Paul McKinney, winner of the 2005 Seniors WSOP, known to a lot of Vegas poker players as a quiet gentleman that just wants to play the game, was arrested in a local gambling raid on the Hog Wild Saloon, Kingsport TN, about 9:30pm on November 2nd, 07.
A citizen turned in the tip (perhaps a disgruntled loser?) and Kingsport's vice unit arrived to find and arrest 16 people. All of the 16 were charged with gambling, one was charged for carrying a firearm, and another for possession of untaxed liquor (moonshine). Paul was also charged with ‘aggravated gambling promotion', according to www.timesnews.net, as he allegedly worked as a bookie, and with a charge of possession III narcotics since he had pills in his pocket.
Paul "Cigar" McKinney' s bio sheet for the World Series of Poker Seniors Event in Las Vegas stated his hobbies as "moonshine, cigars and young women." Paul took home $202,725 for winning that event and has been a regular at high stakes games in Bellagio's Poker Room.
Donnie Godsey is listed as being responsible for providing the place for the illegal game since he is half owner of the Hog Wild Saloon. Donnie faces an ‘aggravated gambling promotion' charge also. Also arrested in the raid were: Randy Leonard, Mark Ketron, William Carey, Randy Sims, James 'Cole' Dolan, James 'Eric' McConnell, Clarence Begley, James Bradley, Cecil George Bradley, Robert J Woods, Timothy Ruckman, David Palmer, and Jerry Sheets.
Not only did the police seize $19,900 in cash, they found betting slips for football games - college and professional - and conveniently the amounts wagered and the names of the villains that did the wagering were on the slips. Included in the mix of items seized were poker chips and playing cards.
Police Chief Gale Osborne had this to say about Friday night's raid, "We do see this from time to time, though drugs are our top and foremost vice priority."
Tips from the public are extremely important according to Osborne, "It takes all of us, it's not just (police)," Osborne said. "It's vital that we have the eyes and the ears of the community to partnership with us.
"It's truly the public saying, 'enough is enough.' Whether it's drug activity or gambling or domestic abuse, it takes people saying, 'We're going to have a safe community in Kingsport.'"
*In this writer's opinion, the fear of robbery, possible bodily harm , and police raids, makes online poker even more inviting.*