TWO POKER ITEMS FOR YOUR EYES

1. Mistake yesterday. There was another Dallas guy in the WSOP tourney. Name was Webber Kang. He finished 98th and took home $77,700. And our guy Tex from McKinney is now in third place. Standings here.

2. The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission sucks. I’ve written in this space before about how they have cracked down on charity poker tournaments. Okay, fine. The house, in essence, takes a rake during those games–even if the “rake” goes to charity. But now they’ve taken it one step further:

This week, our home game will not be able to play at the Knights of Columbus hall I belong to. We’ve played there many times before. Everything has been copacetic. Because no money goes to the house. It’s simply a game among gentlemen. Now comes word that the TABC has told the KoC that if money changes hands, cards can’t happen. They’ll revoke the liquor license.

Thing is, though, the TABC is sending two messages. My contact at the KoC tells me that there are two factions within the TABC: the rule maker and the rule enforcers. So the TABC cops show up at a joint and say, “You can’t allow people to play cards in here.” And the proprietor says, “But I checked with the rule makers. They said it was fine.” Whereupon the TABC cops say, “Those guys don’t know what they’re talking about. Game over.”

The TABC is a goofy organization that exercises its power simply so that it can retain those powers. Read its mission statement:

This code is an exercise of the police power of the state for the protection of the welfare, health, peace, temperance and safety of the people of the state. It shall be liberally construed to accomplish this purpose.

A gathering of Christian men (and, for good measure, a few God-fearing Jews) on a Thursday evening at a Knights of Columbus hall for the purpose of fellowship and a little wagering on a game of skill is not going to endanger the welfare, health, peace, temperance, or safety of the people of the state. Well, okay, maybe that temperance thing might be in trouble. But you get my point.

The TABC is bureaucracy drunk on its own power. And it’s time for it to go.

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