Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma’

Giddy Up?

Texans call for end to casino bussing

by , Jan 23, 2013 | 12:58 pm

Check it out … from the good folks at Let Texans Decide …

Not to cause trouble, and I could be off-base on this because, you know, I’ve been living in poker exile in Nevada for many years now … but I’m pretty sure that’s an Oklahoma accent from the lady in the video. Or maybe that’s just the sound of far North Texas twang these days? Hmm, I suppose someone’s gotta pay for those bus rides …

But linguistic shifts aside … Oklahoma, and her sovereign tribal nations within, continues to receive the benefits of an entire industry that their neighbors just a few miles away aren’t allowed to have.

(And yet if there are indeed costs to gambling, social or otherwise, those in most cases come back to Texas!)


Let Texans Answer Our Own Gambling Question

Oklahoma has been outplaying the Lone Star State for too long

by , Oct 14, 2012 | 6:05 am


John T. Montford


OP-ED

Our state was founded by men and women who exhibited fierce independence and self-determination. These values are manifested in our limited approach to state government and the belief that if you have a dream or an idea, Texas’ friendly business climate will provide the fertile ground to grow it. Over the past few years, Texas has been the national leader in job growth and economic development. Folks are flocking to Texas from other states with their dreams in tow. Unfortunately, there is one issue where we’re being outsmarted by our neighbors.

Anyone who has read the Austin American-Statesman lately knows illegal gaming has become a big industry in Texas. We have closed our eyes and allowed illegal “eight-liners” to run rampant across Texas – some within just a few miles of our Capitol. The issue is not whether Texans are gambling — they are — but whether we will reap the economic benefits of it.

Expanded gaming is by no means a cure-all fix, and no one is proposing a casino on every corner, but it’s a private enterprise with proven economic results without the need for government subsidies or handouts.

Each year our fellow Texans spend more than $2.5 billion in strategically placed, just-across-the-border gaming facilities in Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico. That includes $1 billion in Oklahoma, alone. Simply put, Texans are creating jobs and paying for schools, firefighters and other infrastructure needs across our borders. Texas is getting fleeced by our neighbors. I firmly believe that bringing back the billions of dollars that are leaving Texas and going to our neighbor states is a service to our state. The Legislature should let us vote to stop it.

I’m not alone in this belief. Poll after poll shows that an overwhelming majority of Texas voters, regardless of political party or geographic region, believe that Texans are smart enough to decide this issue. For those who believe that gambling is morally wrong, I respectfully ask: Doesn’t it make more sense to regulate an activity that good Texans are already doing in huge numbers?

Our willful blindness on this issue has also devastated the homegrown Texas horse industry. Texas should be the national epicenter of ranching and agriculture but the thoroughbred and quarter horse breeders have all but left the state for greener pastures in states where purses are enhanced with gaming proceeds. We can’t even play Texas Hold ’em at our racetracks, while a once proud part of our ranching and agricultural heritage crumbles.

The potential benefits to our economy are huge. Depending on the specifics, expanded gaming could create 75,000 permanent jobs in 40 different sectors of the economy, and it would bring several billion dollars in economic development to Texas. Gaming can be a profitable industry no different than manufacturing, agriculture, energy or technology, that will allow Texas to expand its tax base and contribute toward our needs — whether it is schools, water resources or property tax relief. Expanded gaming is by no means a cure-all fix, and no one is proposing a casino on every corner, but it’s a private enterprise with proven economic results without the need for government subsidies or handouts.

The numbers appeal to the part of me that spent many sleepless nights at the Capitol wrangling and squeezing the state budget for every last dollar and wondering how to grow our economy without raising taxes. But guess what? The gaming interests in our neighboring states are shrewd. They have gone to financial extremes to protect their Texas revenue stream. Since 2008, gaming interests in neighboring states (mostly Oklahoma) have poured about $2 million in political contributions into Texas trying to influence our state politics. They will stop at nothing to defeat the issue at the ballot box.

