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Know when to hold 'em ... up

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We admit it's tempting to flaunt gambling laws. With both Jackpot and Pendleton, Oregon, a morning's drive away, online poker flourishing and online sports books a dime a dozen (BW's fave is www.BetUs.com, recently endorsed by an actual government official, albeit Gov. Jessie "The Body" Ventura), there's little doubt that the risk, for most bettors, no longer outweighs the potential reward. But some Boise card-sharks still prefer to gamble old-style--and they're not afraid to call the cops for backup when they pay the price.

On September 10, that price came via a pair of armed intruders wearing ski masks and hooded sweatshirts. The pair entered an illegal gambling establishment in a home on the 10,000 block of West Victory Road in southwest Boise, fired off a shotgun and left with an undisclosed amount of money. One of the victims, apparently thinking that the crime outranked his own, called police to report the robbery, and say that he was following the suspect's car down Cole Road. Boise Police patrolmen stopped the car, a white Cadillac Escalade, at the intersection of Cole and Franklin, where they recovered a 9mm handgun, baseball bat and cash.

Passenger Joshua J. Deboer, 26, of Billings, Montana, was arrested on charges of first-degree burglary, robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and marijuana possession. The car's driver, 20-year-old James Schwartzer, also of Billings, was charged with robbery. More arrests could be forthcoming, however, because according to Ada County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tina Yore, detectives at the scene of the robbery discovered evidence of a significant gambling ring.

"It wasn't 'Joe's Saturday night poker game.'" Yore told BW. "They were bringing people in to make money off of poker." Yore also said detectives found evidence of a previous connection between one of the robbers and the robbed, and that one of the robbers may have played cards at the home earlier that evening.