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Texas Poker Road Trip

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(12-21 June 2021)

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I just returned from a road trip through Texas. My objective was to play poker in as many of these new “Private Social Poker Clubs” as I could, and to collect some $1 chips to add to my collection. Before I even returned home, several people had contacted me asking for trip details. Some were considering making a similar poker road trip through Texas and others just wanted to know how Texas poker clubs operate. My casino chip collector friends wanted details on the house chips, tip chips, time chips, and whatever else is used in Texas. They were looking to trade or purchase chips before I made it back to Florida. I figured that I’d put this trip report together to answer as many questions as possible.

My trip covered 2,250 miles and I visited 21 poker rooms in 9 days. I stayed in Houston, Austin, and San Antonio, but also traveled to some of their suburbs where a few outlier clubs are located. If you’re planning a similar trip, I’d suggest mapping out the clubs you’d like to visit. Most of these clubs are tiny – under 10 tables – and that’s just what fits in their space. Usually most of these tables are unused, with only 1-3 tables ever seeing any play. This means that you might have heard of a club one month, but by the time you make your trip they’ve gone out of business.

I had followed the birth of “legal” poker in Texas from when it began to spring up about 3 years ago. Early operators looked for loopholes in the law and figured they just might try to open a poker room. Some towns had more pressing issues to focus on and left the poker rooms alone, while other cracked down and raided a few of them. Eventually, the rooms were left alone and the number of clubs grew.


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