Poker Player Ben Ross Kicked Out of Tournament After Calling Texas Card Room “Rathole” for Stealing From Players

  • Ben Ross’ troubles started during a $100 buy-in tournament at Watauga Social Lounge
  • Ross discovered the card room was raking the $60 add-on due to a prize pool discrepancy
  • The US player also had issues with house rules over antes and the coloring up of chips
  • Ross called the venue “a f**king rat hole” for which he was eventually shown the door
Poker chips
After questioning a Texas card room over multiple instances of alleged rule-twisting, poker circuit player Ben Ross dubbed the venue a “rathole” before being ejected. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Ejection on camera

American poker circuit player Ben Ross has made waves on social media after filming himself getting ejected from Texas card room Watauga Social Lounge. Making matters worse, the gambler was just two players from the money when staff made him leave.

snuck a $12 rake onto the $60 add-on

Ross attended the Watauga Social Lounge on Saturday. During the $100 buy-in tournament, he claimed the card room snuck a $12 rake onto the $60 add-on. Later in the competition, Ross also questioned rules regarding antes and the coloring up of chips, before openly declaring the venue “a f**king rathole.”

Ross captured the series of events in a video, which Todd ‘Dan Druff’ Witteles of PokerFraudAlert uploaded to YouTube:

According to Ross’ explanation, before the trouble began he had collected nine bounties at $25 apiece, so he was guaranteed $225 before security decided to kick him out. In total, the poker player went home with his bounties, a refund of his $110 buy-in, and $30 membership costs.

A breakdown of the issues

Ross’ frustration with the card room began when he noticed unadvertised conditions regarding the $60 add-on. On a previous visit to the Wautaga Social Lounge, Ross claimed the venue did not take any percentage of the add-on. This time there was a 20% rake, and Ross questioned the house over this new feature.

According to PokerFraudAlert, it is unclear whether the venue has broken Texas law. The state’s card rooms can charge membership and seat fees, but not a rake.

Ross alleged the card room advertised a clear breakdown of the $100 buy-in tournament without mentioning this 20% rake. Ross only noticed the rule due to a disparity in the prize pool total. After he demanded a transparent breakdown, the card room ultimately returned the additional rake back to the prize pool.

In addition to the rake dispute, Ross also raised issue with the venue’s interpretation of rules relating to big blinds and antes. However, it was a disagreement over the coloring up of yellow chips that finally sent him over the edge, declaring the venue akin to a rodent’s nest.

Things quickly fall apart

The dealer on Ross’ table spoke to a card room official after he made the “rathole” comment, who then told Ross that the venue had canceled his membership. Watauga Social Lounge threatened to press trespassing charges if Ross refused to leave the venue.

I was given no warning, no penalty”

Ross left with seven players still in the tournament. Five of these places were paid with $1500 up top and $347 in fifth place. “I was given my $110 back two people from the money — how is that right?” Ross explained. “I was given no warning, no penalty. I broke rule number eight, they said.”

According to the Hendon Mob, Ross’ total live earnings have reached $116,311. His biggest scoop came at the World Poker Tournament at Choctaw Casino Resort in July 2021, with a $200 buy-in netting him $14,795 in a no-limit hold’em bounty event.