Opening a Card Room in Houston (2 Viewers)

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Jan 2019 to Mar 2019
 

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CallTheClock

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So after contributing to @TwoHomie 's post about opening a card room in Texas... it got me going back to the drawing board on my idea of opening one on my own... and the more I talk with my co-workers about it, the more of a real possibility it becomes.

Here are the initial thoughts:

Relatively small space, probably no more than 2,000-3,000 sq ft

Located within walking distance of the IAH airport hotels that are frequently occupied by airline crew members.

5 regular tables and a "feature table" for high-stakes games, tournament FTs and maybe a weekly/monthly live-stream

Lounge area with couches, food/beverages, maybe one of those coin-operated pool tables and some arcade games.

Catered to attract transient airline crewmembers and travelers, who will in turn attract regs looking to make money off of them.


If I end up going ahead with the idea of getting this off the ground, I will share the journey here on the forum and elicit suggestions/ideas from the members here. This would be a unique chance for the forum to help with the formation of a poker room... making sure it's built and run the way poker players would want it to be run.


Let me get the obvious comments/questions out of the way...

NO, I am not getting Paulsons... the reasons for that are many and obvious... most likely they will be ceramics...

YES, I will offer to sell our $1s and $5s at face value + shipping to the membership if there is interest for it.... and I will order enough chips to handle a massive harvesting operation if need be... I might even add in a Grand Opening run for this purpose...

I will be contacting PokerAtlas for a quote for their TableCaptain system to allow for live waitlists, player-tracking, etc... it seems like good system and a lot of card rooms around here use them.



I am curious to see what some of you have to say about the idea. While the Houston poker scene does seem to be a little crowded, the only one reasonably close to the airport is The Hangar, and they aren't going after the same player type and they aren't as conveniently located for those without cars as I plan to be. Any and all constructive feedback is welcome.

If you live in the Houston area and are interested in partnering up to get this off the ground, let me know and maybe we can work something out. Also, anyone who would like to help out in the design of the chip labels, custom cards / cut cards / dealer buttons / etc. let me know and I'll get in touch with you if this does actually launch.
Let us know if this gets kicked off. I'm in the Houston area and will definitely come out and support!
 

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1) There is a basically 0% chance of them shutting the poker social club thing down... there is far too much money that has gone into this over the past few years, and the municipalities desperately need the tax revenue these places generate.
The city Houston, like all large cities, organized crime controls illegal gambling. Taxes isn’t something they’re worry about paying, cash business. I’ve worked at poker rooms, show up, boss tells me to leave, we are done. We're not handing around to be put in jail. It’s doesn’t make the news, we move on with our lives. The room is up for sell.
 

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Location? Source?
Legends Poker Room, planned 25 tables room, currently setup with 20 for roominess with ability to add more. Most poker room doesn't have the amount of tables listed on Poker Atles, walk into JC88 right now, less than half of the 65 tables listed. The location is 9275 Richmond Dr, Houston, TX 77042, across the (Ocee) street from JC88. At the time of this post, Legends is still building out and yet to opened.
 

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How much weight does that one star ranking carries when they're "still building out and yet to opened"?
 

MrCatPants

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https://www.pokernewsdaily.com/john...losed-under-questionable-circumstances-35033/

Good News: Less competition
Bad News: The government may be getting involved now
There's evidently more detail here.

Supposedly the guys who ran 52 social sold it to the 88 social group. Then the 52 social group opened a club effectively right next door. Then as alluded to in the article, there were a few "events" (as well as pull from the original owners with the new club) that basically saw all of 88's player base move to legends next door.

Guess no one thought of doing a non compete in the sale process.
 

chicubs1988

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There's evidently more detail here.

Supposedly the guys who ran 52 social sold it to the 88 social group. Then the 52 social group opened a club effectively right next door. Then as alluded to in the article, there were a few "events" (as well as pull from the original owners with the new club) that basically saw all of 88's player base move to legends next door.

Guess no one thought of doing a non compete in the sale process.
The big issue is that there are reports that Johnny Chan's doesn't have the funds to actually cash people out who are still holding chips. They've apparently been limiting cashouts to 2k max for the last few weeks.
 

Frogzilla

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The big issue is that there are reports that Johnny Chan's doesn't have the funds to actually cash people out who are still holding chips. They've apparently been limiting cashouts to 2k max for the last few weeks.
They’ve been using player funds for business expenses? Seriously?!
 

MrCatPants

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Probably started doing it once they were losing traffic. Expenses pile up quick - that's a big rent and staff expense every month if you are only running a couple tables.
 

chicubs1988

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They’ve been using player funds for business expenses? Seriously?!
Not sure. On reddit people were claiming that the problems ranged from poor accounting to previous and/or current owners just taking cash from the business. The "death blow" allegedly came when some controversy between the poker room and the regular whales led to all of the whales cashing out chips (or trying to) and going elsewhere.

https://www.poker.org/financing-sho...-december-winter-classic-series-cancellation/
 

Frogzilla

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Not sure. On reddit people were claiming that the problems ranged from poor accounting to previous and/or current owners just taking cash from the business. The "death blow" allegedly came when some controversy between the poker room and the regular whales led to all of the whales cashing out chips (or trying to) and going elsewhere.

https://www.poker.org/financing-sho...-december-winter-classic-series-cancellation/
“Poor accounting” in this instance seems like a nice way of saying “fraud”

How secure are their chips…do they use RFID? If there is a counterfeiting op going on, it’s possible it wouldn’t be obvious while large numbers of high denoms are held by players. Then, everyone cashes in, and you find out you have a problem. Hmmmmmm
 

MrCatPants

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“Poor accounting” in this instance seems like a nice way of saying “fraud”

How secure are their chips…do they use RFID? If there is a counterfeiting op going on, it’s possible it wouldn’t be obvious while large numbers of high denoms are held by players. Then, everyone cashes in, and you find out you have a problem. Hmmmmmm
Hologram labeled plastics of some sort. Likely would be hard to get the inlay right, but not impossible.

16256040114118775784588363886845.jpg
 

MrCatPants

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What good would a non-compete do when most rooms have a front man? This isn’t Corporate America.
Non competes in a sale generally restrict investing in/backing competing entities in the defined market as well.

If these rooms are indeed "legal", would think they could show damages in this situation. That said I could see no one wanting to poke the government bear on this either.
 

Highli99

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Non competes in a sale generally restrict investing in/backing competing entities in the defined market as well.

If these rooms are indeed "legal", would think they could show damages in this situation. That said I could see no one wanting to poke the government bear on this either.
There’s always one on the short end willing to “burn it all down”. Greed could pull it all down if folks aren’t careful.
 

Highli99

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Polk just wants to capitalize on the drama, he doesn't give two licks about "helping the players"
I’ve heard he is considering opening up a room and he knows how bad it will be for business if players get stiffed. So it may be selfish, but I think he probably does care about positive outcomes for players.

Good reminder that spending player funds on operating expenses is bad for business, if that’s what happened here. Like a replay of full tilt.
 

trigs

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I’ve heard he is considering opening up a room and he knows how bad it will be for business if players get stiffed. So it may be selfish, but I think he probably does care about positive outcomes for players.

Good reminder that spending player funds on operating expenses is bad for business, if that’s what happened here. Like a replay of full tilt.
Why would a competing poker room stiffing players be bad business for Polk wanting to start his own poker room?
 
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