RE: Texas Poker Bill up for Committee Vote Today (4)

Live-Blogging the HB 222 Committee Hearing

by , Mar 25, 2009 | 3:02 pm

Just trying to move the convo here to keep it fresh.

Click here to watch the hearing live.

* Ooh, he read an email to former special counsel Royce Poinsett right off the bat — letting him know that Texas already sees poker as a game of skill, and therefore doesn’t need a Constitutional Amendment — hey, we went to high school together! Fun!

* Wow — Michigan charity revenue up from 7 million to 72 million … and their population is way less than ours!

* Hey, they mentioned the emails! Woot!

* Ooh, now they’re talking about actual card rooms! OK, they want Menendez to clarify the licensing issues. Fair enough.

“The definition in the bill is too broad.” … hmm, actually I agree.

* Lavigne in Austin is up! Representing the PPA!

* Lavigne is making some points we’ve brought up right here! About pizza and beer.

* Rob Kohler from Christian Life Commission is speaking against. Boo! Boo!

He’s got three issues:

1. not a game of skill
2. electronic tables need a class 3 gaming license
3. ???

Oooh, he’s making a losing skill argument! And he says that is the issue it all comes down to. We can win on skill argument!

* OK, back in action here … John Pitts is up now. He’s one of our lobbyists. Representing the electronic table makers. (Amaya Gaming now … no longer PokerTek.)

* They’re having to fight the technical stuff now — Class 3 gaming device issues, Indian issues, etc. That’s probably our oppositions best chance … just fight on technicalities of the bill’s wording. But Menendez is happy to work with the AG or whoever to recraft the language accordingly.

* He’s trying to explain electronic tables now … why is this different from video poker? We understand why … but I can see why it’s tough to comprehend for the uninitiated.

* Ooh, I think Pitts just lied and said they have electronic tables in Oklahoma. I’m pretty sure they don’t. But still, now he’s clarifying that these are very different from “video lottery terminals”.

*Michele Lewis is up. Go Michele!

OK, Michele … c’mon … get to the point! 🙂

*Senofria Thompson wants to know if Michele is the same woman as Clonie. LOL.

Boo-yah … Michele brought up the new study we haven’t told you about yet.

* Nice! Michele brings up the charity angle … important … and the woman issue.

* Vernon Harrison from the Texas Card Players Association. He’s talking about the need for a safe environment.

* Vernon is laying out so nicely the need for legitimate poker rooms.

*PPA has 65,000 members in Texas. TCPA has 500.

* Brett Kinds (sp?) a poker pro from Texas.

* He spends $100k a year OUTSIDE of Texas on poker incidentals — food, lodging, buy-ins, etc.

* He’s making the point about all the jobs it creates.

* He’s contending there’s 0 chance. He just mis-stated Aces as occurring 1 in 18 hands.

* Brett Kimes’ grandfather (father?) was shot and killed in an underground card game.

* Nice finish about playing OUR game in OUR state and his being scared to have a legal rake-free home game for threat of robbery.

* They’re now reading the non-testifier opinions … There were like 10 for and 2 against.

* Menendez is closing … $26 million $40 million $60 million … that’s how much the state will make in each consecutive year.

* He’s bringing up the race track issue now … and offering poker as a way to save the race tracks! Yes! “New fresh blood!” I agree … poker will save racing!

* Yes, they’re talking about our emails that we just sent them! Nice job Pokeratizens!

22 Comments to “RE: Texas Poker Bill up for Committee Vote Today (4)”

  1. Kevin Mathers

    Was it someone from the Christian Life Commission that got pwned by the committee 2 years ago?

    Turns out it’s the same guy.

  2. DanM

    quick question … need an answer now … what are the odds of getting dealt aces?

  3. Kevin Mathers


  4. DanM

    I think it was Texas Eagle Forum last time …I could be wrong though.

  5. DanM

    Dude, he is pwning himself.

  6. Kevin Mathers

    It’s the same person, he was just as eloquent two years ago.

  7. DanM

    They’re talking about armed robbers in legal games now. Making the security point. Go Jose!

  8. DanM

    “It’s kinda like a Las Vegas casino” … ooh, not the best choice of words probably, Jose.

  9. Kevin Mathers

    Oops, I get what you were saying there, nevermind.

  10. DanM

    ***Amaya Gaming isn’t related to Pokertek. Amaya owns the Pokermate automated tables. Pokertek hasn’t changed their name.***

    Right, I understand. They are a competitor to PokerTek actually. But last time it was Pokertek hiring the lobbyists. This time it’s Amaya.

  11. Kevin Mathers

    Which is why I amended my previous comment.

    Anyways, I thought the guy was talking about Sunland Park in New Mexico, not Winstar.

  12. DanM

    Michele hit her stride in the end there. I liked that “I’ve lost more money in real estate than I have poker” line.

  13. Ed

    not crazy with the way Michele answered the question asking how many games on average she would say go on in Houston. “20…30…40” not much of an answer. guess she is practicing to be a politician. 😛

  14. Ed

    Dan, I think Vernon rambled on too much…I muted him after a while because it was hard to work. (yes, I am actually trying to work at work)

  15. Kevin Mathers

    Brett Kimes stats

  16. DanM

    OK … good job poker people. When do they vote?

  17. grunkzzz


  18. grunkzzz

    they can table it, send it to a subcommitte, or send it to the full house??? The calendar committe then decides which order the bills come to vote there are aprox 6000 bills and like 600 will get voted on or something like that. But it could be in the top 100… So who is the calendar committe? do they support us? Do I know what I am talking about? My politics buddy was trying to explain it to me but I got lost.. HE said something about it being important where it is in the Senate..

    he also said he wouldnt be surprised if our wonderful govenor vetoed it.

  19. DanM

    Grunkzzz, what your friend said jibes with my understanding. Though I might be missing a step, here’s where we go from here:

    * Full Committee Votes (next week) — we need 5 to win.

    * Calendar Committee — we need them to put us on the list of bills being heard.

    * Premium Calendar Committee — this is where we died last time … we were scheduled for a vote, but they never got to us.

    * House Floor Vote — they debate, they vote … we need a majority to win.

    * Senate Vote — their might be a committee it has to pass through first here … but this is new territory to me, too, and from what I understand, indeed, this will be our biggest hurdle and where we really have to rally the troops to fight.

    * Governor’s signature — this is where our opponents will put all their resources if at any point it looks like we are going to clear all the other hurdles.

  20. michele lewis

    ok, the 20,30,40 was an answer to how many underground games were run per night in houston.
    I wasn’t prepared for the question and haven’t played underground in a couple of I wasn’t a good person to ask funny, I actually contemplated saying I couldn’t count that high.

    Dan, thanks for the shout outs and texts. 🙂

  21. michele lewis

    But to add to that.. There are some things better left unsaid till later. Rather than prepping the opposer who has clearly done a lot more research this time around.

  22. DanM

    Good point, Michele. And though you know I am almost never a deleter, I did take one thing out of our little list … and there’s a reason it’s down here in comments and not it’s own post that I’m sending out via email blast.