Stars Poker room raided in Bengaluru; Series cancelled
The inaugural series at Stars Poker room which was later halted by the Bengaluru police
It seems Bangalore is just unable to operate as a poker room friendly city. In news which broke yesterday evening, Bengaluru police raided the Stars Poker room in Indiranagar. At the time of the incident, the Stars poker room was in the midst of running its inaugural series which kicked off on Wednesday afternoon. About 75 players participated in the opening event and the field was down to about 60 odd players when the cops walked in and started moving everyone out of the poker room. When Gutshot Magazine tried to get in touch with the management late last evening, they were still trying to sort out the matter at the local police station.
Stars Poker Room, which is helmed by poker circuit veteran Rajeev Raut and local businessman Krishna G, is facing problems barely a couple of weeks into its operations. Raut, who is originally from Pune, is an experienced poker operator formerly associated with the Deltin Royale poker set up in Goa. Prior to this new venture in the Garden City, he was involved with another local setup, the Rockets Poker room in Jayanagar with Praveen Dwarkanath before the two parted ways last year. Rockets now hosts tournaments in conjunction with online poker site Adda52.com, catering to the intermediate stakes players in the local and Southern region. Last year as reported on Gutshot, Stars Poker room had entered into a strategic partnership with the Indian Poker Association (IPA) where the former would take care of the latter’s property and manage the day-to-day operations at this venue located near Ulsoor Lake.
This kind of interference by Bengaluru police is not new as last year there were raids conducted on the aforementioned Rockets room in February and then a few months later it was the turn of the House of Kards in Basavanagudi. The Rockets room which was based then in Sheshadripuram, was raided by Bangalore police on 2 February 2015. According to a report on television channel TV9 Kannada, the premises was raided for alleged illegal gambling other than poker. Aside from cash and other items being seized, police also arrested around 20 individuals at the time. The raid at House of Kards was a case of misunderstanding and miscommunication according to the club management. The original target of the raid was a snooker/pool parlour in the same building and House of Kards eventually ended up getting mixed up in the process. The misunderstanding was later cleared and the club resumed operations after a week.
As of this morning, the tournament series stands cancelled and there is no word on when it will be rescheduled to or what is the current status of the Indiranagar room is. In a post earlier today, Raut posted this on social media, “With great regret have to announce the cancellation of Stars Poker Series. Really thankful to all the supporters who stood by. We are still continuing cash games & Sit’n’Go Games at IPA Stars”.
Bengaluru enjoyed a favourable decision when the High Court approved poker as a game of skill which led to many poker rooms mushrooming across the city. This has led to a significant growth of the local poker populace and as a result an overall increase in the national number of poker players. It is an unfortunate situation that despite being a city which has legal ruling in its favour, the Garden City still faces these troubles on an ongoing basis. Gutshot Magazine will bring you any further updates in this matter as it happens so stay tuned.
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