Re: Dallas (Underground) Poker on Film

by , May 15, 2008 | 12:51 pm

Danielle in New York writes in with a little more info about the film project they’ve got working:

Another thing you can add if people are being hesitant to being interviewed or showing us their room, we have filmed in underground poker rooms in NYC. I don’t know how familiar you are with the scene in NY but a couple years ago a big bust broke up a lot of the more well known poker rooms in the city. About 6 months before these busts we were able to film in one of the clubs and interview the owner. Unfortunately since the big bust, its been hard to come by more games in the NYC Area.

One angle I’d love to take while in Dallas, it to interview someone who could talk about all the raids either as someone who was at one of the raids or someone who ran a room that got raided. Of course, if there is an issue of not given out the name of a room or the name of the person we are interviewing, we will abide in any way possible to make everyone comfortable.

I’m not sure how much I got into the extensiveness of our project but our goal is to make the most definitive and comprehensive film about poker in America. We’ve gone everywhere from Vegas to New Orleans to Saratoga Springs to Oklahoma. We’ve interviewed people within the poker community including Annie Duke, Jeffrey Pollack (Commissioner of the WSOP), Phil Hellmuth, Steve Lipscomb (CEO of WPT), Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, amateur poker players, tournament directors, and poker room mangers from casinos across the US.

So there you have it … I wonder if the poker-room people they end up talking to will be “good” or “bad” gamerunners representing the Dallas scene.

7 Comments to “Re: Dallas (Underground) Poker on Film”

  1. ItsOverJonny

    Dan –

    In your “nothing to lose” statements, you aren’t considering the angle where renewed public/media attention on the subject seems to prompt a response from authorities. Either the authorities think, “We need to make a public statement that we are dealing this problem”, or complaints from the public in the wake of publicity prompts them it act. It’s not a “closed system” – outside stimulus can affect the actions of components inside the local system, including police. The WORST thing that could happen is for this film to include the Dallas underground and become very successful. Things have been peaceful on the enforcement front for a while – let it lie.

  2. DanM

    You know I respect your stance, IOJ … it just bums me out that the rooms that are true examples of how good things could/should be won’t be represented in a history of poker 50 years from now.

    And when it comes time in 2009 to move Texas to the next level in getting these operations declared fully legal, well, frankly, I’d love to be able to say, “look at these people! they deserve protection under the law!”

  3. ItsOverJonny

    Understood. But I suspect most room operators are concerned with day-to-day survival rather than the legacy they will leave. It’s a horribly inappropriate analogy, but sometimes martyrs become Rosa Parks, and sometimes they become Medgar Evers.

    I’ll be eagerly awaiting new legislative developments in Texas, but with the state running an budget surplus (hello $125 oil and $11 natural gas!), and our governor saying that he may even propose that the state distribute money back to Texas residents, I doubt that poker will get done anytime soon. People way smarter than me are at work on it, but historically states concede to “gambling” advocates only when the state REALLY need the money. Keep in mind that we are in a state that was so protective of its citizens that we weren’t even allowed home equity loans until the 1990’s.

  4. DanM

    Fair enough … if I were still in Texas I might just open a temporary poker room (like for a week) and then shut it down when filming is done. But that’s because I’m a defender of honest storytelling publicity whore.

    BTW, 2011 … that will be the key year, from what I’m learning about how politics works. We’ll get closer in 2009 than we did in ’07 — it may or may not be coincidence that Lavigne in Austin has signed on with the horse racing lobby 😉 — and if economic conditions are right by then, we should be able to finally punch something through.

  5. Jimmy

    Neat idea, would love to watch such a film.

    As to the legislative workings, I just hope if we do end up with something legal it doesn’t suck, like I read about the Florida games. Low limit shit poker at a race track would be awful.

  6. TBR

    There is no underground poker in Dallas, so it’s a moot issue.

  7. Grunkzzz

    I could set up a fake room.. But it would be fake so what is the point?