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Old 04-22-2018, 03:30 PM   #1
HTwnPokerGuy
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WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

tl;dr WPT Deepstacks tour stop in Houston is rumored to be in trouble because the host club apparently lied about an approval from Houston Police. Club might get sued for false advertising/securities fraud.

---

1. WPT recently announced a tour stop in Houston at Freerolls Poker Club:
https://www.worldpokertour.com/event...019/#eventTab1

2. This is rumored to have been done based on assurances Freerolls gave to WPT that Houston Police had signed off on the legality of the club's business model. On its website http://freerollspokerclub.com/whywearelegal/, the club claims:

Quote:
On February 28, 2018, our CEO and Business Development Director, met with 2 investigators from the Houston Police Department Vice Squad to get their determination of the legality of our business model.

The conversation began with the officers asking us to give them a detailed breakdown of exactly how we conducted business and made money.

After laying out to them the complete working of our club, the conclusion was that as long as our club adhered to its policy of not charging any seat rentals, time charges or other forms of income directly from the play of poker we would be in compliance with the law. They also stated that as long as we adhered to our policy of no illegal tipping, we would be in compliance with Texas law.
3. As reported by a local activist group talking with a Houston City Council member, Houston Police is denying any meeting or approval took place:
https://www.stopillegalgamblinghoust...ce-Interaction

4. The situation is compounded by Freerolls currently raising money from the public to invest in the club based, in part, on its legality claims: https://growthfountain.com/freerollspokerclubs and here: https://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-e...ion=getcompany

5. Is a class-action lawsuit for false advertising or securities fraud in the works? Some local players are claiming they have been approached by a local attorney asking if they have invested or paid money as member based on its legality claims.
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:44 PM   #2
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

I highly doubt the WPT believes that in Texas the police determines the legality of something?
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Old 04-22-2018, 03:59 PM   #3
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by madlex View Post
I highly doubt the WPT believes that in Texas the police determines the legality of something?
Yeah the WPT tourney announcement was pretty surprising to us down here...as was the Cardplayer tourney announcement that came shortly after.

We're all waiting on the Texas Attorney General to opine on the legality of the tourney host clubs:
http://www.khou.com/article/news/loc.../285-526408156
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:27 PM   #4
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

The OP is a shill for the stop gambling in Houston website. Every one of his 68 posts is related to the illegality (in his mind) of these clubs which are running right out in the open and thriving. He needs to get a life and quit posting on 2+2
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by BulltexasATM View Post
The OP is a shill for the stop gambling in Houston website. Every one of his 68 posts is related to the illegality (in his mind) of these clubs which are running right out in the open and thriving. He needs to get a life and quit posting on 2+2
Lol I'm not a shill for anyone, but I do find the legality topic pretty interesting. You work for one of the clubs, though, right?
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:32 PM   #6
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by HTwnPokerGuy View Post
Lol I'm not a shill for anyone, but I do find the legality topic pretty interesting. You work for one of the clubs, though, right?
No Iím a player who is tired of your nonsense
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:44 PM   #7
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by BulltexasATM View Post
No Iím a player who is tired of your nonsense
You do you, but I'm going to keep getting the word out and trying to learn more about this stuff. It's all soooooo sketchy.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:50 PM   #8
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

HTwnpokerguy,

out of curiosity, what is your interest in "getting the word out " ?
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:16 PM   #9
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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HTwnpokerguy,

out of curiosity, what is your interest in "getting the word out " ?
Well, for one these guys are trying to raise money from our poker community to fund/expand their club. If that's done on false pretenses, folks should know so they can make an informed choice.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:29 PM   #10
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by HTwnPokerGuy View Post
You do you, but I'm going to keep getting the word out and trying to learn more about this stuff. It's all soooooo sketchy.
So does that mean that you've stopped pretending that your interest in all this is because you're interested in starting your own poker room?


Quote:
Originally Posted by HTwnPokerGuy View Post
I ran across this today:
https://www.stopillegalgamblinghouston.org/legal-guide

It's a pretty detailed legal guide these guys put together with former District Attorney-types (they say). In short, it appears to lay out a case why the new paid-membership poker clubs in Texas (like Mint Poker and Texas Card House) are illegal.

I'm no attorney. Is there anyone out there who's pretty knowledgeable on this stuff who can comment on whether or not this guide is reasonably accurate?

I was thinking of maybe starting a poker club...now I'm not so sure.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:35 PM   #11
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by DC2LV View Post
So does that mean that you've stopped pretending that your interest in all this is because you're interested in starting your own poker room?
Huh? I'm up for anything that makes good money/not a scam and is legal. Aren't you?

