Local News

Johnston Casino Raid Nets Poker Champ

Posted September 11, 2007 12:24 p.m. EDT
Updated September 11, 2007 1:07 p.m. EDT

— A professional poker star is in trouble with the law after a casino bust in Johnston County.

Maciek "Mike" Gracz has been charged with misdemeanor gambling after he and dozens of others were arrested Saturday in a building used as an illegal gambling establishment at 156 Bear Road, off N.C. Highway 242 in a rural area near Benson.

Gracz, a former student at North Carolina State University, faced a similar charge in Guilford County in 2004.

Alcohol Law Enforcement seized a craps table, roulette wheel, blackjack and poker tables. They said the building also had a fully staffed kitchen to feed gamblers.

According to the search warrant, complainants said the building was used for a number of poker games, such as Texas Hold 'Em, blackjack and roulette. The establishment hosted several big tournaments a year, with large amounts of money bet and 40 to 50 people participating in the games, complainants said in the search warrant.

Authorities arrested 71 people, including property owner Marvin Ray Johnson, and confiscated more than $70,000. They also said the site could be linked to others in North Carolina, and there could be more arrests.