Cercle Clichy-Montmartre closes in Paris

Live poker in France may have been dealt the death blow late last week following the closure of Cercle Clichy-Montmartre by authorities.

Cercle Clichy-Montmartre had hosted some of the biggest poker tournaments in the country over the years, but the Paris club has now followed in the footsteps of other French poker clubs that have also been closed. Some notable poker tours that had previously held events at the Cercle Clichy-Montmartre include the World Poker Tour, World Series of Poker Circuit and Winamax Poker Tour.

According to authorities, Cercle Clichy-Montmartre was shut down for not complying with gaming regulations. Managers at the Cercle Clichy-Montmartre had previously been alleged to have engaged in embezzlement and money laundering at the club. During raids in July, authorities arrested and indicted five people with connections to the club.

Poker players were given no notice of the Cercle Clichy-Montmartre’s closure. The club posted promotional messages on Facebook regarding upcoming tournaments just days before the closure. When players showed up for the latest tournament, they instead found the doors locked and the lights out at the club.

Student championship will need new venue

The Cercle Clichy-Montmartre was scheduled to host the French Student Poker championship in partnership with PokerStars in December. The winner was to receive a $25,000 Platinum Pass for the PokerStars Players Championship. Instead the tournament will need to find a new venue, and possibly a new country with all the Paris poker clubs now shut down.

In recent years, all 15 of the infamous Paris poker circles have been closed. That includes arguably the most famous French poker club, the Aviation Club de France. Opening in 1907, the club operated for more than 100 years and was one of the proponents behind getting the WPT to venture out of America when it hosted the WPT Grand Prix de Paris in 2005. The club closed in 2014 following a raid by police.