As the Teaching
Assistant of Canada's only Mathematics of Gambling course for four years,
I realized that Blackjack was a game of skill like Poker which could be played legally so I
wanted to legalize Blackjack for the same reason.
These are just some of the news reports from that "crusade" which culminated in the
"Project Robin Hood" Raid on what was the largest gaming house in Canadian history,
28 Poker and Blackjack tables. The text of these press clipping may be read at: www.cyberclass.net/turmel/prsgame.htm
My greatest claim to fame is the development of the:
Turmel "Two-Step" Holdem Poker Pot Odds System
Previous gaming house raids and trials
It all really started big after the 1988 raid at the Bayshore Hotel:
Judgment of Judge
Fontana on the gaming house found-ins charge
Judgment of Judge Lennox on my gaming house keeper charge
Next thing you know, CasinoTurmel has 21 Blackjack and 7 Poker tables going 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Soon I had buses coming in from Montreal and the United States:
I was running ads in the local newspapers:
I had announced that I was going to open three more casinos in Ontario:
I finally held my biggest Canadian Open Holdem Tournament with over $80,000 prize money.
And then the Ontario Government announced that they were going to open casinos
and I knew my days were numbered whether I had the protection of double jeopardy or not.
What's interesting is that I was out of town when the raid took place and the police
wanted me to come in and give myself up on their search warrant. They kept
threatening that if I didn't, they would issue a Canada-wide arrest warrant.
I kind of liked the idea of some RCMP officer sitting in his squad car in the
northern boonies hearing on his radio: "Be on the look-out for John Turmel,
dangerous with a deck of cards." I also figured it might be the only time they
had ever issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for a gambler so I hid out for a
whole week until they did writing a "Gaming House Defence Affidavit Poem"
before I gave up. Finally, on the day they issued the Canada-wide warrant:
They kept me in jail overnight and the next day:
After all sorts of motions to quash the charges for double jeopardy,I went to trial.
The transcripts can be found at the Turmel 2-Step Yahoo Group
After what I consider one of the greatest travesties of justice ever,
Fortunately, I had realized that if they were going to bust me, I would have to
end up broke or they'd put me in jail until I gave back anything I had left.
Since I expected to pay half my winnings in taxes, I decided to spend the
first half of the year's winnings as fast as I could and use the second half of
the year's winnings to pay my taxes with. Unfortunately for the governmenty,
the police chose to bust me after only two weeks into their half of the year.
So they get no money and I owe them:
Since had received community service back in 1981 playing my accordion in old
age homes, and since the judge had used a brand new definition of the crime in order
to convict me in this "test case," I hoped I wouldn't be jailed and used the press to
add a little pressure on the Judge Wright:
And the result was:
As Canada's top guerrilla lawyer, having previously presented 9 cases in
the Supreme Court, this fight was certainly going to the top:
Ontario Court of Appeal Judgment
Casino Turmel Memorandum to Supreme Court of Canada
Crown Memorandum to Supreme Court of Canada
Casino Turmel Reply
Supreme Court of Canada Judgement
Things aren't all that bad. Back in 1989, I won my open Holdem Tournament and realized that I could make a pretty good living playing Poker if not running Blackjack casinos.
Now you'll find me playing Poker mainly at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City where many of the pros call me "The Professor" or in Biloxi or Tunica Mississippi, or in Arizona, California or Washington. If we're ever playing at the same table, say hi. And good luck to all. On that note, I'll leave you with my favorite Poker cartoon:
"I don't care whose son you are, we want to examine those cards."
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