The No Poker, No Peace Penny Poker tournament has been organized in protest of the May 26th raids on the Play Station poker club at Union Square and the Players Club in the upper west side.
The tournament will be held at the entrance of One Police Plaza in Manhattan at 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 14th, and will be preceded by a 5:30 p.m. press conference. Local Libertarian Party candidates are scheduled to attend the press conference and participate in the tournament in a show of support for the players who were treated unlawfully by the NYPD.
In late May, the NYPD Vice Squad executed two raids on the popular Manhattan poker clubs, confiscating $100,000 in players' money and arresting 39 employees. The NYPD's decision to seize the money was unlawful, in light of the fact that the New York District Attorney declared that the players themselves did nothing wrong. Indeed, playing poker for money is not considered an illegal action according to New York law.
NYPD spokespeople have claimed that the money was confiscated as 'evidence' and have announced no plans to return the money to its rightful owners. Instead, it will become official property of the city of New York.
Pro players, recreational gamblers, civil rights advocates, politicians, and the curious are expected to join in the fun as the tournament kicks off at the entrance to the main NYPD police precinct in Manhattan. The tournament will boast penny antes and the winner will be crowned as the Poker Protest Champion.