30 April 2008

Canberra Poker Players Association

| papadoc
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After sitting by and watching poker explode worldwide in the last 2 years, it has been saddening to see the inactivity of our local government when it comes to capitalising on this issue. I have decided to start a poker players association to help the people of Canberra who want to play, play locally instead of over the border.

Since 2005 I have travelled to Sydney and Melbourne regularly to play No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em for cash and prizes and yet if I want to do it in Canberra I can only pay the massive fee’s at Canberra Casino for one tounament per week or $200 minimum cash games on Wed-Sun. The casino is the only premisis within the ACT to hold a Texas Hold ‘Em poker licence and to play anywhere else is considered a crime as local legislation classes Texas Hold Em as an illegal game. Even if I have more than 9 people playing in my living room for $1 each, I am still committing a criminal offence.

NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, TAS and NT all have seperate rules when it comes to poker, but they all still permit the playing of “Pub Poker” or variants thereof. Essentially, a company runs games in hotels and clubs for prizes or cash and said company recieves payment on a per player basis from the club for the increse in patronage. NSW currently has a pretty open legislation allowing for cash games to be played for any amount, just about anywhere. The ACT has taken a vastly different approach and outlawed Texas Hold ‘Em and all its variants territory wide, leaving us with little option other than to play in Queanbeyan. What frustrates me and many poker players I know is that by travelling half an hour over the border, we can do as we please, play for a million dollars if we wanted to and then come back to Canberra. The easy solution is to say that that’s fine and carry on crossing the border, but what about the profits we leave over there?

Poker players like to gamble, like to drink and like to eat dinner which is what we’re doing in NSW and these club profits go to community groups and charities in NSW, yet the ACT misses out. If clubs weren’t interested, then fine, but from my own research just about every club in Canberra wants pub poker available to their members as it’s a new form of entertainment available to them. The ACT Government has never budged on this issue and I think that all local players need to take a stand. No-one is willing to listen yet, but with the numbers that I’ve seen playing cards in this town, we have enough people to at least get some answers.

I will be setting up an email soon and for those interested in getting involved, please leave your email in the comments section below and I ill be in contact shortly.


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Come down this monday night to walsh’s Queanbeyan for our first installment of APL $10 entry all money back to the players. Great cash and prizes to win. Also a free BBQ from 5.30pm. Rego 6pm game starts at 7pm

See you all there.

Also dont forget APL @ the Roo’s every tuesday and thursday 6pm rego 7pm start $10 entry. Queanbeyqn Kangaroo Club

Any more information please call Jacqui on 0431627182

The following question was asked on the Riotact questionaires sent out to candidates at the last Territory election:

“Will you vote to allow club style non profit poker card game tournaments to be played in Canberra?”

All Labor candidates who responded gave the ACT Labor standard reply of

“…the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission undertook a review of the current Act.
… the results of the review will be considered in the next term of the Assembly. ACT Labor notes the significant increase in the popularity of club style non-profit poker tournaments and, dependent on the findings of the review, would be willing to give consideration to such tournaments if re-elected”

I can’t find a response from a Green or Liberal who actually got elected.

So, what was the result of this review? Does anyone know? Is it still ongoing?

Caf – in response to your post from last month. Poker is still on every Monday night (bar public holidays) at the Eagle Hawk Pub.

Kicks off shortly after 7pm. $10 rebuys for the first 30mins.

Are they ever going to pass whatever it is so we can play poker like NPL at the clubs in Canberra???

There’s (used to be, at least) also poker at Eaglehawk, which is just over the border on the Federal Hwy so closer than Queanbeyan for northsiders.

I should have added that this is for QBN only. There are other places close to the ACT (eg. Captain’s Flat, Jerrabomberra, Bungendore) where you’ll find poker going on.

So… I don’t know what’s happening with this forum. Seems like its down.

I’ve summarised the poker going on over the border for myself and thought others might find the info useful.

National Poker League

QBN Bowls
97 Campbell St
3.30Rego, 4pm start $10 Cash game
5pm, 6pm start Free game

14 Yass Road
Rego6pm, Start 7
$10 entry

QBN Golf club
1 Brown St
$10 entry
6pm, 7pm start

30 Queenbar Rd
$15 entry / $5 raked for final game
6pm, 7pm start

Australian Poker League

Kangaroo RLFC
Cnr Stuart St & Richard Av
6pm Rego
$10 Entry

Hey guys, the forum’s up and running. Check out http://www.canberrapoker.forumsland.com/


Finally found a Canberra poker forum!!! I play weekly out at Queanbeyan but its a hell of a drive back to Belconnen each Tuesday night. Its a good night dont get me wrong, but can only have 2 or 3 beers then drive home a bit worse for wear in pitch black conditons for 30 mins isnt much fun. I was wondering if anyone knows if there are home games in Canberra where we could go and drink a few cans and play cards without worrying about driving etc. I have a poker table i won still in the box.lol. If anyone is keen to get together let us know. Email is obrien00 at grapevine dot com dot au Cheers

awesome, I’m interested too. But only I I get to wear dark glasses and drink whisky. I’ll hold a cigar if I get to the finals.

