Friday, May 11, 2007

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman

The Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman:
"WASILLA - When Tennessee accountant Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker's Main Event in 2003, he set off a tidal wave of poker popularity in the United States that has yet to crest.

Today, poker has become a nationwide phenomenon, with high-profile professional players competing with amateurs for billions of dollars in prize money annually. The most popular form of the game - no limit Texas Hold 'Em - is widely televised and played by millions of players in live games and online on a daily basis.

Poker in Alaska occupies a gray area of legality. Gambling for money in the state is technically illegal, although authorities typically turn a blind eye to casual “home” games played between friends.

But players who want live action on a regular basis are often out of luck. Underground, for-profit - or “raked” - poker rooms in the state operate outside the law, but raids on such games are rare.
That changed in the Valley on April 14, when members of the Alaska State Troopers' Bureau of Alcohol and Drug Enforcement, along with Palmer and Wasilla police, conducted a high-profile bust on a Wasilla building that led to the arrest - and subsequent felony charges - against five area residents. Warrants were also served on six private residences in Anchorage and the Valley."
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