Texas Poker Club Removes Player After He Exposes Their Rake Scheme

Last Updated on February 25, 2022 Author:Adrian Sterne

Ben RossSummary

  • Ben Ross was close to reaching the money when he found out that the room tried to rake the player’s add-ons
  • After arguing with tournament staff and calling the poker room a “rathole”, Ross was kicked out of the tournament
  • Collecting rake violates Texas’ gambling laws

A poker player was removed from a tournament in Texas after exposing that the poker room secretly took a portion of each of the participant’s add-ons.

The incident took place at Watauga Social Lounge private social poker club.

Prize Pool Discrepancy

The tournament in question had an original buy-in of $100, but players were given the option to add on for $60. After reaching the bubble, Ben Ross discovered a prize pool discrepancy. He found out that the room deducted $12 from the $60 add-on without the players’ knowledge.

That was akin to charging a rake which is illegal in Texas. He confronted the tournament staff about his discovery and called the venue a “rathole“. Because of that, Ross was ejected from the tournament.


Illegal Rake

Ross has had his buy-in returned alongside a $25 seat fee and the $225 in bounties he accumulated during the tournament, but he thought his fellow players should be warned. He took to the popular poker room review forum PokerAtlas to share his bad experience at the poker club and explained everything. Ross accused Watauga Social Lounge of attempting to charge a 20% rake on the $60 add-on unbeknownst to the players.

With 33 add-ons, the room stole $396 from the prize pool, according to Ross. After Ross exposed the wrongful act, the room eventually added the money back to the prize pool but Ross lost his chance of winning the tournament as he was kicked out with just seven players remaining. If the room had allowed Ross to finish the game, he would have gotten the chance to take home at least $374 in cash, or, $1,551 if he ended up winning the tournament.

Ross also revealed that the room had revoked his membership following the incident.

The incident shines a spotlight on some Texas poker rooms secretly robbing players of their hard-earned money. Casinos are banned from operating in the state and collecting rake is illegal under state gambling laws. But poker rooms can operate legally by charging seat/membership fees. The Watauga Social Lounge may not be alone in doing the illegal act and that is something authorities will look into. The room has yet to issue a statement about the incident.

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