Monday, May 04, 2009

WA rules update: No electronic poker tables; all in for $500

The April 2009 issue of the Washington State Gambling Commission's Focus on Gambling newsletter is out today. Poker-related items include:
  • Minors will now be fined up to $125 and 4 days community service for gambling. The governor is expected to sign this bill. Currently, only those to allow minors to gamble are penalized; there is no punishment for minors.
  • The WSGC did not approve PokerTek's electronic tables. We won't be seeing them around here any time soon.
  • There's a rule change up for action in July, allowing quarters or 50¢ pieces to be used for the rake. I expect this will actually reduce the rake a little bit.
And here's the big one: Currently, WAC 230-15-135(1)(c) states that the maximum amount of a single poker wager must be $40 or less. Effective July 1, the limit is the same, except that a player may go all-in in Texas Hold'em for $500 or less, if they have no more than $500 remaining. This is at a way higher level than I'd ever play at, but I'm trying to figure out how this would work. Assuming a $2-$40 spread game, which is the closest we have to No-Limit Hold 'Em off the reservations, we could get a round of:

Small blind: $1
Big Blind: $2
UTG: $40
UTG+1: Call $40, raise $40
Middle position: "All-in for $250"
Fold, fold, fold, and it's to you on the button. You're holding pocket aces, and you've got $600 in chips in front of you. What can you bet while still complying with the law? Remember, "the maximum amount of a single wager must not exceed $40, except that an all-in wager ... may not exceed $500."

I think you're stuck tossing in $40, but that doesn't seem right at all.