Game Will Go On Despite Legal Threat
Poker Tournament May Violate Iowa Law

POSTED: 9:26 am CST January 7, 2005
UPDATED: 9:32 am CST January 7, 2005
CARTER LAKE, Iowa -- The organizers of a poker game scheduled for Friday night in Carter Lake have been warned their game isn't legal, but they plan to play it anyway.

Larry Ringgenberg organized the poker tournament at Chez Paree and hopes to get 200 players. He says he ready to fight the legal battle if it's necessary.

Video: Poker Tourney Expects 200 Players

Iowa's director of Inspections and Appeals believes the tournament will violate the state's gambling laws, but Ringgenberg isn't worried.

"I'll let my attorney handle that. He has more knowledge in that, than me. That's why we pay him the big salary to take care of those little problems," Ringgenberg said.

The organizer said there is big difference between the poker that will be played at Chez Paree and the poker played at casinos.

"If you go to a casino and play live action poker, you can sit down, play one hand, win the pot, and cash in the chips and walk out the door," Ringgenberg said.

At Friday's tournament poker, players can't cash in and they can't leave, which some say is more like a contest than gambling.

Ringgenberg's attorney will be on hand Friday night in case there's legal trouble. But if all goes well, Ringgenberg expects Friday's tournament to be just the beginning.
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