Another violent episode has marred the poker play at Houston’s popular but controversial Legends Social Room, located on the city’s west side. On Tuesday night, an as-yet-unidentified gunman fired up to 20 rounds into the room from outside the venue.
No one was injured in the shooting, though several of the bullet holes left after the attack were at the height of a standard human’s head or upper torso. Most of the people present inside Legends as the shooting started dove under poker tables.
Houston authorities are investigating whether an unknown person who was present inside Legends shortly before the shooting began may be connected to the shooting. The person, according to unofficial reports from players, was asked to leave at about 10:45 pm, and the shooting began roughly 15 minutes. In another 30 minutes, Houston police had reached the shooting scene to gather evidence.
Despite the serious scare, action resumed at the poker room within an hour. Meanwhile, Legends management allegedly warned players against taking and sharing photos on social media of the shooting and its aftermath, though several players did so anyway.
Shooting continues string of incidents at poker club
Tuesday’s gunfire outburst continues an unusual string of violent incidents at Legends, which remains one of Houston’s most popular rooms despite the incidents. Most notably, a security guard at the club foiled an attempted armed robbery at Legends in January. The possibility that this was another armed robbery attempt is among the circumstances Houston police are likely investigating, though it could also have been a personal disagreement that spiraled out of control.
The room was also the citing of a weird altercation involving well-known (but reportedly unpopular) Houston pro Sammy Farha in December. More recently, according to a report on Tuesday’s shooting published by PokerNews, an elderly player at Legends died of a heart attack after being involved in an altercation in the club’s parking lot.
The continuing string of incidents is likely to increase monitoring of the room and of the entirety of Houston’s social-poker scene. Most of Houston’s clubs are located in two loose clusters, one on the city’s west side that includes Legends, and another several miles away on the city’s southeast side. Neither area is regarded as an upscale neighborhood, which actually made it easier for most of the city’s rooms to obtain licensing at their existing locations.
That contrasts to what transpired in Dallas, where one prospective room’s attempt to open in a decidedly upscale neighborhood led to pushback from residents, which in turn led to an attempt by Dallas’s city attorney to close all such poker clubs in general. That attempt failed, but not without a brief legal battle.
Featured image source: Facebook / JC’s Poker Squad