Hello from Texas

Matt SMatt S Red Chipper Posts: 29 ✭✭
Hello. I'm Matt and I enjoy playing low stakes NL live when I get the chance to play, which isn't really all too often since I live in Houston and the nearest casino is in Lake Charles, LA. I became interested after playing a couple MTTs with friends and either winning or coming in second in each without really know too much of what I was doing. Then started watching videos on hand stats and theories and picking it up really quickly. Found a couple home games later against some decent players that would take trips out to Vegas and do well, and found myself playing decently against them as well. Last six months or so I've played some live at casinos and done well, knowing what I know now and being able to analyze hands after played.

During that time when I started watching videos and studying poker theory I found the Red Chip podcast and have been listening weekly since. Thought I'd get into some forums to see about getting into convos regarding real hands and optimal play in certain situations.

Hopefully I'll be able to get out to the casinos more but for now I'll remain recreational at 1/2, 1/3, or up 2/5 if I'm feeling confident.


  • JoeOffsuitJoeOffsuit Red Chipper Posts: 468 ✭✭✭
    Welcome to Red Chip Forums Matt!

    Good to see our Texas numbers growing! I think you are the 3rd from Houston. I am one of 3 from the DFW area, we also have members from Rockwall, Killeen, Round Rock, and Texarkana (i believe enough for a full table of Texas Red Chip Members.)

    I understand Houston has a new "Post Oak Poker Room", a table charge club with questionable legality. There are table charge clubs that have been running for a while in Austin and San Antonio. 2 such clubs in Plano closed earlier this momth after getting threatening letters from police, but as they closed a new one opened in nearby McKinney.

    Have you considered playing in a club to save you the haul to Lake Charles?
  • Matt SMatt S Red Chipper Posts: 29 ✭✭
    Thanks Joe! Actually I just heard of post oak this week. I read a news article about the two clubs in Austin a while ago and knew it was only a matter of time before others would take up the same or a similar model. I think I will try to head over there some time soon but I'm curious as to how they'll deal with call ins vs walk ins and wait time.

    Though I do know there's a few clubs that offer free to play tourneys at some local bars, but most of those are inside the loop on weeknights and I live outside the beltway so it's pretty tough getting out there. Besides, I'm more interested in actually playing for something other than bar gift cards haha.

    However there is a nearby bar that hosts tourneys most nights that require a buy-in. Probably also borderline legal but they've been doing it for a while without any problems. So unfortunately for now the best option will be the 2.5 hr drive until the membership model becomes more popular or TX laws change.
  • JoeOffsuitJoeOffsuit Red Chipper Posts: 468 ✭✭✭
    Yeah, any place that makes money in any way from poker, even just hourly seat charge, I think will have a very hard time holding up in a Texas court the way the code is written. In the DFW area, there are legal private home games (private dwelling, no public advertisement, no selling anything at the game, no rake, no tip, and no profit makes it legal in Texas) and I am sure there are some in Houston. If the bar games require a buy-in thats not for charity and/or goes to a prize pool, then yeah, borderline legal at best!
  • SammwiggSammwigg Red Chipper Posts: 119 ✭✭
    Matt, how is your search going for poker rooms Houston?

    Post Oak Poker, Mint Poker and Lions Palace Poker seem to be having success.
    All three:
    • Usually no wait to get on a table.
    • All have daily tournaments
    •. All have good action on the cash games
  • Matt SMatt S Red Chipper Posts: 29 ✭✭
    @Sammwigg Haven't really had an opportunity to play here at home lately, but I did make it out to LC for a couple days after Christmas. Decent win again!

    However I did stop in to Mint for a couple minutes as I was driving by one night to check out the venue and their rules, and the manager was nice enough to give me a couple cards that would waive the day membership for first timers. So I need to take advantage of that and have a looonnggg session haha. Room looked exactly as you say; no wait, pretty good action going.

    I also ran across another place a few weeks ago called VIP Poker Club on 45S at Edgebrook. Not sure it's still running though, seeing as the website's down and it can't be found on google maps anymore. :/ Though that area of town is pretty shady...

    Have you heard of this SIGH organization by the way? They list all three of these as illegal, and recently posted a cease and desist letter sent from Webster's city attorney to Mint. You know if this group is having any effect?
  • JoeOffsuitJoeOffsuit Red Chipper Posts: 468 ✭✭✭
    I haven't heard of a "SIGH organization". But I do know that up in DFW, 2 Poker Rooms in Plano and 1 in McKinney, all using the "room charge" model, all got cease and desist letters late last year. They all reached out to their cities that sent the letters, but the cities refused to discuss it further, as any discussion they considered to be legal advice. The rooms ended up closing. Earlier in the year a room in Dallas using the "room charge" model got raided by police. Thank goodness its just an hour drive to Oklahoma from here....
  • Matt SMatt S Red Chipper Posts: 29 ✭✭
    @JoeOffsuit SIGH is their acronym for "Stop Illegal Gambling Houston". What's ironic about them is that they are extremely focused on the 3 establishments here that are completely open and willing to follow any rules to be legal, trying to provide safe and fair places to play poker. They display no effort or attempt to identify the numerous underground locations here that are truly illegal per current Texas law, not that I agree with Texas gambling laws.
  • KemahPhilKemahPhil Red Chipper Posts: 108 ✭✭
    edited January 2018
    Turns out the Cease and Desist order in relation to Mint that SIGH posted was phony. According to Mint personnel, they had a few issues with the Webster (city where they are located) establishment but those issues have been resolved.

    VIP is closed for reasons that, to the best of my knowledge, were unrelated to legality. The Texas laws relating to poker are very vague and these clubs (there are at least 6 currently in the Houston area) believe that they are operating legally although that belief has never been tested in court.
  • SammwiggSammwigg Red Chipper Posts: 119 ✭✭
    VIP’s business model was based on getting revenue from advertising to the players as they sat at the tables and played. Many thought that was not going to be sustainable.

    A new Venue just came onto the Houston scene “Steel House”.

    Steel House, Prime Social and Post Oak Poker can all be found on the Poker Atlas ap.
  • TxChipperTxChipper Red Chipper Posts: 22 ✭✭
    San Antonio Card House seems to be doing well - 19 tables with tournaments every night and good action cash games.
  • SammwiggSammwigg Red Chipper Posts: 119 ✭✭
    Good to hear. Have you played at Rounders in San Antonio?
  • TxChipperTxChipper Red Chipper Posts: 22 ✭✭
    No I have not - about a mile from where I work, SA Card House is about 5 minutes from my house. Card house is at 281 & Redland Rd.
    Are you going to be in Vegas for the Red Chip Meetup?
  • SammwiggSammwigg Red Chipper Posts: 119 ✭✭
    I will make a visit to the SA card house next time we get to SA.

    We don’t arrive in Vegas until the 14th and then again on the 28th. I think the meetup is before that.
  • SammwiggSammwigg Red Chipper Posts: 119 ✭✭
    Rounders is a well run card room. Nice place, but only had a couple of tables running when we dropped in. You can find it on Poker Atlas. That is how I found it.

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