Washington tries baby steps toward online poker

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By Philip Dobrikin
While states such as New Jersey and Nevada rush into the online poker arena, there’s a tiny ray of hope for Washington residents. Rep. Paul Harris sponsored a bill in February that would reduce playing online poker from a Class C felony to a misdemeanor. Punishment would be a $50 fine instead of the current maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10K fine. Nobody has been charged with this since the law was passed in 2006.

But the bad news is the new bill stalled in a hearing of the House Government and Oversight Committee. Hope is not lost as the bill can be re-introduced next session. If eventually passed, the law could lead to legalizing online poker in Washington.

CHINOOK WINDS: The recent PacWest Poker Classic at Chinook Winds in Oregon attracted 165 players to its main event, which generated a $165,050 prize pool. Stephen Gilbert captured the title and $9,816. Seth Baldwin was second ($27,896) and Troy Lewt finished third ($17,941).

— Philip Dobrikin is Ante Up’s Pacific Northwest Ambassador. Email him at anteupphil@gmail.com.