Professional poker players of the Cyprus Poker Association are being forced to play online or in underground games in order to participate in the International Federation of Poker's European Nations Cup because of gambling crackdown's on the island nation.
Even though the Cypriot government recognizes and certified the group, the poker pros have gone underground after 31 members were arrested by island Police and charged with illegal gambling in July. Those games were no money initial tryout games for the European tournament, and authorities have done little to clarify the group's legal status to law enforcement.
Although they have been getting mixed symbols, things are looking up for the players arrested in the July raids. Speaking on the matter a Limassol Police Spokesperson said: “My personal opinion is that if these players were not playing for money, it’s not illegal. I believe the case will be withdrawn.”
Right now the CPA is looking to participate in the European Nations Cup in Vienna on December 7th.
“We are making history as the first ever national poker team to represent the island,” said CPA vice president, Antonis Theophanides.