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Poker News: March 30, 2006

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Leaders Say They Will Raise Poker Issue Again

The Texas Hold 'Em e-mail ambush began March 8, and it still isn't over. The e-mail messages have overwhelmed city and county leaders' inboxes with hundreds of pleas to allow a poker room at the Sarasota Kennel Club, an idea that the city shot down two years ago.

There have been so many e-mail messages about the issue that city staffers created a special spam filter to divert them.

But by the time the filter was working, city and county leaders had succumbed and will soon reconsider the kennel club's request.

But even he was surprised that as many as 500 messages have been sent. Meanwhile, Collins said he hears from poker fans about a dozen times a day.

State law allows dog tracks to open poker rooms, as long as the tracks get approval from local governments. Dozens of tracks across Florida have poker rooms, and officials here said they may be open to the idea now that the poker game has become so popular.

Commissioners asked an attorney for Collins to study how other tracks have handled poker rooms.

Collins, whose grandfather ran the track in the 1940s, said he is not sure that the city commissioners understood Hold 'Em when they rejected it at a 2004 meeting.

He remembers them being worried about blackjack and cruise ship gambling, and he blames himself for not giving them a more clear idea about what he envisioned at his track.

As he prepares to ask for a second time, he's given several commissioners tours around the kennel club and shown them how it would work if he were to add about 10 poker tables.

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