The Arizona Poker Tour (APT) is a network of venues where Amusement Gambling Poker Tournaments (AGPTs) are played. The members of The Poker Revolution have carefully structured the APT as a series of skill-based poker tournaments pursuant to A.R.S.§13-3301(1)(d)(iv), commonly referred to as the “Chuck E. Cheese” clause.
Under this patent-pending method of compensating players in live poker tournaments, players pay $40 (or $60 if we include dinner/drinks) as an entry fee. Players earn rewards* for each hand they win during a tournament. This is no different than playing games at Dave & Busters where $20 gives you unlimited opportunities to win tickets for an hour. In AGPTs, players also earn rewards by finishing in one of the top spots in the tournament or by winning the “high hand of the hour”.
The amusement gambling exclusion allows TPR to bring the fun and entertainment of tournament poker to popular neighborhood venues that offer, among other things, food and beverage service. TPR provides the equipment and the personnel for our semi-private events. And unlike free pub poker operations - which can cost a venue upwards of $250 - TPR events incur no cost to venue.
* Chuck E. Cheese, et. al., use a tickets or vouchers, which TPR can easily mirror. However, the Tournament Director could easily track points or “virtual vouchers” on a tablet device linked to the overhead monitors in our event space of the venue. Members would also be allowed to “bank” virtual vouchers in the digital voucher vault at www.ArizonaPokerTour.com.
Unlike the social gambling exclusion, the amusement gambling exclusion does not prohibit third party benefit from the gambling activity. The amusement exclusion uses the “lure analysis” or profit motive instead. As a non-profit 501(c)7 organization, TPR avoids the lure analysis completely. However, to maintain our non-profit status, 85% of our club revenue must come from our members. Membership is FREE until such time as the majority of members vote to assess annual fees or dues. Those fees, under the co-operative model, will effectively be used to crowdfund our startup and expansion into additional venues. It takes 100 members to create a co-operative and incorporate in Arizona. This is truly the “co-operative way”, and something we are excited to see to fruition.
We are currently in the process of play testing the AGPT system by playing a $40 traditional home games. Play testing consists of co-operatively tracking the results of each hand... How many players to the flop, turn, river? Showdown? What was the winning hand? After the tournament, we can compare results (Traditional as played vs. AGPT as envisioned). The goal is to finetune the mechanics so AGPTs offer both pay and play comparable to traditional tournaments. If you want to join in the $40 game. At that point, we can switch to playing AGPTs, and start looking for a suitable third-party venue to host a weekly game or two.
REWARD AND REDEMPTION TABLES FOR AGPTs:
Statistics tell us how frequently “distinct hands” are dealt using seven cards from a 52-card deck. The above reward table works for Texas Hold’em and 7-card stud. The tables above are geared towards returning 85% of the entry fees to the players, who compete for known merchandise prizes of value. Any shortfall is TPR’s responsibility to bear. Any gain (profit) is returned to the community by offering traditional, open to the public $1,000 prize pool freerolls as often as possible. What kind of publicity and word of mouth would a $1K freeroll generate? And what kind of benefit would such an event bring to a third party venue? The more we consider such things, the more excited we get about recruiting more members to help out these plans into action as soon as possible.
THE LAST WORD
The Arizona Poker Tour is a points-based skill tracking system that offers players additional monthly, quarterly and annual rewards and benefits. For example, at public freeroll events, members can receive bonus starting chips based on the number of APT venues the visited in the past month.
Since August, 2015, The REAL Arizona State Poker Championship has been successfully registered with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office as amusement gambling pursuant to A.R.S.§13-3301(1)(d)(iii). This annual championship event is NOT an AGPT, but a traditional cash prize pool poker tournament. This event is modeled after the 116th US Open Chess Championship, which the United States Chess Federation brought to Phoenix and conducted at the Arizona Biltmore August 1-9, 2015. No question, Chess is an intellectual contest of skill. Federal case law informs us that poker is predominantly a game of skill. It is fairly self-evident that the degree of skill in poker is attributable to intellectual abilities (mathematics and human psychology).
Neither ADoG or the Attorney General’s Office took umbrage in the US Open “chess for cash” game or contest with a $180 entry fee, a $40K guaranteed cash prize pool projected to $50K based on 500 entries. The ADoG went so far as to offer the unsolicited and unauthorized statement that “The USCF conference and championship does not fall within Arizona’s statutory definition of illegal gambling”. Well imagine that. Midweek during the USCF event our third attempt at registering a poker tournament as amusement gambling under the intellectual games exclusion finally received the AG’s “green light letter”, indicating successful registration with their office. Previous years had resulted in a warning letter that the proposed activity did not appear to comply with the law and suggestions that we consult with a lawyer before proceeding, and earlier in 2015, our third attempt resulted in a rejection letter that “not every person who pays the entry fee receives the cash prize pool”. It was this absurd opinion that prompted us to notify both ADoG and the AG’s office that the 116th US Open Chess Championship appeared to be illegal gambling that similarly did not comply with Arizona’s intellectual gambling exclusion. The US Open cannot be social gambling (there is far to much benefit, from the direct benefit to the USCF to the indirect benefit to the Biltmore), and Title 5 does not regulate chess in Arizona and more than it does poker. That leaves only the amusement gambling exclusion, and since there is no “free replay”, and chess is not a “physical contest” (at least no more than poker), and since tickets or vouchers are not won, but rather cash prizes, blatantly claiming to be based on entry fees. With 500 entries at $180 used to fund a $50K cash prize pool, where does the other $45,000 go? If ADoG’s opinion is correct, that the US Open with it's cash prize pool built by entry fees is NOT illegal gambling in Arizona, then that other $45K goes to the overhead costs associated with conducting the event. That includes flying in the as many chess grandmasters to stay at the Biltmore for 10 days and play for free, it includes transportation, lodging and meals for all the NY-based USCF executives and their support staff for 10 days as well, and all advertising, marketing, promotional costs and any other overhead associated with the event. Basically, the USCF “breaks even” and the cash prizes are not being offered as a lure (the USCF is a 501c3). This is exactly how TPR and the APT are organized and operated as a non-profit, member-owned and managed co-operative club (501c7 for now). TPR like a happy homeowner’s association with 1 million Arizona Poker Players as our goal for 2020. Laugh if you like, but the AGPT system is patent pending, giving TPR exclusive rights in all the states similarly situated to Arizona. 65% of Americans know how to play poker. Arizona has 6.7 million residents. Seven of Arizonas 15 counties don’t even have access to a tribal poker room, and even those that live in the Valley may not want to drive an hour to play poker in an untaxed other nation-state. Can we attract 1 in 3 poker players in Arizona by 2020 who want a better, closer, safer, more fun alternative for a professional poker tournament that what the State offers by relegating poker to the moribund Bureau of Indian Affairs casinos? We think we can. Join us today and help start the revolution!
©2016 The Poker Revolution and the Arizona Poker Tour. AGPT live poker compensation methodology - U.S. Patent Pending