Published on January 11th, 2004, 1:15 pm EST

Poker exploded in popularity last year due in large part to Chris Moneymaker's victory in the 2003 WSOP. Chris may not have a chance to defend his crown, as this weekend, US marshals raided Binions Horseshoe Hotel + Casino, seeking roughly 2 million dollars in unpaid payroll taxes. Marshals completely sealed the casino and asked patrons to leave.

There has been much talk in the online poker community this weekend about the ramifications of this event. While it wasn't a real surprise to most people, it does ask a troubling question: is the 2004 World Series of Poker in jeopardy? The schedule of events for this year's tournament was just released, and with 3 1/2 months left before the tournament is scheduled to begin, it could jeopardize this year's tournament. The World Series of Poker began in 1970, and it would be a shame if it wasn't held this year.

There are several scenarios being thrown around: Binion's could get some sort of a cash infusion, and continue running through the World Series of Poker. Harrah's could purchase Binion's Horseshoe Hotel + Casino (they have had discussions before; whether this raid makes the prospect of a purchase more or less unlikely is unknown); or another casino/hotel, such as the Bellagio, could purchase the rights to the World Series of Poker and host the tournament at their venue. The latter two scenarios seem the most likely at the moment, but with a long list of creditors, who knows how long it would be until the details would be finalized. In the meantime, the 2004 WSOP might be either delayed or cancelled altogether. With its rich history, no one wants to see this happen, and hopefully things are resolved over the next few months. Stay tuned to this site for more updates as this situation unfolds.


Filed Under: The World Series of Poker

| Poker Legal Issues

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