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Judge Lee's Arizona Card Room & Social Club

From the Sierra Vista Arizona paper: 

Once the lease ran out in Brewery Gulch, Judge Harold Lee moved his Arizona Cardroom to Fry Blvd. in Sierra Vista and the local poker scene has been flourishing in plain light since with games Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

Harold_leeNews from The Arizona Republic:

Wearing a feathered derby over his graying ponytail, Lee condemns state gambling statutes as unconstitutional, evil, nefarious and anti-historical. He claims poker is part of "our inherent and inalienable right to liberty in the pursuit of happiness." Finally, he contends that a state compact giving Indian tribes the exclusive right to operate casinos is a monopolistic rip-off for Arizona taxpayers. (...)

"I would walk into a cell in the morning if I could drag along the amoral Arizona State Indian Gaming monopoly," he wrote in a letter to the citizens of Tombstone. "If sending an old man to the slammer will help bring down that reprehensible monopoly, great!" (...)

Among Lee's arguments:

  • The regulation of gambling should be conducted only by local government. Towns like Tombstone were founded as gaming centers, Lee says, and would thrive again with poker parlors.  He sites an 1881 ordinance as historic evidence and notes that brothers Wyatt and Virgil Earp regularly enjoyed gambling in the Birdcage Saloon.
  • The state's Indian gaming compact authorizes a "wicked, base and evil" monopoly that has enriched "foreign nations," the tribes, by $2 billion yearly at the expense of Arizona residents.  Lee says the compact violates the Constitution's equal-protection clause and was adopted as an irrational salve for White man's guilt after centuries of mistreating Native Americans.
  • Arizona laws against gambling are hypocritical because the state operates a lottery based entirely on chance, with far worse odds of winning than poker.


Michael Consolo

Someone give this to Judge Lee.

What do Shaquille O’Neil and Doyle Brunson have in common?.....They are both Professional Athletes!

I looked into the idea of forming a State of California vocational school for the profession of Professional Poker Player. I have developed and obtained state approval for four vocational schools in the field of paralegal in the past. Vocational schools in California cover hundreds of vocations such as paralegals, truck drivers, barbers, and even casino card dealers. A legal vocational diploma can be granted. All that is needed to obtain state approval is a profession defined by the federal government and listed in their Occupational Code Assignment (the OCA), this use to be called the Federal Dictionary of Occupational Titles.

I quickly found out that there was no such federal listing for Professional Poker Player. Listed under amusement & recreation were “Gambling Monitor” code #343.367-014, “Gambling Dealer” code #343.464-010, “Card Room Attendant I (chip person) code #343.467-010 and “Card Player” (prop player employed by a casino) code 343.367.010. There was no title or code for a person whose sole source of income was as a self-employed professional poker player.

I submitted an application to the United States Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, to define the vocation of Professional Poker Player and to have an appropriate code number assigned. I had to supply information on fifteen areas for their approval process. These fifteen areas are: Name of Occupation; Purpose of Occupation; Occupational Tasks; Work Activities; Interactions with other people; Physical Activities; Skills needed; Knowledge Areas; Educational Preparation; Training/Experience; Any Machines, Equipment, Tools, and Software; Products(s)/Services delivered; Primary Industry occupation is found; Any web sites/Resources about the occupation can be found (I did list Card Player); and the reason why I want this occupational code assignment.
I submitted information on all these areas. I would like to mention I did seek input form several well-known individuals in the poker world and not one wished to provide any input or to get involved. I was left to define this profession on my own. After several back-and-forth e-mails with the government analyst assigned to evaluate my request, it was submitted to their committee and approved. It was approved under the occupational title of “Athletes and Sports Competitors” code #27-2021.00. The definition of a Professional Poker Player is:

“Participates in competitive poker events, such as single table games and multiple table tournaments as his full-time occupation. Plays poker and engages in game conforming to established rules, betting, and regulations. Appraises each poker table or poker tournament as to the skill of other players. Keeps track of other poker player’s skill and betting habits. Has knowledge of poker-hand probabilities and bets accordingly. Has knowledge of poker playing money management. Interacts with other poker players at gaming tables or tournaments. Plays poker at single tables up to 12 hours a day or tournaments lasting for days. Must have the physical and mental endurance to concentrate for long hours of play. Must have the mathematical skills of poker strategy and probabilities. Must have the psychological skills to ‘read’ other poker players. Must have the ‘poker feel’ of knowing who and when to ‘bluff.’ Must have the knowledge of the rules of the poker game he is playing.

So, this is why Shaquille O’Neal and Doyle Brunson have something in common….they are both professional athletes. Doyle, if you are reading this we all know of your great disappointment in not being able to play professional basketball because of a leg injury. You are now a professional athlete. Ready to see your face on a box of Wheaties?

Any comments may be e-mailed to me at [email protected]. Michael Consolo

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