Police nail 22 in South Carolina poker bust

A police raid on a poker game in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, netted 22 players and nearly $6,000, it was reported on Charleston.net. The Texas Hold'em poker game was running at a private home on Wednesday evening when police entered the house and began to hand out citations and collect money from the tables and participants, who included doctors, real estate agents, and elementary school teachers.

"It was terrible. This was a private game in a home," said Amelia Cheseborough, 78, a resident of James Island, SC, who was participating in the game. "They came in with masks and with their guns drawn. It was like something out of a T.V. show."

Police confiscated $18 that Cheseborough had on the table and an additional $85 from her purse.

According to Charleston.net, police say they logged 15-20 vehicles visiting the home several days a week. "The Glencoe Street house was home to a high-stakes, casino-style poker parlor that advertised games over the Internet and attracted people from all over the Lowcountry..."

Police allege that players paid a $20 buy-in to compete in the games, money participants say was used for the purchase of food and drink. Police also say that organizers claimed a cut of the proceeds for profit.

"This was not a normal recreational card game," Capt. Frank Riccio said. "This was something involving large quantities of money."

Gamblers present at the house on the evening of the bust, however, dispute the police's claims, saying just $250 was in play when officers raided the residence. They claim the roughly $6,000 police confiscated came almost entirely from wallets, purses, and pockets, and from a dresser drawer in the house - money they say was never intended for gambling.

Police were tipped off about the poker parlor by an informant, who was then rigged with an audio and video transmitter and sent to the house with $100 to wager as part of an undercover police surveillance operation.

Players were cited for gambling. If convicted, they may face up to 30 days in prison or a $267 fine. The host could be sentenced to a year in prison or face a $20,000 fine.

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