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WSOP Star Richard Lee Speaks About Investigation

San Antonio Police Investigating Lee for Bookmaking


Richard Lee, who first achieved fame by finishing sixth at this year's World Series of Poker's championship event, held a press conference on the front steps of his San Antonio home to address his recent legal issues yesterday.

Last week, San Antonio police executed a warrant and raided one of Lee's homes as part of a six-month investigation that accuses Lee of running an online bookmaking site from his home.

Lee spoke at length about the high regard he holds for his home town of San Antonio, about the honor and dignity his father taught him, and about the thousands of dollars online sites offered him to wear their clothing at the final table of the WSOP. (He declined the offers because he wanted to wear his red San Antonio t-shirt instead.)

He even commended the professionalism of the police force, which raided his home for evidence and seized automobiles, computers, phone records, and his bank account last Tuesday. But he had little to actually say about his case other than that the outcome is out of his hands.

"Whether these allegations are (true), and all these other things, I tell you what, that's why we live in America. We all have our day in court," Lee said. "Am I an online bookie? I don't believe I characterize myself like that."

Lee won more than $2.8 million for finishing sixth at the 2006 WSOP championship. He said he could have returned to San Antonio for much more money if he signed with one of the online poker sites that Lee says courted him and his family with large endorsement offers.

He said from the time there were 27 players left to the day the final table began, online poker sites barraged him with offers of substantial money just to wear shirts and hats bearing their logos.

"When it got down to nine players, they were calling me up at 1 o'clock in the morning the day of the tournament saying 'Hey, we're just going to take our last shot. We think you're crazy for not taking this money,'" Lee said. "I mean, the money was six-figure offers. They were even offering my girls $10 and $20,000 apiece when I wouldn't wear it, for them to wear it."

But he said he gave his word to his friends back in San Antonio - which includes the mayor - that he would support the city by wearing a shirt with "San Antonio" printed on it. He wore the same red shirt for the news conference and referred to it often.

Lee had little say about the case against him, only that all the details about the investigation have yet to come to light. He did say that he doesn't consider what was going on in his home to be illegal, although he wouldn't go into specifics about just what that was.

"If charges are filed, like my father told me, well, he said, you just need to see what's going to happen and do your best and carry yourself with integrity and honor," he said.

Police claim that Lee was running an online sportsbook site out of his San Antonio home. The investigation has been going on since February. No charges have been filed.

Right after Lee was eliminated from the WSOP, he said he wished he could've won the event - not for himself, but for the city of San Antonio. He then took time from the interview to share several facts about the Texas city, a place he has lived in for all but one year of his life.