Texans are smart enough to decide this issue in a statewide referendum and the Legislature has the power to make that happen. For me, this issue comes down to a pretty simple question: Are you for Texas, or are you for Oklahoma?

It’s time to Let Texans Decide.


John T. Montford is a former marine, district attorney, state senator, and chancellor to Texas Tech University. This op-ed originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesmen.


Brash Online Pro Headed to the Slammer

Carter Gill readies himself for Oklahoma jail

by , Feb 20, 2011 | 6:04 am

carter gill online poker pro jail oklahoma mugshotCarter Gill, 24, a top-ranked online poker pro, may be offline for a while, as he says he’ll be reluctantly turning himself in to authorities in Jefferson County, Oklahoma, to begin serving a 14-day jail sentence. The charges stem NOT from his arrest in September for public drunkenness at WinStar Casino, where he had to leave his chipstack behind in The River main event after being hauled away in a police cruiser (but still took 90th place in absentia, winning $4,540). Instead, he’s answering to the courts for various other unrelated crimes, including a DUI.

Gill is known for his unashamed belligerence, politically incorrect rants, and a “FUCKITALL” attitude. I totally dig this guy, partly because he’s virtually a male copy of myself (so I “get him”) and partly because I respect his game. But a recent Facebook status update shed some new light on his true vagina character: “I really don’t want to go to jail… 14 days is going to be brutal,” he whimpered.

Shortly after publishing that comment, Gill’s ballsack threatened to tear itself off and run away in shame. I was really disappointed to see the him panicking over two short weeks behind bars. Let’s put this in perspective…getting fisted by Edward Scissorhands is brutal.  A coathanger abortion is brutal. Two weeks in a hillbilly jailhouse isn’t so much brutal as it is inconvenient

Keep your chin up, Carter; I’m sure the two weeks behind bars will come and go as fast as your bankroll does.


Just How Big Was WinStar’s Big One?

Mr. Sou takes down The River; what that could mean remains to be seen

by , Sep 7, 2010 | 5:03 pm

Greg Raymer busted from the main event of The River @ Winstar yesterday in 11th place. Little clue what Fossilman’s payout was, nor even where I shoulda been looking. Limited media info was one of many justifiable gripes people had for a tournament of this size … others included player lockouts, bad blind structures, and you should see the vitriol attached to Facebook comments about Toby Keith’s steakhouse at Winstar!

I’ll hold some of that for another post, lest we sully the winner’s accomplishment with analysis of the obstacles certain Indian casinos face in 2010 moving forward. But be sure, as evident in the fifth running of this tournament at WinStar, the paradigms have shifted … particularly for what constitutes a major minor-league event capable of profiting from a national player base.

The River’s $2.5 million guaranteed main event, with three Day 1s, drew 1,440 players … a much better result for Winstar than last year when they had to cover a $580k overlay on $3 million guaranteed. It coulda been even bigger had the casino not put itself in a position of pissing off players who trekked out to the Oklahoma hinterlands only to be turned away … but regardless, with a $2,100 buy-in and several months of satellites, first prize came to a relatively whopping $647,690.

To put that in perspective, that’s better than 10th-place money in the WSOP main event. So would it be a stretch to contend winning The River is just a notch below making the November Nine?

More…


North Texas Championship Series Underway in Oklahoma!

Guarantees, NLH/PLO, politics and fusterclucks @ “The River”

by , Aug 25, 2010 | 7:19 pm

One of the biggest non-major tournament series of the year is underway in Thackerville, Oklahoma, promising $3 million in guarantees. “The River” — hosted by Greg Raymer and the historically storied WinStar tribe — is 9 events spread across two weeks, Aug 23-Sep 6. They’ve got some sort of overall points leader prize for a Porsche Cayenne overlay, too, worth $70k.

2009 twitpic: @EweE420 (now @EricMizrachi)

Today’s event, Event #3, happens to be $440 NLH/PLO with $40k Guaranteed. Wonder if they’re aware that Lev Serzhenko was recently crowned the World Champion of $230 NLH/PLO with a Single $200 Rebuy.

