The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

City Sues to Shut Down Illegal Midtown Poker Ring

 A poker game hosted by Social Poker, which helps connect players to gambling rings.
A poker game hosted by Social Poker, which helps connect players to gambling rings.
View Full Caption

MIDTOWN — The city cracked down again on a Midtown poker ring that had vowed to keep playing after the NYPD raided it in 2013, according to court documents.

A new lawsuit takes aim at the game's organizers and the landlords of the building where the gambling happens.

The city filed the complaint in December against 25 West 36th Street Realty and the occupants of apartment #6A, which law enforcement sources say is an illicit house of gambling.

NYPD undercover agents visited the poker game four times last year and, in a raid on October 10, arrested three people and seized $9,600, a bag of “alleged marijuana” and casino supplies like chips and cards, according to the lawsuit filed in December.

Christopher Fleming, 26, of Brooklyn, and Jason Nguyen, 37, were arrested for promoting gambling. Felipe Vercosa, 28, of Queens was arrested for promoting prostitution, according to court documents. 

But game organizers told DNAinfo last year that the games were harmless.

"They associate poker games with drugs and dead people and wrongdoing and it’s not completely the case — I have lawyers and doctors who play in my games," an organizer who gave only the name Jason said in March 2014.

The organizers planned to continue running the game despite the previous raid and lawsuit.

"The reward is much greater than the risk," he said.

The current lawsuit would slap the defendants with “public nuisance” and “criminal nuisance” fines, $1,000 each for every day of illegal activity.

The undercover officers repeatedly bought $500 worth of chips, played and watched the dealer take a house cut, or “rake,” the lawsuit says.

The NYPD's law department, which is handling the suit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The defendants and their lawyers could not be reached for comment.