Jason's Poker Blog

  1. 2008-01-16 21:42:29

    San Mateo County Poker Bust Link Roundup

    If you're just tuning in, check out this post to get the background info. This one and this one have links to more stories.

    Here is another story that is buried in the comments that is pretty interesting, too. Seems like our snack fee was a drop in the bucket compared to this guy's setup.

    Oh, and Ethan's latest blog post has the beginning of an interesting discussion on the actual legalities of poker in California.


    That muckraker roommate of mine posted some information about our story on BoingBoing and boy did the traffic start rolling in. Check out the post here. If accessing the site was slow earlier today, sorry! There appears to be a ton of support for the group, which helps diminish my disappointment in not having a regular game to play.

    In other news, a faithful reader known only as "dave" sent me the following links, which seem even more ridiculous than my story

    thought you'd enjoy this tale of being popped by the cops in a card game that wasn't illegal....

    and the follow-up a few days later....

    and if you're going to raise out of the blind like that, you have to fire at the flop no matter what hits.

    Thanks for the tip and the support :)

    Update: I just got linked to on the Poker Players Alliance website.

    Update: Here is my wrap-up post on this situation.

    Posted by Jason M at 2008-01-16 21:42:29

Comments on “San Mateo County Poker Bust Link Roundup”

    • avatar for Jason M
    • sorry, tony. i had to delete the spam posts :)

    • avatar for Tony Gags
    • Besides Ethan and Trish's posts on what happened, the post above mine is the only other good thing to come out of this thread.

    • avatar for Ethan
    • I had a feeling that was case - thanks Trish.

    • anonymous
    • It seems as if the unidentified has no idea what they are talking about. Yes, I pled no contest because it was a business decision, not because I was guilty. I didn't break any law. There is no such law that doesn't allow a minor to play in a home poker game. A jury would be the only one that would be able to determine if that was against the law. NO SUCH LAW EXISTS. The DA knew they had a weak case and that if it went to a jury trial they would most likely lose and waste a lot of tax payers $$. That is why they offered me disturbing of the peace - the absolute lowest offense I would get. So what would you do Einstein? Pay an $1100 fine or pay another $10,000 + and take it to trial and have your name splashed all over the paper by incompetent reporters that get the story all screwed up?
      It was a mere business decision " and the smartest thing to do - nothing more.

    • avatar for Jason M
    • I sure hope those coppers played with their own money, because they were terrible!!!

    • avatar for Ethan
    • And who are YOU to say how many tax dollars were spent? Sorry, but I'm not going to trust your word on that. Did you have firsthand knowledge of the case? Try identifying yourself and maybe I'll believe you.

      Regardless, any money spent on this is too much. If the cops had come by one time and said, "what you're doing is illegal and annoys the neighbors, knock it off", then that would have been the end of it.

      Cardenas was charged with nine misdemeanor counts of fraudulently receiving money under false pretenses while McCoy faced two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

      Each of them pleaded to one misdemeanor and a fine. They were facing possible jail time. You'd think that with the amount of time and energy spent on this and the way the sheriff and DA played up this case, they'd have gone for more. You're still going to tell me that the DA would have let them plead down to this if winning at trial were a sure thing?

      Where did I "bust the chops" of the local law enforcement? I never said they shouldn't do their job, merely that the laws should change.

      I'll take this little non sequitur and the fact that nowhere in your barely-coherent, punctuation-lite rant did you actually engage the substance of my points to be a tacit agreement with them.

    • anonymous
    • if whats you think and what Bert & Partica did "should not be illegal" what have YOU done about it, you can complain in blogs or attempt to change the law, why bust teh chops of local law enforcement, they dont make the laws, they enforce them, write your congress if you this that the laws should be changed, afterall we live in a free society where you have the freedon of speech............. Oh yea the polce protect that too

    • anonymous
    • Check out teh link and Ethan are you teh athority on how much tax dollars were spent, do you know that the Sheriff's Office personell who were involaved did most of this on flex time, sure DOJ spent a few bucks but nothing comapred to other details, funny how you don't live in that neighborhood so it's easy for you to say hey, it's no big deal, law enforcement agencies deal with "quality of life issues" such as these ALL teh time, it's not always about just arresting a bank robber etc, they would have lost a jury trial, they made the right deal and choice, here is teh link to what they pled too

    • avatar for Ethan
    • Also, the charges they pleaded to were way less than what they were charged with initially. Probation and a fine? Makes you wonder who got saved from the jury trial.

    • avatar for Ethan
    • The point is that what they did shouldn't be illegal, and government agencies wasted time and thousands of tax dollars on something that might have annoyed some neighbors, occasionally.

      Unless you work for one of said government agencies, what reason could you possibly have for supporting their actions? Are you happy your tax dollars were wasted? Does it make you feel safer at night, knowing some non-dangerous criminals are going down for what should be a non-crime?

      I'll bet you'd love a police state. Why don't you move to China?