I was looking very hard at investing in Freerolls' equity offering. I'm not going to invest until this police thing gets sorted out.
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:16 AM   #12
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

WPT Deepstacks NVG thread already in trouble?
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:28 AM   #13
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by rakemeplz View Post
WPT Deepstacks NVG thread already in trouble?
Maybe the WPT, which is an entertainment company, is also planning a spinoff show with "Cops" to boost ratings ?
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Old 04-23-2018, 12:43 PM   #14
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by HTwnPokerGuy View Post
Well, for one these guys are trying to raise money from our poker community to fund/expand their club. If that's done on false pretenses, folks should know so they can make an informed choice.
If you are not investing, then it does not matter what claims they advance. Just go and play and make money while having fun (you know, like any other poker player with a game in their front yard would be doing for the time it remains in place).

The fact that you continually shill for Fertitta's group (which is who is likely behind that website since, unlike other such sites, the Houston page seeks anonymity) says you apparently are NOT a poker player. Instead, you have your nose so far up their ass that the keys on the keyboard have not even returned to room temperature after they post an update.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:54 PM   #15
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by michelle227 View Post
If you are not investing, then it does not matter what claims they advance. Just go and play and make money while having fun (you know, like any other poker player with a game in their front yard would be doing for the time it remains in place).

The fact that you continually shill for Fertitta's group (which is who is likely behind that website since, unlike other such sites, the Houston page seeks anonymity) says you apparently are NOT a poker player. Instead, you have your nose so far up their ass that the keys on the keyboard have not even returned to room temperature after they post an update.
I have no dog in this fight or drama/spat between you all. I was just looking at the tournament event, not any equity-raising or inter-business undercutting ....

I've just seen this "don't worry, it's legal" movie before in other jurisdictions, i.e PokerStars in Monterrey. I've thought the claim of legality was suspect from the go, as it seemed carefully worded to not actually say anything verifiiable, but look like an assurance nevertheless.

Time will tell soon enough, either this WPT event will go off without a hitch or it won't.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:37 PM   #16
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

Yeah I agree with Gzesh and what SrslySirius posted in the other thread.

I'd love to see formally legalized poker come to Texas and believe there are some important positives in the efforts that cardrooms/investors are putting forth to spread the game.

But the gambling industry is riddled with tales of legal advice that didn't stand up to actions taken (or rulings made) by regulators, government officials, panels, courts, and so on.

Like Gzesh says, time will tell soon enough.

Best of luck and hope it works out.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:27 PM   #17
HTwnPokerGuy
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by JJONESHTX View Post
OK HTOWN: SINCE YOU'RE TRYING TO HIDE BEHIND YOUR STUPID RUMORS WITHOUT ANY HARD PROOF AND KNOWING YOU'RE THE ONE THAT STARTED THE "SIGH" WEBSITE, I'LL JUST PUT YOUR FIRST NAME ON BLAST. <snipped>
Helllloooo Freerolls staff! Yeah, so I'm not affiliated with SIGH...just find their website interesting as they keep getting stuff right (like the Mint Poker cease and desist, etc).

SIGH posts the name of the Houston City Council Member's office that's their source in their story. It's pretty easy for anyone to pick up the phone and call them to verify HPD Vice is saying a meeting between them and Freerolls didn't happen. Why don't you try doing that?

P.S. If you're going to threaten someone, at least get the name right

Last edited by whosnext; 04-23-2018 at 08:18 PM. Reason: snipped private info of another poster plus subsequent threat to do it again
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:05 PM   #18
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by Gzesh View Post
I've just seen this "don't worry, it's legal" movie before
This is a good way of putting it. And there's an odd sort of naive smugness to thinking this is such a clever loophole. Texas is a draconian state. We can't even buy booze on Sundays because Jesus. If you think they're going to let unlicensed gambling saloons slide on a technicality, I have a bridge to sell you.

OP seems to be some kind of zealot with an axe to grind, but he's absolutely right that these rooms are on borrowed time.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:23 PM   #19
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

In case anyone cares I deleted a post up thread.

Posting and/or threatening to post private information about another poster such as their real identity is not allowed on 2+2.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:27 PM   #20
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by SrslySirius View Post
This is a good way of putting it. And there's an odd sort of naive smugness to thinking this is such a clever loophole. Texas is a draconian state. We can't even buy booze on Sundays because Jesus. If you think they're going to let unlicensed gambling saloons slide on a technicality, I have a bridge to sell you.
^^ this

The real issue is that this "Texas poker boom" is being handled really clumsily by seemingly politically clueless people trying to make a quick buck. The owners of Post Oak Poker Club are arguing with Houston City Council in open meetings. Mint Poker is ignoring a cease and desist order from the City of Webster. Freerolls is apparently misrepresenting they have approval from HPD Vice while raising money from the public.

When this all goes sideways..and it will...the voting public and their elected officials are going to remember this dumpster fire. When a real shot to legalize poker in Texas comes up later, we're all going to realize these club owners shot us in the foot.
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Old 04-24-2018, 01:03 AM   #21
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by HTwnPokerGuy View Post
The owners of Post Oak Poker Club are arguing with Houston City Council in open meetings.
I'm at the website but unless I'm missing something the content is archived in a way that will make finding these specific meetings a trial-and-error process.

https://houstontx.swagit.com/city-council

A Google search of "Houston City Council Poker" brought up a couple of recent articles from local media.

http://www.khou.com/article/news/loc.../285-526408156

http://abc13.com/legal-gambling-how-...ality/3306850/

If anyone finds the debate between poker club interests and Houston City Council members, I think it would be interesting to see what tone is being set. It's publicly available information and should give anyone outside the Houston area a more informed understanding of the official rhetoric from both sides.