Since the main here will be more or less the regional championship in my old stomping grounds — in fact, thinking we might-should call it the North-North Texas Championship in future posts — I find myself wanting to follow these events uniquely as a fan. I’ve got tons of friends playing and would expect to see plenty of past opponents from the Dallas underground, presumably some Batfaces, lots of ole Lodge amateurs, and, I hope, a few Team Pokerati players. Also curious to see what type of pros show up.

But semi-live coverage of the River is hard to come by. Lots of future thoughts on why that is … but in the meantime, here’s where I’ll be checking for River buzz, for starters …

@WinStarWorld
@Fossilman
2+2 Tournament Circuit thread

And because Pokerati can’t be there this year (but kinda-sorta would like to be) here are some possible news stories I see shaking out, or at least stuff worth looking into for anyone who might wanna ask some questions or snap pics with their iPhone and send an email or an @reply on Twitter:

More…


Poker for Life

Dancing Old People

by , Mar 28, 2010 | 8:23 pm

It’s not just the kids getting hooked on poker … here’s a 106-year-old Oklahoma farmer who plays the game — hey, he was born in 1903; who cares about Jokers! Plus an entertainingly local commercial to start off the segment:

[via CalvinAyre.com]


WinStar Nation Closer to Owning Lone Star Park

Poker-friendly Indians coming to Texas

by , Sep 16, 2009 | 7:26 am

Oklahoma Indians have long fought against gambling in Texas, but one tribe might be willing to switch teams if they can have this piece of land for $27 million.

Whether it’s a hedge on their part or a sign of things to come … Global Gaming became the “stalking horse bidder” for Lone Star Park yesterday … meaning the Oklahoma Chickasaws have made a $2.7 million deposit (10 percent of their opening bid) toward their serious intent to step across the border and have a hand in the future of Texas gambling.

Should a higher qualified bidder enter the picture, the property will be auctioned off in New York on Oct 7.

Global Gaming LSP, LLC is owned by the Chickasaw Nation, which owns the WinStar World Casino — site of the grandest poker room in the southwest, one patronized almost exclusively by Texans. A week-and-a-half ago the WWC celebrated the grand opening of their new hotel and expanded casino floor, now the 5th 3rd one of the largest in the world.

Lone Star Park, meanwhile, is the beautiful but bankrupt racetrack between Dallas and Fort Worth … a site that would’ve become home to one of the first fully legal Texas poker rooms had HB 222 passed.

In that special-interest political fight earlier this year, Texas poker and horse racing interests joined forces, but ultimately were defeated by a loose-knit alliance of Chickasaws, Choctaws, and radical Christians. Should Global Gaming’s purchase of Lone Star Park go through, however, then one of our strongest opponents would effectively defect to the side that wants to see bigger and better poker in Texas.


Deaf Poker Tour

by , Sep 8, 2009 | 7:09 am

Not sure that anything came of it — their website looks a little sparse — but interesting concept to say the least … just stumbled across this video promoting a championship at the Choctaw Casino (in Oklahoma) for the Deaf Poker Tour.

(Sign language at the very end.)


APPT Main Event Final Results

by , Aug 31, 2009 | 8:05 am

The big APPT Macau festival also came to a close this weekend. Interestingly enough, for all its growth and the coverage it got, comparatively, the APPT main event was smaller both in terms of field size and prize pool than The River tournament in Oklahoma.

From BluffMagazine.com:

APPT Macau Main Event Final Table Payouts

Dermot Blain – $541,089
Mike Kim – $384,999
Daoxing Chen – $239,327
Darkhan Botabayev – $166,497
Pontus Kers – $114,464
Jicheng Su – $74,923
Dbinder Singh – $52,033
Brandon Demes – $41,621
Stefan Hjorthall – $31,222

APPT Macau High Rollers Final Table Payouts

Vladimir Geshkenbein – $266,690
Johnny Chan – 154,400
Neil Arce – $84,218
Danny Huynh – $63,164
Grant Levy – $49,127
In Wook Choi – $35,091
Young Kim – $28,073
Nicholas Wong – $21,055

Next up … WPT Slovakia?


