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Best Illegal Poker Game


Can You Find It?
Police raids, spurred by high-profile celebrity drop-ins and grisly incidents like the murder of bystander Frank DeSena during a botched robbery last year, have shut down much of New York’s underground-poker-club circuit. Not all of it, though—screenwriters David Levien and Brian Koppleman, who loosely based Rounders on their own experiences with the city’s shady gaming backrooms, have plenty of cryptic hints about the adapting scene: the city’s biggest apartment game, run by a well-known Asian poker player on the Lower East Side; the resilient full-time club below Houston, rumored to be run by ex-cops; the nightclub- and restaurant-owners’ game that recently moved from one of the city’s most famous clubs to a members-only spot and features at least one extremely high-level Democratic-campaign official. And before you despair that you’ll never taste the smoky allure of these secretive high-society games yourself, here’s step one: “If you move in any sort of a nightlife circle or financial circle or entertainment circle,” Koppelman says, “and you send [out] a Facebook blast, you’ll have a game to play either that night or the next night within the hour.”


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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).