Last edited by dhubermex; 04-24-2018 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:19 AM   #22
HTwnPokerGuy
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

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Originally Posted by dhubermex View Post
I'm at the website but unless I'm missing something the content is archived in a way that will make finding these specific meetings a trial-and-error process.

https://houstontx.swagit.com/city-council

A Google search of "Houston City Council Poker" brought up a couple of recent articles from local media.

http://www.khou.com/article/news/loc.../285-526408156

http://abc13.com/legal-gambling-how-...ality/3306850/

If anyone finds the debate between poker club interests and Houston City Council members, I think it would be interesting to see what tone is being set. It's publicly available information and should give anyone outside the Houston area a more informed understanding of the official rhetoric from both sides.
This is probably the best article to get a sense of what Houston City Council Member Greg Travis has said...the included video has a bit different content than the article:
https://www.click2houston.com/news/l...lub-in-houston

Post Oak Poker Club is in Travis' district. Apparently, POPC owners Kebort, Heuer, etc met with Travis before opening Post Oak Poker Club, and Travis told them he didn't want POPC opening in his district. Instead of working to change his mind or finding a part of town more receptive to POPC, POPC decided to open in Travis' district anyway, in the process making a powerful enemy. Travis has publicly vowed he "will do everything [he] can in [his] power to get them shut them down." Clumsy stuff by the POPC owners.

Soon after the article above was published, Kebort showed up at an open session of the Houston City Council. You can watch his appearance at 37 minutes in: https://houstontx.swagit.com/mini/08152017-1913/#6
He took the wrong tack and picked the wrong venue to engage with City Council. I think you'll agree he didn't do himself or the broader poker community any favors.

Last edited by HTwnPokerGuy; 04-24-2018 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 04-24-2018, 02:49 AM   #23
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

I watched the first clip.

I'm unable to access the second video you linked to. I answered the question on that page and provided my email, but the reply went into my spam folder and doesn't contain any video file.

From what I've watched so far, your post #22 seems to give an accurate description of the issues between City Councilman Travis and the POPC.

FWIW, I don't think the POPC owners come across as unreasonable in the interviews they've granted to local media, just naive and of course UGH at opening up shop after meeting privately beforehand with a City Council member and him telling you to not put your business in his district.
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:49 AM   #24
HTwnPokerGuy
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhubermex View Post
I watched the first clip.

I'm unable to access the second video you linked to. I answered the question on that page and provided my email, but the reply went into my spam folder and doesn't contain any video file.

From what I've watched so far, your post #22 seems to give an accurate description of the issues between City Councilman Travis and the POPC.

FWIW, I don't think the POPC owners come across as unreasonable in the interviews they've granted to local media, just naive and of course UGH at opening up shop after meeting privately beforehand with a City Council member and him telling you to not put your business in his district.
Hmmm...try this alternate link to see the City Council meeting. Don't forget to click the "Public Speakers" link on the right and fast forward to 37 minutes in: https://houstontx.swagit.com/play/08152017-1913
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Old 04-24-2018, 04:47 AM   #25
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Re: WPT Deepstacks Tourney in Texas Already in Trouble?

Thanks.

After watching that segment, neither POPC nor Councilman Travis come off as hugely unreasonable. Maybe POPC should drop the Vegas comparisons and focus exclusively on the local aspect, and maybe Mr. Travis' comparison of the POPC to sex service establishments is out of whack -- but both sides make legitimate points.

Councilman Travis specifically says he's not against gambling, has no problem with it being legalized, but that he simply doesn't want POPC in his district, particularly at Post Oak.

To POPC... the points, lobbying and legislative effort is commendable, but there are constituents (mostly business people and wealthy residents) in that district who have made it clear to Mr. Travis that the POPC is unwelcome.

On one hand, land-based gambling is notorious for gutting the f*** out of traditional retail. A real money wagering hall in that type of commercial (mall) environment will turn a restaurant into a convenience store, a jewelry store into a pawn shop, and a clothing outlet into an 80%-off sh** show. Plus that commercial center has an established history of generating sales & traffic before the POPC set up shop there.

On the other hand, people are going to spend their money how they like, so if there's significant demand for a certain market, somebody will most definitely create the supply regardless of whether that's in a regulated or black market business environment.

It's ineresting for sure, but also shows how much of a clusterf*** statewide and local regulation of skill-based games and/or traditional gambling is going to be moving forward throughout the United States.

POPC is putting in work to make the public aware of the issues, which I applaud. POPC is also going directly against the wishes of a local lawmaker (and perhaps some influential Chamber of Commerce members), which I believe is unwise.

Last edited by dhubermex; 04-24-2018 at 04:55 AM.
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