9 foreigners arrested during police raid of illegal poker game

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Pattaya police raided a high-stakes poker game, arresting seven Americans and Europeans and seizing the equivalent of about 177,000 baht.

Two Cambodian dealers were also apprehended in the raid on the private home on Pratamnak Road around 1 a.m. July 28. Taken into custody were homeowner and alleged game-runner Matthew Gregory Mortensen, 34, of the United States; fellow Americans Brian Thomas Presson, 45; and Mark Needleman, 67; Briton Craig Daniel Jones, 25; Frank Jean P. De Busscher, 73, of Belgium; Martin Baumgartner Pichelsberger, 40, of Austria; and Monica Lee Zbrodoff Lee, 47, of Canada. Cambodians Theara Meas, 24, and “Mala” were also apprehended.

Police raided an illegal poker game in a private house on Pratamnak Road in South Pattaya.Police raided an illegal poker game in a private house on Pratamnak Road in South Pattaya.

Police confiscated 107,000 baht, $1,771 and 380 euros; along with 30 decks of cards, poker chips, notebook computer, and account records. The game, police said, apparently had been operating regularly for some time.