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Former NBA Player In Legal Trouble Over Underground Poker Games

Former Memphis Grizzlies Point Guard Antonio Burks Is Facing Multiple Illegal Gambling Charges


A former NBA point guard is facing legal problems after police found evidence that he was running illegal poker games from one of his homes.

In his Tuesday arraignment, former Memphis Grizzlies player Antonio Burks was officially charged with aggravated gambling promotion and possession of gambling device or record.

According to a Fox affiliate in Memphis, police obtained and executed a search warrant on Burks’ home in the city at the end of July. Authorities found two large poker tables, chip sets, multiple decks of cards, a ledger containing gambling debts, a surveillance system and laminated cards that were titled “Burks Poker Palace Rules.”

Three people that were found inside the home taken into custody. One admitted that illegal gambling would take place there and said that Burks staked him for the games. The same man allowed police to go through his cell phone and found texts with Burks that confirmed his statement.

Based on statements from the three people detained, detectives believe that poker games were held twice a week and that the specific property was used specifically to run poker games at.

Burks, 41, is a native of Memphis and played college ball at the University of Memphis from 2001-2004. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic in the second round of the 2004 NBA draft but was traded to his hometown Grizzlies for cash considerations.

Burks played one season with the Grizzlies and averaged three points per game in 24 appearances. The Grizzlies moved on, however, and Burk signed with the Miami Heat before the 2006 season. He played in a handful of preseason games but was waived by the franchise before the 2006-2007 regular season began.

Burks played several seasons overseas in Serbia and Bulgaria, but his career came to an end in 2009 after he was shot by a man who was robbing a dice game that Burks was participating in.

Burks was released from police custody on a $1,000 bond. He is due in court again on Aug. 24. There aren’t currently any legal poker rooms in the state of Tennessee.