Semi-live-blogging from near the State Capitol

by , Apr 3, 2007 | 4:14 pm

AUSTIN–It took me to get awhile to get some wi-fi here at the Doubletree across from the capitol … but eventually I hooked into the system by going to the front desk and asking for a password, which they were happy to provide at no cost.

5:17 pm — There is nothing to report. We are waiting. Crandell Addington says he won’t tell bad beat stories … but he will apparently tell “amazing fold” stories that take a long time to listen to. Lyle Berman is the smartest man he knows. Just ask him.

7:36 pm — Still waiting. The Fresh Princess looks pretty today. Clonie is missing a button in the middle of her blouse. Crandell is nodding off. We’ve busted out the Chinese poker. Erick Lindgren had to go home.

7:38 pm — We just got the call. Headed over to the capitol in five minutes.

31 Comments to “Semi-live-blogging from near the State Capitol”

  1. tom skeeters

    Help us please to not be criminals. This is rediculas. I want to play poker online and in homes in bars and if posible in casinos. The government is squashing a whole industry – which is illegal. Let’s Vote on it. It’s not dope, sex or steroids. HELP!

  2. Donkey Bomber

    Sounds like you’ve got the A-team there with degenerates playing Chinese Poker on the courthouse steps and women busting out of their tops. Nice work. Maybe you’ll want to work on the birth control issue with the Pope next time he comes in town. I can wear a g-string.

  3. Willie

    Come for the poker updates. Stay for the disturbing images burned into your brain that no straight man (or possibly gay man) should.

  4. Justin M. West

    Ha. Dan probably just finished getting drunk over at Sullivans. I would expect drunken blogging from him in a little bit.

  5. Justin M. West

    Dammit. Wrong address on the last post. Name-link now with correcty goodness.

  6. DanM

    don’t you have some writing to do, justin?

    not drunk … just tired. but i did enjoy a glass of laphroaig. (they were out of lagavulin.) Go politics!

  7. Kevin Mathers
    says: for video from last night, poker discussion starts at 1:27:00.

  8. Bundas

    Did Dan say catch a big one ? Nice Job Dan !!

  9. Fresh Princess

    Dan – Don’t even type to me about being tired! I was in bed at 3:30am and up at 7am! And…did you cash that check we found in Justin’s bag? You owe me my cut.

    BTW, Justin, it was Lyle Berman that found it! (Who IS one of the smartest men I know…)

    Thanks for the link Kevin.

  10. Ed

    Please update us and explain the following…

    Last Action: 04/03/2007 H Left pending in committee

    Caption: Relating to the authorization and regulation of poker gaming and the duties of the Texas Lottery Commission; providing civil and criminal penalties.

  11. Woody


  12. Justin M. West

    Ed, the last item just means that the bill is being left on the table for discussion at the moment and hasn’t been moved forward just yet. My guess it probably will, however.

  13. DanM

    Recap is coming. And I don’t mean that the same way I mean a recap of the Pokerati Invitational is coming.

    Ed, where does your “Last Action” thingy come from? I don’t think that is abnormal … they were just taking testimony yesterday, which they will use to make some sorta vote. As far as votes went down, based on the shaking heads — seriously, all politicians should read Joe Navarro’s book — I think we’re in the clear.

    However, I now hear rumors that the committee chairman, “Kino” Flores, has designs on killing this bill. Flores is one of the champions of Video Lottery Terminals (slot machines) at race tracks.

    Go politics?

  14. Ed

    Read it on the site you linked to in Insta Poker. Had all the notes from the session and time stamps.


  15. Fresh Princess

    Kino Flores was thinking of killing the bill early yesterday. We’ll see.
    They ended the hearing with a “pending” because they need to read the transcripts from the hearings then vote. It’s hard for them to sit there all day and soak in everything they hear from hundreds of people ranging from health insurance to interior design. Plus, there is paper work involved such as counting votes for and against the bill and making sure individuals/corporations/organizations fill out the paper work appropriately. I think the committee is even allowed to go home and sleep at night.

