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Canberra Poker Players Association

By papadoc - 30 April 2008 42

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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42 Responses to
Canberra Poker Players Association
verbal 8:56 am 01 May 08

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?

jenny green 8:22 am 01 May 08

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.

Cameron 12:32 am 01 May 08

How is that possible based on the aforementioned legislation problems?

realityskin 11:48 pm 30 Apr 08

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

GuruJ 11:36 pm 30 Apr 08

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).

caf 10:54 pm 30 Apr 08

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.

heinous 6:19 pm 30 Apr 08

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.

Cameron 5:56 pm 30 Apr 08

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

Squil 5:39 pm 30 Apr 08

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.

papadoc 4:56 pm 30 Apr 08

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

papadoc 4:55 pm 30 Apr 08

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 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!

eh_steve 4:51 pm 30 Apr 08

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.

cranky 4:28 pm 30 Apr 08

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

ant 4:21 pm 30 Apr 08

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.

Jazz 4:03 pm 30 Apr 08

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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