Posts Tagged ‘Austin’

RE: Big Austin Poker Robbery

Police details on the heist, one suspect arrested

by , Mar 29, 2010 | 4:55 pm

Police say they are hot on the case … details emerging about the Austin poker game that got robbed EPT-Berlin style (only for less money and with more gunfire) … and apparently this one — occurring in a middle-class residential neighborhood in northwest Austin — ain’t gonna go the way of poker robberies in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and others recently in Austin.

The Travis County Sheriff’s Dept. (woking with APD) has caught at least one of the suspected bandits after tracking down a (coincidentally German-made) possible getaway car. Osaro Osagie, 22, is currently in custody on felony charges of credit card abuse, for possessing one of the poker player’s stolen cards.

An investigation on the aggravated robbery is still ongoing, and thus police are saying little else at the moment.

This all shook down at a game in near West Anderson Lane and Mopac.

UPDATE: More on the heavily armed robbery from KXAN here.

Big Austin Poker Robbery Friday Night

by , Mar 27, 2010 | 8:12 pm

There were really big guns, shouting, and shots fired. That’s the word circulating in Austin poker circles right now about a scary armed robbery somewhere on the west side of Travis County late last night — just before the bars closed … always an action time in Texas poker rooms.

Here’s an email from one of the players there, with names redacted for now …

HORRIBLE Robbery at *****’s tonight, around 1:40am. I was there 3-4 black guys w/ AK 40’s, shot their way in back door. **** was running game, 24 people there. Amazingly, No one hurt. ***** was downtown, **** and ***** hid in laundry.

They specifically asked for ***** by name. Must have known back yard had no cameras. Climbed fence from mopac.

Made us all go face down, empty pockets, took most wallets, phones keys. My wallet was found by cop, amazingly a mile down feeder laying in road, all intact except $1000 in cash (i had won $600 last night and forgot to remove it before going to *****’s).

Gunshots were fired Inside. they kept yelling at us not to look up or move, so we didn’t know if people were shot.

****** saved our lives. he obeyed them, rationalized w/ them, showed them closet w/ money, but had no key, they harassed him, they shot or kicked doors in,

Over 9 cops were arriving as we drove away. They stopped us and interviewed us individually, were very concerned for our safety and catching criminals, not even a question of poker game. Helecopters, forensics, detectives and K9 were all there lining the street.


UPDATE: Unconfirmed word is that Austin police caught at least one of the robbers, when he used a stolen credit card at a “club” either later that night or the next day.


RE: Armed Robbery in Austin, Too

by , Dec 21, 2009 | 4:25 pm

The armed robbery of what looks like probably a 5/10 game was the lead story on KXAN’s 6 pm broadcast … and they spoke to longtime friend of Pokerati (and Texas state director of the PPA) Lavigne in Austin about the robbery at the Gaines Ranch Apartments for the skinny on what’s really at stake with these masked gunmen poker things:

“From what I understand, investigators are at a stalemate,” said Commander Chris Noble with APD’s organized crime division. “The victim is not being cooperative.”

But, Mike Lavigne, the Texas State Director for the Poker Players Alliance , blames antiquated laws for the robbers’ success and the unsolved crimes.

“A lot of times people don’t even call the cops if these places get busted by a thief because it’s not legal for them to be necessarily running that room in the first place,” Lavigne said.


“It’s not seen as a crime in most parts of the world,” said Lavigne. “It just happens to be the leftovers from some old laws in Texas. It’s not clear what’s legal or illegal in our state right now.”

UPDATE: Here’s the video:

How to Defeat a Ready-to-Pass Bill: Lie

What we’re really up against

by , May 9, 2009 | 6:18 pm

I swear this won’t tilt anybody … but here’s the alert sent out Thursday by Texans Against Gambling to generate enough support for a change of course that, frankly, I still don’t fully understand.

Via the fair-minded, conservative Off the Kuff

TAG lies have been boldfaced:

Statement from Texans Against Gambling:
Weston Ware, legislative director for Texans Against Gambling, issued this statement today regarding House Bill 222, which legalizes poker, including electronic poker, in Texas. The bill was voted out of Calendars Committee on Thursday and will be scheduled for a floor vote.

“This bill is not about legalizing poker games with friends around the kitchen table. It is a ploy by the pro-gambling industry to crack Texas’ constitutional ban against gambling by making the absurd argument that poker is not a game of chance, but of skill.

“The next time someone uses their skill as a player to get dealt three-of-a-kind, call me.

“HB 222, among other things, would allow electronic poker tables to operate 24/7 in bars and restaurants. These Class III gambling devices mimic the addictive qualities of slot machines based on the speed of play (a good player can go through as many as 12 hands a minute).They have the ability to keep players playing (many video-poker outlets are open 24 hours and it’s not unusual to hear of someone’s playing 36 hours straight). Also, the machines are designed to create the false perception that skill is involved in what is ultimately a game of chance.


