The Stars at Night are Big and (B)Right

by , May 9, 2007 | 6:07 pm

Deep in the heart of Texas tonight HB 3186 will be waiting to hear the news of its existence and position. Lets take a moment to thank Dan and Lavigne of Pokerati for their great efforts in trying to legalize poker in Texas. Not only have they put a tremendous amount of work into getting the bill to the floor but they have done an excellent job informing the public.

No matter what happens tonight – Thank You for getting off the soapbox and taking real action.

40 Comments to “The Stars at Night are Big and (B)Right”

  1. Fresh Princess

    Thank you, Dan.
    Thank you, Mike.

  2. Karridy

    Yes… All readers and players owe both of you a big thanks.

  3. Lavigne in Austin

    thanks y’all. been fun so far.

    they probably won’t get to it tonight, but we are hoping we could by the end of tomorrow night. It really will just depend on the number of flare ups between now and then. so stay tuned!

    oh, and you can watch the session live here:

    though I wouldn’t recommend it!

  4. Lavigne in Austin

    And I have to say, Dan has come a long, long way in terms of his political insight and acumen.

    Here is the proof:

  5. DanM

    I’m watching now … and they’re moving fast. but I have yet to find a bill mentioned on today’s calendar!

    They were just on 3093. Now 3441 … are these leftover from yesterday’s business?

  6. Chad Sexington

    I am following along on this supplemental calendar:

  7. Lavigne in Austin

    there is only one bill on tomorrow’s Major State
    so we will probably be up then, if it doesn’t happen tonight.

  8. Tim B.

    ive never watched c-span before so i dont know if this sort of thing usually looks this way but… man, it seems like its moving pretty darn fast to me… its pretty much mumble-mumble-gavel-mumble-mumble-clerk-mumble-chairpasses-blah-blah-blah-mumble-mumble-gavel-mumble-chairpasses-blah-movepassage-mumble-gavel-repeat…

    about as exciting as watching paint dry, too 🙂

    and whats up with the second and third readings?

    man, i am in such desperate need of a civics lesson 🙂

  9. Lavigne in Austin


    The rules say that a bill must be read 3 times in each chamber before it can pass. The first reading is when it is automatically referred to a committee. after the committee process, it is read 2 more times. each time it is voted on.

    Historically, 2nd reading is what most people think of as the actual floor vote that you fight over. 3rd readings were just a technicality and were rarely the place for a fight.

    Recently though, 3rd readings have been close to as contentious as the 2nd.

    and yes, they are zipping through bills right now. The truth is that a good 80% or so of the thousands of bills filed are not very controversial. They are clean up language, or bills that started out as contentious but have since been substituted in committee with watered down language and deals have been cut over amendments, so the fighting was done behind closed doors or in committee.

    plus, they are in a hurry to get pass as many bills as possible before the deadlines hit. if you start a fight and you still have a bill at the end of the calendar, you are setting yourself up for a grudge match later. And, well, there is no discounting the fact that they have been there for 12 hours and are pretty loopy by now, so the anger sometimes subsides and they just get silly.

  10. Lavigne in Austin

    but yeah, its boring to watch for the most part. It does however, lend itself well to drinking games. the cloak room (the bar closest to the capitol) is packed right now with lobbyists and daring staffers who are watching the same thing. they will run over to the building when their bill is about to come up.

  11. Tim B.

    yeah, i noticed them tongue-in-cheek complaining about the lack of blue bell ice cream 🙂 i was like, wtf?? if theyll move 3186 up, ill drive a whole truck of ice cream down there 🙂

  12. Lavigne in Austin

    brenham day is always a popular one there. free ice cream in the members lounge. my personal favorite days were lubbock day (bbq and joe ely) and the county in east texas that had shrimp and fried catfish.

  13. Jeff S.

    The live feed is also on channel 6 timewarner austin…How late will they work tonight?

  14. Lavigne in Austin

    thats the one i’m watching jeff. nobody seems completely sure how late they will go tonight. i’ll set the over/under at midnight.

  15. Lavigne in Austin

    the rules say midnight, but in the past they have resorted to all kinds of tricks to override the rule. i’ve even seen them stop the clock before

  16. Lavigne in Austin

    and last night they had a committee hearing go till 5am. it was about charter school oversight. one of our kick-ass lobbyists was there for the whole damn thing!

  17. DanM

    They are getting funky … cutting jokes making fun of Rep. Zedler (from Arlington I believe) for his poorly written amendment to an amendment. with that the speaker said it was obviously “getting close to a time to adjourn.”

  18. Lavigne in Austin

    when Senfro brought the PoO he set it for 11:15, so i’d be surprised if they made it to midnight even. they done good today though. no major fights (other than kino’s lottery bill that he ended up yanking down) so we should get our vote tomorrow. I’d say mid-to-late afternoon. I’ll probably be at the capitol most of the afternoon, so I won’t be here to blog.

  19. DanM

    This bill they were talking about was 2560. I have yet to find a single bill mentioned on the floor during my observation today show up on the calendar for today.

    OK, now they are talking about 1458, which would allow New Braunfels to use a percentage of its hotel tax to clean the rivers. sounds good … we’re for it!