RE: Biggest Casinos in World

Choctaw to join ranks of Top 20

by , | 6:54 am

It really is amazing what the people of Texas have built in Oklahoma. Not only is WinStar now the third-largest casino in the world*, but also Choctaw (the “other” casino for Dallas people) is undergoing an expansion that will make it the 17th largest in the world.

* Third is my number, btw, based on Business Week data, despite WinStar’s claim that they are just 5th.

At 110,000 square feet, the Choctaw Casino in Durant, Okla., will have the same amount of gaming space as Wynn Las Vegas, and slightly more than Wynn Macao.

Check it out:

“Texas hold’em / Ain’t nobody foldin’!” Rockin’!

We all know where that came from, of course:

More…


Save-a-Cop Poker

by , Aug 3, 2009 | 2:52 pm

A $200 charity tourney in Florida is hardly big news, but I find it interesting when it’s a fundraiser put on by police, to raise money for a fellow officer (who has ALS).

First off, I just get pissy — because why can’t Texas see what we are missing by being so anti-poker. I mean sheeot, the state of Texas is building what may well become one of the biggest non-Vegas casinos in all of America right across the border in Oklahoma … because of the belief that poker offends Republican primary voters’ moral sensibilities. I mean either we don’t believe that, and just are stupid for letting OK make all the $$, or we do believe that, and therefore are being pretty unneighborly (at least from a Christian perspective) by letting our good friends to the north destroy themselves — and our people — with poker.

But I digress … this tournament reminds me why poker is different from so many other similar political issues — and it’s stuff “our side” should remember when trying to push through our political agenda.

As far as “alternative” political issues … the one most in line with poker right now would seem to be marijuana. They too are flooding Washington DC with supportive letters — and are making essentially the same plea: regulate and tax us, please!

While I’m not so sure potheads are the best company to be in, politically — they’re making moves, but it’s taking decades, because you know, potheads are seldom in a hurry — there is such a clear difference here. And that is you would never see a group of cops hosting a “bake” sale to raise money for a comrade-in-need … as good of an idea as that may be.

Though a few cops playing cards certainly isn’t any deal-maker on the political front, separating poker from other forms of “vice” seems to me would be an essential part of any plan to legitimize the game … so this helps. Save Captain Sargent!


Money Plays: Perry Takes More Gambling Money than Most

by , May 9, 2009 | 7:04 pm

Our non-friends at Texans Against Gambling told their influential members that they needed to combat big-time casino lobbying dollars supposedly pushing HB 222. However, they don’t tell you who received a lot of those gambling-interest dollars, nor that a some of them were being spent to defeat the bill.

By all means, our good poker friends in Oklahoma have contributed their fair share to keep Texans playing in their Indian nations … but frankly, it’s a very small percentage of the $7.6 million spent on gambling-related Texas politicking in 2007-08 — and they’re not exactly being hypocrites about any of it, save for maybe riding the coattails of those who are.

Top Recipients of Oklahoma Tribal Money
Amount
07-’08
  Recipient (Party)
 Tribe
$35,000
 Lt. Governor David Dewhurst(R)  Choctaw
$25,000
 Stars Over Texas PAC(R)  Choctaw
$20,000
 Lt. Governor David Dewhurst(R)  Chickasaw
$15,000
 TX Repub. Legislative Caucus(R)  Chickasaw
$10,000
 Attorney General Greg Abbott(R)  Choctaw
$10,000
 Sen. Kip Averitt(R)  Choctaw
$10,000
 Sen. Kim Brimer(R)*  Choctaw
$10,000
 Rep. Tom Craddick(R)  Chickasaw
$10,000
 Sen. Bob Deuell(R)  Choctaw
$10,000
 Sen. Kevin Eltife(R)  Choctaw
$10,000
 Sen. Chris Harris(R)  Choctaw
$10,000
 House Dem. Campaign Com.(D)  Chickasaw
$10,000
 Sen. Jane Nelson(R)  Choctaw
$10,000
 Sen. Tommy Williams(R)  Choctaw

Click below for an even more interesting look at the Texas pols who taking the most gambling-industry dollars. I wonder how his morality-minded base feels about Gov. Rick Perry coming in at #2, with nearly $800k in gambling-interest love.