Texas Poker Bill to Get Its House Vote

Austin game violently robbed

by , May 7, 2009 | 12:13 pm

As Kevin noticed early this AM (before my post from yesterday doubting the notion went live), Texas’ HB 222 has moved out of the Calendars Committee and is scheduled for a vote on the House floor tomorrow … which means it really should happen by Tuesday at the latest. Woot! Started to get worried there for a bit, but thanks to readers like you and probably the PPA and many others helping the capitol hallway soldiers … The People of Texas, man! … Step 3 of 6 has been successfully completed.

Step 1: Introduce bill
Step 2: Pass through committee
Step 3: Calendars committee

Step 4: House vote
Step 5: Senate vote
Step 6: Governor’s sig

You can see we still have a long ways to go, but Steps 4 and 5 have to be done for sure by May 23, so this is it … we’re about to see if our hard work first steps in the process properly position us to make it through the next all-important three. And by all means, we have to go undefeated … one loss and we’re dead.

Go here or here to send the whole House of Representatives an email letting them know you hear they’ll be voting on HB 222, and that you will really admire them for seeing the sensibility of this legislation.

Meanwhile, as a reminder why this bill is important, RobD in Austin lets us know:

To put a final nail into the coffin of [any] argument against HB222, I was at a Austin poker game last night and we got robbed at gun point (5/7/09, early morning). It was in a nice neighborhood and is known to regulars as FPC. At least two people got beat up. We’re all lucky to be alive. The Travis county sherrif was called and filed a report.

RE: Texas Poker Bill up for Committee Vote Today

by , Mar 25, 2009 | 10:02 am

You’ll be able to watch the Licensing and Administrative Committee hearing via internet live-stream. Here’s the direct link to the stream.

And in case for some reason that doesn’t work, here’s the back-up page where the Texas House of Representative indexes all their publicly visible action.

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Texas Poker: Vote Now!

by , Jan 27, 2009 | 1:37 pm

KTRH-AM 740 out of Houston followed up the Morning News story about our efforts to legalize poker in Texas with one of their own. In their piece, the opposition claims we poker liberators* are simply seeking a regressive tax that will punish the poor, and calls government “weak” for even considering legalization as an alternative to cracking down.

*my term, not theirs

And now, on the front page of KTRH’s website, their question of the day is:

Should Texas add poker to its gaming lineup?

Click here to vote. At the time of this posting, we’re leading 63-37 … as all of us who understand the skillful application of percentages can surmise, this is hardly the spread of domination we’re looking for. Seriously, I’m sorry to keep whining about this … but it’s a one-and-a-half-click vote … if we can’t nail this one down, we don’t stand a chance in Austin this year.

NOTE: This seems to be a very conservative radio station.

UPDATE: Encouraging, what their forum has to say.

November Niner Scoping out Tejas?

by , Nov 19, 2008 | 1:38 pm

Speaking of Austin … though I’ve still got nothing on any room violence down there, super-secret powerful inside sources do tell me that 2008 WSOP 4th place finisher Ylon Schwartz is in A-town right now … visiting a friend and supposedly shopping for a condo. I gotta think the quiet Brooklyner would fit right in the Austin scene. Income taxes in Texas (none) are much better, too. Perhaps Schwartz hasn’t cashed in his winnings yet?

Is the Austin Poker Scene Moving from Raids to Robberies?

by , | 12:44 pm

I’m outta touch, but I’m hearing stuff. Supposedly there was a robbery in Austin in late October where someone got shot? Anyone know more about this?

From what I do understand, most of the games in Austin are small — two or three tables max — and the dudes who run them are friendly. Semi-shady on occasion, but overall good guys running games in true Austin, communal style. However, I also hear that as the games get weak, they’re a little more lax on who gets in — anything to keep that rake moving — so corners are being cut when it comes to security.

Am I out in left field on this one? Any info on the robbery with gunfire would be greatly appreciated.

Poker in the Courts

by , Jan 9, 2008 | 7:19 pm

Baltasar Cruz (D-Dallas) is running for judgeship on the Texas Supreme Court. Just wanted to let you know he is a poker player who likes and respects the game … so if you like to support candidates without any real basis beyond a connection to your own self interests, then indeed, he should probably be your man! His platform philosophies seem reasonable enough, too:

“I want to prohibit Texas judges from accepting political contributions from lawyers and parties who have cases pending in front of them. Incredibly, Texas judges are free to accept political contributions from attorneys and parties who have cases pending in their courts and some judges are known to actively solicit political contributions from lawyers who have cases pending before them! This is an obvious conflict of interest which is entirely indefensible and should be proscribed by the Texas Supreme Court.”

