Poker legend Chris Moneymaker is shutting down a card room he opened in Kentucky. Moneymaker opened the room last fall.
Moneymaker, the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion, has opened a social poker club in Paducah, Kentucky, located near the Illinois-Kentucky border. Paducah is a small city of about 25,000. The room was not charging a traditional rake, as prohibited by state law. Moneymaker, who lives in Mississippi, filed for business registration in June.
The poker room was called Moneymaker’s Social Club.
Second PokerNews, the poker club closed down after it received legal threats from local authorities. The poker room had “received approval from then McCracken County Attorney Sam Clymer. But Clymer’s replacement, Cade Foster, reversed his decision to allow the Moneymaker Social Club to continue broadcasting poker games,” the report said.
According to the report, the Moneymaker could have been charged with gambling-related crimes had he not moved to close the room. A deal has reportedly been reached with the city to avoid prosecution.
“We had complaints last week that the (district attorney) was going to press charges, and that could potentially get myself and some of my staff in trouble,” Moneymaker told PokerNews. “So, out of a cautionary mistake, we decided to close it.”
“(Before opening) we went to talk to the county attorney, Sam Clymer, and he wrote a big long 10-12 page document saying that everything we’re going to do in the room is completely, 100% legal.” added Moneymaker.
Moneymaker planned to run a long-term business with about 10 poker tables in the establishment. The gambling hall was about a two-hour drive from Nashville, Tennessee.
For now, Moneymaker plans to keep the business open as a pool hall. It is unclear if he will be able to find a way to bring poker back to the social club.
Gambling is very restricted in Kentucky. The Bluegrass State has no Vegas-style casinos and is in the minority of states with no sports betting. However, it does have legal horse betting and slot-style parlors.