More…


Amy Calistri = Socialist, Closet OU Fan

by , May 5, 2009 | 4:59 am

It’s true. And she’s been palling around with druggies and convicts just so she can “write about it” and (don’t tell anyone I said this) I’m even hearing unconfirmed, squalidly detailed rumors from an imaginary source that she’s got a thing for Somali pirates! I’ll pull short of calling her The Ann Coulter of Poker … but she certainly touched a nerve by questioning the “good fight” behind our beloved little Texas HB 222.

Player safety, protection from shady games, capitalist personal freedom not real enough issues to vote on?

I might be extra-sensitive because, frankly, the bill seems to be stalling in Calendars Committee. Why that is, I’m not sure … they’ve heard our message, they know it has passable support … throw an amendment on if you need to, but c’mon … put us on the agenda already! I’m a little removed from what’s going on in Austin during this hectic part of the Session, but I’m pretty sure if we don’t move the bill forward in like the next -2 days, we might be in trouble … Just sitting there for like two weeks seems odd, assuming it’s ready for a simple yay or nay. I suppose it’s possible we’re getting Fristed somewhere in the process. Or, perhaps they’re just having a sincere intellectual dilemma, inspired by Amy Calistri’s question:

Why Do I Want to Pay a Rake?

Why is the PPA wasting time feigning a “grass roots” issue over a Texas bill whose only beneficiary is commercial poker – in a state where poker is unquestionably legal? … It doesn’t exactly meet my definition of fighting the good fight. I mean, even the banking lobby doesn’t ask me to petition my legislators for higher ATM fees. And they can be shameless.

[OK, deep breath, find peace … no tilt]

More…


What Happens in Oklahoma Stays in Oklahoma?

by , Apr 16, 2009 | 10:42 am


Once upon a time, the WinStar Casino was literally just a little big tent on a riverbank. But now, fueled in many ways by the DFW poker scene, the place has blown up … just two days ago I ran into a guy at the Golden Nugget from Dallas telling me how wild the action was there … “Because when people make the long haul to Oklahoma, they show up ready to play, I imagine,” I said.

“Yeah,” he confirmed. “And they serve alcohol now, so that livens things up.”

Continuing Thackerville’s conversion from nothing-land to resort destination: WinStar is adding a spa. Sweet. So not only can you rest assured that many of your opponents will be well-pedicured, but also you could only expect this to increase the quality (and quantity) of railbirds willing to make the trek across the border.

More details on Dallas/Plano-based Spa Habitat’s investment in a new Oklahoma branch below:

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(Late) Breaking News: Quad 8s or Better Beaten in Oklahoma

by , Apr 3, 2009 | 12:52 am

Jon in Oklahoma/Dallas writes wrote in a few months ago:

I really enjoy the website and checking it daily to see what’s going on in the poker world. A dealer at the winstar casino in oklahoma told me about it. I’m from oklahoma, but now live in dallas. I’m not sure if it’s newsworthy, but on friday jan 2nd, at the Firelake Grand Casino in Shawnee, OK, my table hit the Super Bad Beat Jackpot, which was quad 8’s or better beaten, and it was up to about $91,000. The winner got 18,000, the loser got 28,000, and the table share was $6,500. It was pretty amazing…after playing in casinos for about 4 years, i thought i’d never hit a bad beat.

Thanks

No, thank you, Jon. And thank you to the WinStar dealer for introducing us to you. Seriously … sounds like it was an amazing hand.

(I do kinda like the split, though.)