Meet the Texas Champion of Poker

by , Nov 6, 2007 | 3:22 pm

Joe Wahlen

Joe Wahlen, from Austin, is technically and officially the best poker player in all of Texas right now.

What do you mean you haven’t heard of Joe “All In” Wahlen? He’s the reigning Texas state champion of poker!

Wahlen won the Texas State Poker Championship on Friday — an event put on in Austin by our good friends at the Texas Card Players Association and held at Radiator King.

It was a $200 buy-in (no rake) … 50 players total … making for a $10,000 prize pool. When they got down to the final table, the remaining players all decided to chop and finish up the tourney for the title and the trophy.

Not to take away from Joe’s accomplishment — his past successes at the table include taking second place in a freeroll at the Shoal Creek Saloon — but maybe the fact that a non-championship event in Oklahoma has a $1 million prize pool, and the Arizona State Championship paid out $250k for first place, will help persuade the people of Texas not to be pussies so small when it comes to state pride and poker. After all, that’s what the TCPA is working for.

Until then, big congrats to Joe, who as the world champion of Texas, is sure to be feared throughout the poker world.

Reshuffling the Deck

by , Apr 5, 2007 | 12:51 pm

AUSTIN–I’m still in the Texas heartland, and I couldn’t have left here without playing some cards. All went well while playing an un-raked game at a bar that gives out awesome cheesy truckers’ hats to its patrons. I had “Brad Beats” sitting to my right — his hat said “If I wanted to hear an asshole, I would fart” — and he and I got into it about a rule that I know all too well.

You see, I made a mistake and dealt the turn prematurely. Right right, I know what you are thinking … But Dan, we have gone over this one time and time again! I know. But apparently Brad Beats hasn’t been reading his Pokerati everyday like he should, and he thought he knew the right way to rectify this dealer misstep.

Cool, I will bet you $100 you are wrong, I retorted.

“Dude, I’ve seen this happen two times in Las Vegas, so I know I am right!”

OK, then how ’bout $1,000? I’ll even give you 5-to-1 odds. (It’s fun to have a potential prop bet where you are virtually certain to be holding the nuts …)


PPA Joins the Texas Fight

by , Mar 30, 2007 | 3:00 pm

A big thank you to the PPA for sending out this email to their Texas membership today!

Dear Texas Poker Player,

As you know, the Poker Players Alliance is fighting on your behalf in Washington, D.C. and at the state level to defend your right to play poker. The fight for legal, safe and fair poker is taking place here in Texas right now.

The Texas Poker PAC is an ally of the PPA and has worked hard to get great legislation introduced that will regulate and expand legal poker in Texas! House Bill HB 3186 was filed by Representative Jose Menendez of San Antonio. This will have a public hearing on Tuesday, April 3rd in the House Committee on Licensing and Administrative Procedures and poker in the great state of Texas needs your support.

This is a unique opportunity to have your voice heard in support of the game you love! Testifying in favor of the bill will be some high profile folks like Gavin Smith, Erick Lindgren, Lyle Berman, Dallas DA Craig Watkins and others.

Please join us in Austin on the afternoon of April 3rd to make your voice heard! The hearing will be held in the Capital Extension Building (North side of the Capitol) Room E2.030 (3rd Level Downstairs) at approximately 2 PM. I would love you to join me and other members of the PPA and stand up for Poker in Texas!

If you cannot make it to Austin then, please click here to send an email or call the committee members’ Austin offices. Here is a list of Committee members with their e-mails and phone numbers. We encourage you to call for poker in Texas.


HB 3186 Update

by , Mar 26, 2007 | 4:24 pm

There will be a committee substitute next week. It will remove the limit on the number of tables an establishment may have and significantly lower the asset requirement on bars to apply for a permit to a monthly gross receipt of $7,500. This would, for example, make eligible about 25 establishments in Arlington and 4 Abilene.

I think this is good news! The hearing is set for next Tuesday. They may not vote on it that day, but they will take all pertinent testimony at that time. i hope to have a new copy of the bill soon.

The PPA has agreed to help us publicize our progress and the hearing. They will be sending an email I’m writing to their members in Texas (between 10-20,000) this week.

Stay tuned….

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Re: Re: Another Another Austin Raid

by , Feb 15, 2007 | 2:07 pm

A fresh comment on a relatively old post about a Dallas poker raid caught my eye … seemed relevant in light of discussions we’ve been having about police activity in other Texas poker scenes. In it, the accused houseguy makes claims of borderline abusive behavior from police — smacking an 83-year-old man in the back with the butt of a rifle, for example.

Nothing Rodney King-like, but still, pain-addled nuisances that might kinda should be expected when dealing with armed enforcers charged with putting a scare into a semi-criminal subculture.