    Oooh, 1123 is all about stiffening penalties for people who destroy mailboxes. If you are over 16 and you play a little mailbox baseball, you’re gonna lose your driver’s license. ok, sounds pretty stupid … but we’re for it!

  20. DanM

    Here’s tomorrow’s calendar … we’re not on it. Mike, will this change by morning?

    Tomorrow’s sked actually looks pretty manageable.

  21. Lavigne in Austin

    they take what they didn’t finish today and add it to tomorrow’s.

  22. DanM

    Mike, while we’re waiting, do you have who-voted-how on the 6-2-1 committee decision? I’m watching Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) … and I remember her seeming to be buying everything we said at committee. Just wondering if my reads of physical tells on politicians were right … or if they are opposite, a la Bizzarro world.

    (That’s how it is for Fawcett in the home game … he gives off the tell for Aces when he gets excited about playing 92o.)

  23. DanM

    Yep, they are adjourning … seeking announcements. Would now be a good time to pull a scene from The Graduate? “Poookkkerrr!!!! Poookkerrrrr!”

    So how come all the bills they were just talking about weren’t on today’s sked? And Mike, you should go to bed, too, of course. But is there anything our peeps can do between now and lunchtime tomorrow to make better stuff happen?

  24. DanM

    And OK, sorry, now I see … was looking at the out-of-date calendar … not the one Sexington recommended in Comment #6. Thanks, Chad!

  25. Jk

    Been watching all night. We will be on starting at 9:30 tomorrow. Thanks for all of the work guys! Be sure to listen to Gecko’s Poker Show at 5:30 tomorrow afternoon 990 am. The plan is to talk legislation, so be sure to tune in and call in

  26. Woody

    Ed – Do they start tomorrow with what they didn’t get today, or do they wait until after the MAJOR state calendar?

  27. Woody

    Dammit…did it again…keep thinking it’s Ed Lavigne. Sorry MIKE!

  28. DanM

    Awesome Woody. Hey, that reminds me …

    Tim B. (comment #8) — you and other Pokerati readers may find this to be a more helpful explanation of how the Capitol works.

    And Gecko, I wasn’t aware of your show … but now I am:

    Gecko’s Big Poker Show
    On the SportsFan 990 AM

    Are you the guy who played poker with Karridy in Oklahoma?

    Karridy, how come we don’t have a gecko for BTT?

  29. Lavigne in Austin


    Senfronia did vote with us. Geren, Isett and Jones voted in the other 3. I can’t remember right now which one was the 1.

    They weren’t on the schedule YOU were looking at. they were on the supplemental calendar. Honestly, I haven’t been a house staffer really in 5 years so i don’t remember the exact order, but i think they go through the major state every new session and then tack on the general afterwards and get as far as they can and then tacking those up front ahead of the next day’s…

    so, it would have been worse had we been on tomorrow’s general state, but we were on Wednesdays, putting us ahead of those.

    Dont write your thesis on those words, you will want to check it out or ask me again some other time, but it is close.

    Between now and then you can send an email to your lawmaker if you haven’t already (we don’t want to spam). go here:

    Even better: take some time out and actually call them. Hell, just calling one (preferably your own) can make a difference.

    There is no guarantee that we will get up tomorrow. We are at mercy of the House and the clock. But if we do, those calls and emails could make all the difference.

    Pleasant Dreams!

  30. Lavigne in Austin

    I don’t know why i wrote “pleasant dreams”. weird.

  31. DanM

    Mike, I have the ability to edit, you know. And right now I think we may be the only ones reading this.

    But hey, everyone gets a little loopy at this hour … Pokerati just got back from lunch. So you know weird stuff can be overlooked.

  32. Lavigne in Austin

    lets leave it raw, man, raw. and hey, we should make a new post tomorrow so the comments start over. this way if i can check it i can reply quicker with updates.

    your site is hard on my not so “smart phone”

  33. Ed

    “your site is hard on my not so “smart phone””

    the site can be hard on my high end PC with T1 connection.


  34. DanM

    A true mobile version of Pokerati will be in place before cards go in the air on the first legal cash game in Texas … promise.

    Ed, are you awake? I’ve got a telephone and the duct tape.

  35. Tim B.

    A true mobile version of Pokerati will be in place before cards go in the air on the first legal cash game in Texas

    d’oh! you jinxed it now! 🙂

  36. DanM

    Re-read and think what that would really mean. No jinx. Just point of order.

  37. Ed

    yeah still up. playing…poker…ummm…free….yeah….free poker. almost got free banroll back over $700. goal for May is $900 but if last month is any sign then i might hit 1K again. should prob move to the .25 NL tables instead of PL but I know the fish so well at the PL tables that it is tough to leave.

    and the fact i know so many folks that play those tables i end up enjoying myself more even on bad nights.


  38. Karridy

    Gecko’s are ok. But everybody knows the Caveman rocks. (NPI)

  39. DanM

    **the Caveman**

    New nickname for Tom?

  40. Ed

    think he means the whole caveman gimmick they have been doing instead of the new lame gecko.

    love the early caveman commercials but it gets old quick.