The Manitoba Gaming Control Commission (MGCC) shut down a poker tournament taking place in a Winnipeg, Manitoba, bar this week, it was recently revealed. According to reports, the Coyotes Nite Club has been hosting a series of no buy-in, No-Limit Hold'em tournaments over the last couple of months, with the intention of awarding a $10,000 seat to the 2006 World Series of Poker (WSOP) as a grand prize. When the MGCC was informed of the events, they placed a call to Coyotes owner Carey Paul, informing him the tournaments violated provincial law and must be shut down.
"[It's] very small-minded on the part of the province," said Carey. "We were giving away a $10,000 seat into the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, and we ran the tournament first-class."
Subsequent to the raid, MGCC spokesperson Andrea Kowal revealed that up to 20 establishments are currently being investigated in Manitoba for running poker tournaments. "At this point in time, most of the ones that we're attending tend to be related to someone actually putting in a complaint, or even, in some cases, the bar owners themselves...not wanting to risk their business by running illegal gaming..." said Kowal.
Under provincial law, it is illegal for any establishment to run a poker tournament that charges a buy-in or entry fee, offers a large prize, or stands to gain from increased sales as a result of the tournament.