Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself…

by , Nov 22, 2006 | 2:37 pm

My name is Mike Lavigne (AKA “Lavigne in Austin”) and I am the founder and treasurer of the Texas Poker PAC. Dan has invited me to start posting regularly in an effort to keep Pokerati readers up to date on the status of our fight to expand and regulate poker in Texas.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many of you in Dallas over the last year as we have gotten the Texas Poker PAC off the ground. Statewide legislative efforts like the Poker PAC take time to organize if they are to be done right, and I appreciate all the help and contributions thus far.

I have an extensive background in partisan politics, campaign and legislative strategy and public relations. I am also registering as an independent lobbyist this session. My client list is varied, but i will have a client (other than the PAC) that has an interest in the fight for poker.


I am also a board member of the Texas Cardplayers Association. The TCPA was formed by a group of poker players in Austin, San Antonio and the Hill Country. Unlike the PAC, we are a non-profit seeking to expand poker in Texas.

The PAC and the TCPA are working together to give Texas poker players a unified voice. The TCPA is currently seeking to build up members, and the PAC is focusing on message and legislative strategy. If you care about poker being legal to play in Texas, I encourage you all to visit the websites of these young organizations and seriously consider joining up now.

I have had several conversations with the good folks in charge at the PPA. They deal mainly with Federal issues at this point, and have their hands full with that from what I can tell. It appears that at this point in time, we are on our own to bring Hold’em to Texas.

The Texas Legislative Session begins in early January and we need to be ready. This post is already getting long, so I’ll cover more ground in my next one. There have been some questions that i can quickly answer though:

1) Yes, there will be a bill this session to expand and regulate poker in Texas. I’ve seen a draft and it is a great start.
2) Just because there will be a bill doesn’t mean it will pass. These things sometimes take a couple of sessions (4 years).
3) A bill undergoes many many changes as it moves through the legislative sausage grinder. No bill of any importance ever looks the same when it passes as it did when it was filed…so please don’t panic if you see something you don’t like when it is filed.
4) Please share your opinions with me. My email address is info@texaspokerpac.com
5) The best way rank and file poker players can aid in the Texas fight is to join one or more of the organizations I’ve mentioned above.
6) Stay Tuned!

I’m new to blogging so please forgive my lack of fancy formatting. I’ll be writing again soon…


10 Comments to “Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself…”


  1. DanM
    says:

    Mike, thank you for posting your resume. Excellent use of an exclamation point (!) in #6.

    But seriously, welcome aboard. I think the little people readers will enjoy the insights you can provide as poker legislation comes to life.


  2. Lavigne in Austin
    says:

    yeah, i know. a lame first post. i figured i’d go ahead and get the credentialing out of the way so we can get to the good stuff sooner.


  3. DanM
    says:

    I was going to lie and tell then you are a pilot.


  4. TommyTwoToes
    says:

    wowzers! he’s a pilot ?!?! soooo cool!

    good first post and glad to hear that there will be a bill etc introduced . who will be sponsoring it and how many backers does it already have ? basically what kind of chances does it have of even getting some serious consideration?


  5. Lavigne in Austin
    says:

    support for the bill will depend on a number of factors that i’ll get into in a future post. Many we have little or no control of. We do however, have an opportunity to show strength through numbers.

    It would be in bad taste to divulge the bill sponsors on a blog before they even file it. Once a legislator decides to file a bill it becomes their bill and they get to call the shots in regards to strategy.


  6. Neko the Poker Hound
    says:

    Great first post. I’m sue that we all look forward to future action reports as we advance. thanks for fighting the good fight for Texas poker players.


  7. 1spadeand4hearts
    says:

    is there any way you can post the link to these organzations. also what will it take for the poker players of dallas to really setup a display of the unjust recieved from the raids and stand together showing our continued fight to either play legally or illegaly.


  8. Michele Lewis
    says:

    Thank you for your lone star contribution. How big of a problem are the lobbyists of our neighboring state?


  9. Lavigne in Austin
    says:

    1spade:
    http://www.texaspokerpac.com
    http://www.texascardplayersassociation.com

    Michele:

    I’ll know a little more at the beginning of this session about the effect our neighbors are having. In the past they have paid good money for representation here. Most of their efforts are of course aimed at mainaining the status quo in terms of gaming in Texas.

    Generally, killing bills is a lot easier than passing them…


  10. Headlines: Poker, Law, and Politics (11/27/06) « Poker Players Alliance Blog
    says:

    […] Poker Politics (All Hope Lost, 11/25/06) Please Allow Me to Introduce Myself… (Pokerati, 11/22/06) excerpts: Prohibition 2.0: More On The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (Poker Player Newspaper, 11/27/06) “Prohibition 2.0 requires federal regulators to make rules for banks, e-wallets and other payment processor to identify and block all transfers of funds for unlawful gambling transactions. Only gambling. Congress has mandated that financial institutions must prevent people from using their own money to buy this one product. There are no similar rules covering heroin or child pornography…” […]