I am a poker player, not professional in any way, nor a bad player. This month, a new poker room opened in Portland, Oregon, which gained interest. I had seen lots of tournament poker in bars around Portland but they did not appeal me for any reason.
They were in a bar, which meant a smoky environment and I am not fond of cigarette smoke. The nights of the game varied, often it was like every Tuesday night but not every night, if I wanted to vary my nights of play I had to go to different places. There was no guarantee that I could play if I made the trip to the bar and the seats at the table were already assigned I was SUN, I made the trip for no reason, or I had to wait 2 hours for the next match to start, which may already be all assigned. It was expected to use the facility, and I agree with this if they host a poker game, they should expect participants to buy food, drinks and everything else. But extra bar food is not always in my budget. Because the game was free it was usually crowded and the places taken by regulars who usually did not use the facility, they even had the nerve to bring food or drink from another place to the facility where the game was played.
So, it was unnecessary that I did not play the bar tournaments a lot. In step, this new poker room, the National Poker Challenge, opens a new place here in Portland in the Cedar Hills area. I had to check it out and I was pleasantly surprised. They had raised all the problems I had with bar tournaments.
The room was non-smoking, a smoking area had been set outside for the players who had to get their addiction to get their corrections. There are games every day, several times a day. They open at 15:00 and close at 10:00 with their first game at 15:15 and their last game at around 8:30. They have online registration available or you can call a place to a place if the game is full they can tell you the likelihood that you will fit as an alternative and if they do not have enough players for a game they will call you and tell so. They exercise an in-your-seat policy, when the game starts if you are not in your place or at least called and told you that you are on the way, you get the seat of an alternate. Because the venue is dedicated to the game and not a bar or restaurant itself, there is no expectation to buy anything from the facility because poker is its business.
Their business model is similar to the barstars by not playing for money, but plays for points and statistical analysis of your game. Rather than charging the bar owners to run the tournaments, they take the players directly and statistically track the players to play. Players are charged a monthly subscription that pays for the facilities, dealers and statistics tracking. They offer inviting tournaments for the best players who have money and prices. There is no fee for the inviting tournament. So is this gambling?
According to the Oregon Department of Justice, it is because the players pay a fee to play and there are prices at the end. But what does this different from other events? Are there poker chips? Are poker players discriminated because they use a piece of clay to track their points during a game? Keep in mind that you can get a chess tournament with an entry fee, there are prizes at the end for the best players, but is the Ministry of Justice called the game?
You can have a marathon where the runners pay an entry fee and there are prices at the end, and most runners do not even have the chance to finish first, but is this game called? But because poker players play a game that uses chips, it is called playing when the games they pay do not even have prices. So, does it play again? In my humble opinion, No is not gambling. You play a game of skill and have your skill tracked. I hope Oregon DoJ does not succeed in discriminating against this site and releases its investigation.