Russ Martin needs to talk to Dale Hansen, who learned the hard way, after setting up a similar charity poker tournament, that the TABC doesn’t like cards — or at least not when alcohol is being served near them. Because if you give out prizes based on card-playing performance, you’re breaking the law in Texas. Remember the wonderful La Riata tourney that preceded the Texas Stampede and became less wonderful when they had to change all the rules (instead of the winner actually winning, everyone who entered the tourney was entered in a drawing — which doesn’t sound much like poker)?
Most district attorneys aren’t going to fool around with a high-profile event like Russ’, which means the cops probably won’t bother — especially given that Russ is raising money for the families of slain cops. But the TABC will bother. If Paradise Cove has a liquor license, the TABC will threaten to revoke it. And Russ won’t have anywhere to host his tourney. That’s what happened to Dale Hansen a few years back at Lone Star Park. And who will blow the whistle on Russ? There are several local outfits that produce “casino nights” and the like that don’t run afoul of the law. One of them will call the TABC and alert them to what’s going on.