Posts Tagged ‘Mike Lavigne’

Star-Telegram Wants to Know: Legal Online Poker in 2010?

by , Jan 3, 2010 | 11:54 am

Check it out … the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a story on the possibility of legalizing online poker in 2010. (Nice quotes, Lavigne.)

Nothing earth-shattering in the story … just the non-poker populace continuing to be educated on the basics of our issues at stake. And the mainstream media letting said populace know that indeed, these issues will be dealt with in some capacity this year. Also interesting — the ST’s running a poll with that article, looking for essentially a thumbs-up-thumbs-down referendum on the matter of online poker. Our side is in the lead (as usual), but a stronger than usual 39 percent have voted so far to say that instead of legalizing and taxing online poker, the government should crack down.

Also in the Star-Telegram: Police are cracking down on cock fights.

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:

HB 222 Officially, Really, Dead

by , May 14, 2009 | 4:19 pm

Rep. Menendez has officially killed HB 222 on the floor of the Texas House, knowing that the Gov. won’t pass. He was able to spend a few minutes discussing why it should be allowed to proceed, only to be interrupted by several bad poker-related puns.

PPA Ready to Join Texas Fight

by , Apr 24, 2009 | 1:04 pm

The PPA has been keeping an eye on Texas for a while … seeing it as a potential “battleground state”. Now it seems they’re ready to put some resources behind it, as they’ve launched a new website to anchor their Texas efforts:

I contacted retired Pokerati-er and the PPA’s Texas state director, Lavigne in Austin for an interview on this web development, a transcript of which is pasted below:

Michalski: This is good, right?
Lavigne: Yes

2008 Is Probably Not the Year of Getting There

But that’s OK if you’re the PPA

by , May 20, 2008 | 5:03 am

Had a pleasant chat with PPA boss John Pappas yesterday about the state of poker legislation. “We have a new website!” he says. OK, that quote’s semi-made up, but he definitely wanted to pimp the Poker Players Alliance’s new forums, benefit packages, and webtronic goodies. Yeah, yeah, website uh-huh … I didn’t tell him that I get most of my PPA on MySpace, where they share rank with Ed, The Poker Atlas, and RawVegas TV.*

Anyhow, in hearing about what they’re trying to achieve, I came to realize just how much progress the PPA has made. There are currently five bills pending in Congress specific to our issue. You can say all you want about the “special interests” … but that’s what we are. And frankly a rather small one in the Beltway schema. Yet those five bills come with 98 unique sponsors — meaning nearly a quarter of the House of Representatives are more than familiar with poker causes and have affirmatively declared themselves on our side. That’s pretty impressive progress over the course of 18 months.

With that said, Pappas doesn’t necessarily expect to see a legally enforceable undoing of the UIGEA this year. Nor do I, nor does Lavigne in Austin, nor does anyone actively working toward that goal. This being a presidential election year, with so many big big issues in play and seats at stake, Congress just isn’t gonna get around to making the world safe for online poker in ’08. I could be wrong on this — and hope I am — but I’m not. Fortunately the PPA leadership and lobbyists seem to recognize that hoping is seldom a good strategy … and while there’s always a chance poker could hit a political miracle on the turn and river, the PPA should shove all-in! what’s important now for the PPA is putting us in a position to succeed in 2009, when table conditions are sure to have changed.

* Pauly, dude, when are you gonna get on MySpace?

RE: Rallying the Troops

by , Mar 14, 2008 | 7:03 pm

texas poker politics

Pokerati file photo: The HB-3186 war room, led by Lavigne in Austin (standing, top left) with Texas poker politicos, player representatives, and out-of-state allies preparing for a capitol offensive.

In addition to those state-by-state member numbers, the PPA put out a press release this week announcing its new state directors. Good to see poker players getting more involved in grassroots activity as the politi-dudes looking out for us in Washington DC continue to develop into a real Beltway force. However, there’s one state where the director curiously isn’t named — and that’s Texas.

Um, Mike …? Has there been a change to your resume that you might wanna blog about that you might wanna blog about?

UPDATE: Lavigne in Austin en-route-to-Wichita-Falls confirms via Blackberry that he is indeed still a state director for the PPA, and showed off his political skills by dodging my follow-up question about “why the ‘TBA’ then?” by reassuring me that the poker political machinery in Texas, having been built and tested now, will be well-oiled for 2009 with real Texas Hold’em in Texas in 2010 so long as I don’t write anything to muck it up.