gambling paraphernalia would have been seized. Bass Hall could also have faced administrative sanctions, such as the loss of its liquor license.

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