Chinese poker community buzzing with news of restaurant arrests
Several key members of the Chinese poker community were arrested on June 20th while playing poker in a restaurant in Beijing, as China once again showed that the authorities will swiftly clamp down on any live cash games taking place in the country.
The reports first surfaced in a Chinese newspaper, which declared that the players had been arrested while playing a high-stakes poker game in a restaurant.
According to Somuchpoker‘s sources, the players busted by the authorities are well respected members of the Chinese poker community.
Xu Chaojun, who is the founder of an app which is similar to Instagram, called PaPa and is known as a keen poker player was one of those involved. As was Ted Wang, founder of Dzpk.com, who provides Chinese coverage of the poker world and is one of the largest online poker media outlets in the country. Tian Hao, another founder of a Chinese poker media outlet called yiqipuke.com was also caught up in the bust.
The game keeps growing in popularity in the country
While the identities of the people involved have fuelled the buzz around this incident, the truth is that Chinese players now have a number of options for legally playing poker live and online.
Ourgame, who bought the World Poker Tour brand has helped oversee poker growth in China, as have major companies such as Tencent and Alibaba.
The one aspect of poker that remains clearly prohibited is the running of live cash games on Chinese soil. This is the cause of most police busts in China now, and serves as a reminder that, although poker is becoming more accepted in the country, there are still boundaries that players cannot cross.
Poker growth in China continues, and the legal situation around the game is becoming clearer with each live tournament that takes place in Mainland China.
With the World Poker Tour hosting more and more events in Mainland China, there is a growing sense that carefully planned events that run in accordance with the law will not encounter problems from the authorities.
Article by Craig Bradshaw