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Hurricane Harvey Flooding Forces Brand New Houston Poker Room To Close

Catastrophic Storm Disrupts Fledgling Poker Business

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A new poker room in Houston was one of virtually countless local businesses to close this past weekend thanks to the ongoing flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall as a hurricane.

Earlier this month, the Post Oak Poker Club, Texas’ latest poker room, opened in an affluent Houston neighborhood. Owner Daniel Kebort said that the club, which has membership fees rather than a rake, regularly has $50,000 spread on its $5-$5 no-limit hold’em and $5-$5 pot-limit Omaha cash game tables.

There were four tables running when the flooding became too great, he said.

“We were able to stay open until Saturday night at 9 p.m,” Kebort said. “At that time we stopped our games and sent our players home due to the weather. All of our players got out, but by 9:30 p.m. when our staff went to leave our lot was flooded and 16 people were stuck at the club. There is a Hilton next door. Several of my staff went there for the night and then after Saturday’s initial flooding rain they got stuck there and are still there.”

The club is eyeing a Thursday reopening, as rainfall is expected to continue through Wednesday. The Mint Poker Club, another Houston-area card room with the rake-free business model, is also closed until the storm passes, according to its Facebook page.

Local businesses are trying to help with raising funds for flood victims. At least 10 people have been killed so far, according to a report from the New York Times.

“We are currently working to organize a $10,000 buy-in charity tournament with JJ Watt and/or James Harden to try to raise $1 million for local charity,” Kebort said. “We hope to recruit some of our local celebrities, business execs and corporate sponsors to help us reach this goal. If we can pull it together the proceeds raised will go to JJ Watt’s flood relief.”