  16. DanM

    Yeah, I feel pretty good about it. But you never know if Flores turns out to be a Bill Frist in sheep’s clothing.

    Only semi-disconcerting is how quickly they voted by roll call to pass the next bill (right after we left) onto the House floor.

  17. Justin M. West

    Did Texas Poker PAC slip Flores a $20? Nope. There’s your reason.

  18. J.E.H.

    Just curious. Was there anyone there as an economist who testified as to the EV+ taxes the state would get on the rake on these games? That’s the real selling point from a legislature standpoint.

  19. Fresh Princess

    Several of us pushed on the taxation benefits. They know this already because anytime something is pushed to be “legalized” taxes are always a selling point. It really comes down to where will the (Government choose) taxes be dispersed.

  20. DanM

    Indeed, JEH, taxation was key — and a point made strongly by Menendez, the bill’s sponsor.

    One of the things that was really big and important and contentious over the past few days was “the fiscal note.” intitially the comptroller declared this bill worth $1 billion to the state. Then there was word that it would be restated at an even higher number (very good!) … but it came back at a FAR LOWER number — $25 million.

    At that point, the blackberries between a bunch of guys in pinstripe suits went nuts, and in the end, they somehow got the official number to be a conservative $150 million.

    I think it will be being re-evaluated again en route to the Floor.

  21. J.E.H.

    That’s why I asked. When a bunch of poker players (or really, any advocates of a bill) testify as to the positive taxation effects,it means far far less from a cover-your-a$$ perspective than if an economist who is obstensively neutral testifies as to the positive tax benefit. If the Comptroller speculates as to some reasonable benefit, that’s good too. If the bill is to pass, it would be assisted greatly by an outside economist testifying to that $150 million benefit. I’d love to see the proposed numbers that are being floated, since they are all so absolutely speculative at this time.

    One other thing: is that $100+$30 bit on tournament poker still in the bill? That’s ridiculous on two fronts. First, a $30 fee on a $100 tournament should be usury. Second, a $100 cap? Say wha?

  22. J.E.H.

    Sry, meant “ostensibly.” Didn’t look before hitting submit. Please correct if possible oh captain my captain.

  23. DanM

    that $100+30 thing was simply an error by CardPlayer. there’s no such limit in place.

    After all, Lyle Berman (who played a role in getting this bill written) wouldn’t be happy if the WPT couldn’t come to Texas and hold a $10k event.

  24. Justin M. West

    The bill calls for a minimum of 50% of the taxed funds to go to the homeless, and other cash to head to the VA and senior citizens. It would seem the major aim of the cash would be to go to homeless. NO mention anywhere of funds being sent to school finance.

  25. DanM

    just to be a more specific … i think you mean 50 percent of the “tax revenue” … 100 percent of the rake would be taxed … at 18 percent. so basically 9 percent of the “taxed funds” will be what’s going to the housing concerns.

  26. Justin M. West

    Yes, Dan. That is what I meant.

  27. Fresh Princess

    That’s correct Justin. No mention of the education system or better health care. Depressing isn’t it? And I’m not sure I can elaborate more on that right now. Right Dan?
    Perhaps if our education system were improved we wouldn’t need to spend money on the homeless, no? FYI THIS DOES NOT MEAN I’M OPPOSED TO HELPING THE HOMELESS, VA & SENIORS!

    JEH – I was in a panic when I read CardPlayer’s 100 tournament cap report, which has yet to be corrected.

    Thanks Terry, I was impressed by Dan’s words as well.

  28. DanM

    michele, not sure what you are talking about. This is Pokerati, man! If it’s journalistically sound, it’s all good. What do you know?

    Oh, wait, I think I know what you are talking about … regardless … i know that you know that sometimes it’s good to keep your cards (metaphorically) close to the vest.

    by the way, who’s this terry character you are referring to?

  29. Fresh Princess

    Some guy I paid to boost our hits.

  30. J.E.H.

    To boost your WHAT? Oh, you said “hits.” Sorry. My bad.

  31. Fresh Princess

    Dan’s _its.