WPT DeepStacks To Make Historic Stop in Texas

WPT DeepStacks To Make Historic Stop in TexasTexas is one of the strictest states when it comes to gambling, with no gambling allowed aside from the Texas Lottery, horse and greyhound racing, and a number of Indian casinos.
Even the state’s bingo, raffles, and poker tournaments are required to be charitable events, which is why many gaming analysts were scratching their heads recently after the World Poker Tour-DeepStacks recently announced it would be stopping off in “The Lone Star State” come September.
Five New Stop
The WPT DeepStacks has announced a number of new stops for its Season 5 schedule, including the Thunder Valley, Seminole Hard Rock, and Playground Poker Club. The location causing the most amount of bewilderment, however, was Houston, Texas, which is to play host to the $100K GTD WPT DeepStacks Houston Main Event from September 21-25. The $1,000 buy-in tournament will take place at the FreeRolls Poker Club, whose name gives a clue as to how the first non-charity major poker tournament will be allowed to take place in Texas
Non-Profitable Activity
Poker clubs in Texas have to adhere to draconian state laws, with anyone skirting the rules subject to legal scrutiny from authorities. Amongst the requirements that need to be satisfied in order for venues to offer poker is that their games must be held in a private place; all players must have an equal chance of winning; and all payments taken must be paid out as winnings to participants. The last provision, of course, makes it impossible for cardrooms to earn any rake or profit from games, thus ensuring that all gambling at membership clubs constitutes a non-profitable activity.
FreeRolls Poker Club
Against this backdrop, the FreeRolls Poker Club in Texas, unlike the state’s other traditional card rooms, offers daily, monthly, or annual subscriptions allowing members to play at the venue for as long as they like, with no further associated costs. The club does earn some extra money, though, via advertisements shown on touchscreens located on each individual table.
The WPT DeepStacks Houston Main Event will subsequently take place at the FreeRolls Poker Club in September, with both the club and the WPT expressing their confidence that everything will be legal according to Texas laws. In fact, FreeRolls Poker Clubs CEO Charles Potter has said that the Houston Police Department has even green-lighted the event, with Trent Daniel, business development director of FreeRolls, stating:
“We were informed that as long as we stayed with the model we showed them, FreeRolls would be totally in compliance with the law. At FreeRolls, we decided early on that we were not willing to operate under a loophole in the law, but opted to find a way to operate completely within the plain letter of the law, and that is why we were such an attractive proposition to WPTDeepstacks.”
Tournament Rules
In order to enter the WPT DeepStacks Houston, a player must first pay a $100 membership, with all other funds collected subsequently going directly towards the tournament’s prize pool, meaning any re-entries will cost just $1,000. In other words, the cardroom will earn its revenues only from memberships fees, in addition to money derived from its advertisers and sponsors.
Meanwhile, WPTDeepStacks executive director Chris Torina says that his brand is excited to be leading the way in Texas, and was hopeful that the “first-class live event” would pioneer the way for future tournaments to be held in the State of Texas. Furthermore, the event has already attracted a great deal of interest from the public, including on social media, indicating that it was likely to prove a hugely popular affair.
“Our partner in Houston, FreeRolls Poker Club, has assured us that they comply, and will continue to comply, with all local and state laws, and have given us a firm grasp on how the venue itself conducts business. We also looked at this event as a marketing initiative to help expand the game of poker not only in Houston, but in Texas as a whole,” explains Torina.

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