I’m not a big poker player but I am a big believer in peoples right to play poker where and when they see fit.

My email is jakezanoni AT yahoo DOT com DOT au

…take that spambots…I hope.

No progress on the Association as yet. been too busy with work. Just letting everyone know that there’s a $100 buy in touney this Saturday from 1pm at the Eagle Hawk hotel on the Highway. Be there!!!

mitchapotamos4:14 pm 01 Jul 08

i currently live on the gold coast and am involved in poker leagues and have to say was extremely dissapointed to find that when i move to canberra in a couple of months i will only be able to play at a casino which can cost alot of money. I use the leagues for a great social night out and have met many friends and even gotten to play for a decent ammount of money with no cost to me except a few beers and some good fun poker.

I’ll join. This is a great idea.

Hey guys, I’m having a shitload of trouble even trying to set up the website. I’ll post again soon when it’s all up and running.

All ACT legislation is available at http://www.legislation.act.gov.au. In this particular case, you’re after the Unlawful Games Act 1984 and the subordinate Unlawful Games Regulation 2007.

Note that charity games aren’t legalised yet, that was a draft recommendation of the above review, but as the review has’t been finalised yet, the recommendations haven’t been implemented.

just to update my previous posts, I’m looking at setting something up. I have a venue in North Canberra that might be interested. I was thinking of having a charity thing, with an ‘entry fee’ and want to know where I can find the legislaton regarding this. I work for a community group, and plan to set this up soon.


There is still nothing in the report that explains why Scrabble tournaments are allowed, but Texas Hold’em tournaments are not.

this sucks. im from adelaide and poker was everywhere, but there is nothing here. i’m more than happy to get involved in this.
also, im looking for someone to help teach some people how to play poker. if anyone is keen, use the contact form?

I’ve just read the Review of the Unlawful Games Act 1984 and I am appalled at how one sided and bias it was. It is very clear by reading this document that the outcome of the “study” was quite clearly decided before the study was undertaken.

papadoc I would not let this document deter you in your quest to setup a Poker Players Association one bit. The playing of club style poker is something that the community wants. The fact that some bureaucratic instrument that has been manipulated by the casino and righteous morally zealot individuals that believe they have a divine right to control the greater society should be ignored. The decision to allow club style poker should come from the people. The way to move forward is the ACT elections. Politicians may not listen to individuals but they are scared as hell of loby groups.

The decision to allow club style poker tournaments in Canberra is a no-brainer The most blindingly obvious indicator of this is the table in the report that show that every State in Australia allows it and they have only recently changed laws to do so. The states of Australia represent 95% of the population.

I know the boys who used to run ClubPoker until NPL took over all their venues, and they spent a good 12-18 months and alot of their hard earned money fighting the ACT Government and the Casino to get Pub Poker legal here in the ACT. They even had probably 90% of the Canberra Clubs interested. Unfortunately they got nowhere.

There is supposedly some loophole that states Casino Canberra has the monopoly of any game they are licenced for and it is illegal for any other venue to run their games, whether it be for free or a $ amount. This includes home/private games.

For those who dont want to drive out to Queanbeyan or Jerra to play their poker. Chris from Clubpoker still runs Monday nights out at the Eagle Hawk Hotel. $15 to play, $10 goes into the prize pool and $5 goes into a big jackpot. Get on a final table and you win a seat to play the jackpot game. The game is very friendly and relaxed !

I’d be interested to know how the Venue is able to run poker if what previously stated is true !?!?!?!

After reading that report I guess this doesn’t have legs after all. As far as not being able to capitalise on the issue it seems that it would be a “net cost” to government, so in the mean time I’m happy to cross the border. Eagle Hawk is only 10 minutes away.

the inactivity of our local government when it comes to capitalising on this issue

issue? issue? how is this an ‘issue’? it might be a dearth to you, if you happen to wanna play poker, but it’s hardly to be called an ‘issue’ as far as a government with a lot more serious matters on its hands goes…

and as for why there’s no poker in pubs in canberra, there’s no pubs.

as for why there’s no pubs in canberra, there’s no corners.

Wide Boy Jake10:55 am 01 May 08

This reminds me of a sign I saw outside a pub on the Gold Coast back in the 1980s – “Liquor up the front, poker in the rear”.

