Poker in Oregon

Introduction

Population: 4,218,000

Capital: Salem

Currency: United States Dollar ($)

Time Zone: UTC-8

State Name Abbreviation: OR

Casinos with Poker

  • Final Table Poker Club
  • Beach Poker Club
  • Full House Poker Club
  • Medford Poker Room

Oregon is a large North-Western state, whose territory was acquired by the United States in 1846the 11th president who shares a famous poker pro’s last name, James Polk, signed the Oregon Treaty with Great Britain that year.

Unfortunately, the state has a constitutional ban on casinos. However, there is some leeway there, as it’s specified as casino gaming, not all forms of gambling. This subsequently led to some debates from time to time about what the legal definition of a casino is exactly.

One thing is for sure: horse racetracks are not casinos. Portland Meadows, located in the state’s largest city, Portland, has been operating since 1946. However, when racetracks tried to install video poker machines on the premises in 1995, the state’s Attorney General ultimately ruled it would be unconstitutional.

A favorable vote on a 1984 ballot initiative authorized the creation of the Oregon State Lottery.

Luckily, the 1988 Indian Gaming Act made it possible for Native Americans all across the US to decide for themselves if they want to operate casinos on their territory. Quite a lot of tribes took this opportunity in Oregon – a total of 11 Native American casinos operate within the state’s borders today. The 12th, the proposed Columbia Gorge casino in Cascade Locks, OR, was a project that was ultimately abandoned after 14 years of planning in 2013.

Also luckily for poker fans, poker rooms are not considered casinos in the eyes of Oregon law. Plenty of card rooms are allowed to legally operate, even outside Native American land.

Famous Oregonian Poker Players

Seth Davies is currently #1 on the Oregon all time money list on Hendon with $8.617 million in live tournament earnings. He is from Bend, OR. His biggest cash to date is $1.02 million, which he got for finishing 5th in the $250,000 Super High Roller Bowl event at the partypoker MILLIONS World Bahamas in Nassau, Bahamas. He also has a WPT title from 2017.

Esther Taylor, aka “ETAY”, has $1.747 million in live tournament cashes. She’s best known for her regular appearances on the CBS Sports show Poker Night in America. She was born in Portland, OR.

 

– Playing Live Poker in Oregon –

   Live Poker Legislation in Oregon

Article XV §4a, paragraph (10) describes the casino prohibition in Oregon’s state constitution. It says: “the Legislative Assembly has no power to authorize, and shall prohibit, casinos from operation in the State of Oregon.” The language was changed from “gambling” to “casino” after the electorate voted in favor of a state lottery in a 1984 ballot initiative.

However, as we wrote in our intro, casinos can operate legally on Native American land. Also, many venues where games of chance are played don’t qualify as casinos – such as poker rooms.

Regulatory oversight for these establishments is done by the Oregon State Police’s Gaming Enforcement division.

  Live Poker Venues in Oregon

The Final Table Poker Club is located in the largest city in Oregon, Portland. They have a packed tournament schedule – they put on two events per day. One starts at 11 am, while the other starts at 6 pm daily. The buy-in is $20 for the morning tourney; and $40 for the evening tourney. They’re both No Limit Hold’em events.

The interesting thing about their morning tourneys is that they are so-called “shoutout” events. Shootout is a rare tournament type in which every table plays out like a “mini-tournament”. The winner of each table gets to advance to the next round, where new tables are drawn from the previous round’s winners.

At the Beach Poker Club in Eugene, OR, you can find a nice selection of cash tables where games are running daily. They have No Limit Hold’em on $1/$2 stakes (minimum buy is $60, max buy-in is $300); Pot Limit Big O (5-card Omaha) on $2/$5 stakes; and PLO 8-or-Better on $2/$5 and $4/$8 stakes.

The Full House Poker Club is also in the city of Eugene, while the Medford Poker Room is evidently located in Medford, OR.

– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Oregon –

Final Table Poker Club

Beach Poker Club

Full House Poker Club

Medford Poker Room

  Online Poker in Oregon

Online gambling, let alone poker per se, is not mentioned anywhere in the Bills and Laws Oregon Revised Statutes. However, as the American online poker community learnt it on Black Friday, that makes it illegal by default due to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

However, Oregonians are still better off than their peers in the neighboring state to the north, Washington, where gambling online is a class C felony…

So, Oregon poker players left with the options most Americans have when it comes to online poker: they can play on unregulated offshore sites, such as ACR; or sweepstakes-style poker apps such PokerBros and Global Poker.