Chris Moneymaker likes to gamble, and he’s doing that with his new Moneymaker Poker Series. The tour, which begins in July, includes two stops in Texas, a state where poker’s legality depends on who you ask.
Nine club operators from two Houston-area card rooms were arrested during a raid earlier this month. The card rooms were shut down due to alleged organized crime and illegal gambling.
Gambling technically isn’t legal in Texas except on an Indian reservation. But poker room owners believe they found a loophole in the law and feel they’ve been operating legally. Police disagree yet many card rooms remain open. Moneymaker, as he prepares for the start of his poker series, is asking Texans to support their local poker clubs.
Support your local Texas card rooms pic.twitter.com/wX6Mf3qbky
— Chris Moneymaker (@CMONEYMAKER) May 20, 2019
Moneymaker Poker Series Dates and Locations
PokerStars ambassador Chris Moneymaker is launching a Moneymaker Poker Series in Australia and the USA. The 2003 world champion, certainly one of the biggest names in poker history, admits he is “concerned” with Texas card rooms being shutdown at any time, but he’s excited to come to the Lone Star State.
Moneymaker Poker Series 2019 Schedule
- July 22-28 Brisbane Australia (Acacia Ridge)
- July 30-August 3 Adelaide, Australia (Royal Poker Club)
- August 14-18 Edinburg, Texas (The House Club Poker Room and Lounge)
- August 20-25 Corpus Christi, Texas (Poker Kings Card House)
Buy-ins and full schedules for each stop haven’t been released yet. But Moneymaker told CardsChat News he is “shooting for a $500 Main Event buy-in” at each location. He said the entry fees “will depend on the market.”
Moneymaker also admits the legal issues in Texas are a “concern” but is “still going to support them.”
What’s Going on in Texas?
On May 1, Houston police raided two local card rooms and arrested nine operators in connection with illegal gambling. Authorities claim the owners operated illegally and shut down the Post Oak Poker Club and Prime Social.
In Texas, traditional gambling is against the law. But the local poker rooms feel they’ve found a loophole in the law. They operate in a different manner than a regular card room. To avoid prosecution, they don’t charge rake or sell alcohol. Instead, players pay a membership and seat fee to access the club and sit down at a poker table. And the club operators don’t sell booze but a cocktail waitress will deliver alcohol that is brought in by the customer.
It’s questionable just how legal these poker clubs are, but the owners believe they’re doing nothing wrong. That includes Daniel Kebort, one of the individuals arrested in the May 1 raid.
CardsChat spoke to Kebort last year about his card room, the Post Oak Poker Club. He was confident he wasn’t breaking any laws.
“I’m in constant contact with local authorities, advising them on what we do and they have yet to advise we’ve broken any laws,” he said at the time.
Over a year later and he’s facing criminal charges for allegedly operating an illegal gambling establishment. Although Kebort’s club was shutdown, many others remain open in Texas. And Moneymaker, who is gearing up to launch a poker series, needs poker-playing Texans to help support the industry before other poker rooms are targeted.