Sorry, that’s the Tigers Club.

@ Verbal – Tommorow or sometime before 9pm tonight I’ll post up an email address to send details to as well as a link to an online petition and Facebook group site. I’ll also have petitions and registration forms at all NPL and Club Poker events soon.

Ideally I would’ve set up an email account last night, but kinda got stuck in at the Tigers clup NPL final…

I’ll do it tonight and post it up. Simon from the NPL has also said that we have his full backing and he’ll help out with printing, put it in the newsletter etc.

Stay tuned…

Yeah, never understood why there wasn’t any poker in Canberra – happy to help out if I can.

Do you need me to post an email address, or is posting here sufficient for you to get my contact details?

Great idea. I love playing when I’m visiting rellies in Syd and on-line but never seem to get my act together to go over the border. Some poker in town would be very nice. I’ll join in the fight.

How is that possible based on the aforementioned legislation problems?

The Venue in Erindale will be doing pub texas holdem poker shortly

papadoc, you’re five months too late!

It looks like the ACT Gambling and Racing Commission is already most of the way through a review of the current legislation. Second stage of consultations closed in December last year.

This is still only a draft policy, of course, so it could still change.

The bad news is that they aren’t planning to introduce Pub Poker in the ACT. The good news is that they plan to remove the arbitrary 9 person cap on private gaming (if I’m reading it right).

Yeah I’m definitely behind you on this one. What most nonplayers don’t realise is that poker is a game of skill, not just blind chance (there’s a reason why there’s professional poker players, but no professional roulette players).

By the way, there’s been pub poker at Eagle Hawk Hill (just over the border on the Federal Hwy) in the past, too – and a little closer than Queanbeyan for northsiders.

papadoc, you are a champion, more power to you. I’ve been waiting for someone to setup a group like you are planning for some time now.

I used to play club poker and it was a lot of fun, Queanbeyan is too far so I don’t play so much now. I don’t see why the good people of the ACT are missing out on all the fun, just because our politicians are behind the times and not keeping up with this world-wide trend. Right now is a perfect time to raise this issue as a local election is looming and it could be a big vote winner for a bright minded politician. I think that for it to succeed you will need some (financial) backing from clubs though.

Like the idea – am intrigued by where it will go.

I’ve just moved from Sydney and thought pub poker would be a great way to meet people as a new guy in town.

I was staggered to find it absent here. Practically every pub in Sydney proclaims its poker schedule proudly on the events board.

You don’t even have to play for cash. For instance, the Australian Poker League (of which I am a member) runs weekly events at pubs and clubs where everyone is invited to come and play for free (its free to sign up too). It’s a league in the true sense in that your points for finishing highly accumulate from week to week and you can be eligible to win invitations to events like State Tournaments and even the big Pro events if you can make it to the top.

If you bomb out early in the evening on the free game you can play in sanctioned cash-games. $11 buy-in per player, $1 goes to GST and the rest in the kitty, up for winnings.

Sanctioning games like this provides other activities for clubs to engage people in and reduce their reliance on income from pokies. After all, K-Rudd has declared his hate of the pokie machines.

The druids of Casino Canberra… (Same guys who stopped my 3 card monte ring.)

The Pub Poker games of Texas Hold Em are free to enter tournaments run usually weekly for cash and prizes at clubs, pubs, hotels etc. Companies such as http://www.nationalpokerleague.com.au charge clubs $5 per player and the clubs make money though players buying food, drinks, playing pokies etc.

Funny you should mention “a bunch of guys with eyeshades on, smoking and drinking whiskey, playing with cards?” as this sterotype is one that’s holding poker back in the ACT. The reality of the situation is that there are just as many seniors playing poker as there are people under 25.

Google Texas Hold Em if you want to find out the rules or search the above website for games in QBN as they’re a lot of fun and free *most* of the time with instructors who can teach you how to play in 10 minutes!

This is an awesome idea. Unless Casino Canberra has some kind of restrictive covenant I reckon this has an excellent chance of getting off the ground if done correctly.

The Labor Clubs probably can’t work out how to make a quid on it, so there’s nothing in it for Sonic.

What on earth is this pub poker texas hold ’em?! Is it some kind of machine like Keno, or something with a wheel and a little ball? Or a bunch of guys with eyeshades on, smoking and drinking whiskey, playing with cards?

A bloke where I worked (bright young recent-grad-trainee) used to nick off to Vegas every few months for a few days and play poker. Made a heap each time and was rather keen on the whole thing.
This was an Aussie, not a yank btw.

Anyone who feels uncomfortable leaving their Email address here can send it in via the contact form and i will pass them on.

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