    • anonymous
    • Funny how both subjects that were arrested in this event pled GUILTY or NO CONTEST which is the SAME THING! Yes Bert and Patricia, don't beleive me ASK THEM! Gee if you were innocent of a crime why would you plead guilty? - it's all a matter of court record look it up it happened today - they both pled out! What do any of you poker enthusiasts have to say about that? The reason they pled is because it was going to go to a jury had they not! And if that happened two undercover DOJ Agents from Sacramento would have testified agains them in the trial, bottom line , break the law pay the fine! nobody's bitter,it's just business but many of you here have no idea what your talking about.

    • avatar for Jason M
    • I was just working on a follow-up. I've been chatting with some of the involved, and things are moving forward, but not by much. It hasn't been decided if the chargers are going to be dropped of if it's going to trial. Hopefully I can interview Trish and/or Bert soon and fill everybody in. Thanks for checking in :)

    • anonymous
    • It's been months. Has anyone heard of any outcome of this bust?

    • avatar for Jason M
    • I agree with you, G - those three points could have and, in retrospect, should been avoided. But most importantly, it didn't take a 3-month sting operation to get that point across :/

    • anonymous
    • While I think this is a waste of tax payers money, 3 things were alledgidly done wrong, witting or unwitting.

      1. They asked for $5.00 for food. This is a rake which is what makes a home game illegal. Sounds innocent but if the host plays it right, he could get a free buyin out of it. Ask people to bring you food or if you have a good group like me, you will have people who donate without you asking a bit.

      2. The took a little out of each pot for a freeroll at the end of the year. Sounds innocent except for a guy who plays once, but yet has to contribute his winnngs to a freeroll he may not qualify to play . You want an end of the year TOC, just play for higher stakes.

      3. Contributed to the delinquency of a minor. One of the players let her 13 year old son play.

      I still think the police department should have better things to do.

    • anonymous
    • The members rated the meetup 4.75 stars - the highest for any meetup I have seen so far.
      So much for "unwitting" participants!

    • anonymous

      Geez what a corrupt group of county officials, San Mateo citizens have to be asleep at the wheel allowing the likes of these people to stay in office! geez, go after the real criminals, The San Mateo Sheriff and Undersheriff got away with a major crime! Why are they in office still wasting San Mateo's taxpayers money to harass, intimidate and destroy the lives of good law abiding citizens?

      Does San Mateo Sheriff's office never use a "cease and disceast" orders?

    • anonymous
    • OOPS, sorry, to correct the time line:

      The "Sheriff Munks Las Vegas" incident was April 2007

    • anonymous
    • you're welcome, and the FBI bust on the brothel was no small peanuts, it involved 25 Asian women forced to work in the brothel

      The excuses that San Mateo's finest came up with is absolutely laughable, it's amazing that their community has never gotten them out of such high ranking positions. Where is the credibility in the term "unwitting" participants now? I think the taxpayers of San Mateo were the true "unwitting" participants and WILL continue to be unless this county wakes up and VOTES them OUT.

      Google "Sheriff Munks Las Vegas" and you will find endless rants and articles.

      Sheriff Munks still in office a year plus later...

      Three month sting $$$$, what a waste of taxpayers money!

    • avatar for Jason M
    • Wow, that's hilarious. I think I'm going to have to include that in today's blog post. Thanks :)

    • anonymous


      To make matters worse, it has been revealed in numerous news accounts that Munks' misadventure was partly paid for by San Mateo County taxpayers to the tune of nearly $15,000, and in violation of existing county "policy" for county agencies.

    • anonymous

      U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Johnson Field opinion:

      "Among these inalienable rights, as proclaimed in that great document, is the right of men to pursue their happiness, by which is meant the right to pursue any lawful business or vocation, in any manner not inconsistent with the equal rights of others, which may increase their prosperity or develop their faculties, so as to give to them their highest enjoyment."

      "any lawful business or vocation" It SHOULD NOT BE illegal to prosper from hosting a poker game. IMHO, the law needs to be challenged and it's been a LONG TIME COMING.


      San Mateo sheriff's office has a history of whistle blowing to the Fed's (SB 420 Prop 215) they called in the Fed's to close down the cannabis clubs. While some may disagree the fact is the PEOPLE VOTED and San Mateo Sheriff's office disrespect's it's community VOTERS and calls in the Fed's.

      Interesting Story about some of San Mateo's finest caught in Brothel sting

      A Las Vegas prostitution sting this weekend found the sheriff and undersheriff of San Mateo County in a brothel. (Sheriff Greg Munks and Undersheriff Carlos Bolanos ).

    • anonymous
    • YeeeeeeeeeHaaaaaaaa!!! It's a round up!! Rope those little varmints, Jason!...., ummm.....sorry. I got carried away. ;)

      Seriously though, I'm really glad this issue is getting as much attention as it is. Even the non-poker players I've told think it's pretty absurd.