Poker playing Canadian vets play poker no more

Poker-loving Canadian war veterans living in the vicinity of Cranbrook, British Columbia, have expressed anger and disappointment at the Royal Canadian Legion's decision to cancel its popular Texas Hold'em tournaments rather than pay large fines, it was recently revealed. The Legion had been hosting weekly tournaments with playing fields of more than 80 people since September, with some members driving more than an hour from rural communities to play.

According to, the Legion was recently notified by the liquor inspector that their $10 buy-in Wednesday night event could come under the scrutiny of the B.C. Gaming Commission and other government braches. If investigated, the Legion would likely have had to pay between $7,750 and $10,000 in fines for hosting the events, and would have then be forced to close for two weeks.

The Legion, which was established in the mid-1920's as a non-profit advocacy organization acting on behalf of war veterans, informed members of the change when they arrived ready to play Hold'em last Wednesday night.

Said branch president Tom van Amerongen to, "There were a lot of angry people floating around at the Legion that night, I'll tell you."

"It's been pretty brutal. It was such a great evening here, even for people who didn't play. We had people who would stay longer just to watch the game because it was so much fun, with lots of laughing and joking," said Van Amerongen.

"To me, the government just wants to have total control over every penny that is spent on gambling anywhere. I think they felt it was just growing so much and they weren't getting their cut out of it, and it's a simple as that," Van Amerongen said.

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