BYOB Poker club offers memberships to community

 

By KREIG KOHL
Special to the PRESS

Thursday August 4 saw the loud joyous celebration of winners and the defeated groans of losers at the grand opening of The Green Room, the new poker room in Port Isabel. The establishment, which is only open to adults of 21 years of age and is 100 percent legal, is owned and run by Justin and Amanda Green. Alongside the Port Isabel Chamber of Commerce, they had a ribbon cutting and were presented with a plaque.
Before opening the poker room Amanda had been working around the country as an RN and Justin was running their mobile RV repair company, Go Green Mobile RV Repair. The two chose the Port Isabel location after traveling around the country in an RV for about three years.
“We got to Port Isabel and decided this is the place. We planted some roots and hopefully we’re going to stick around,” said Amanda.
She said the town seemed like it could use a poker room and since it had been a dream of Justin’s for a long time, they went ahead with it here.
Justin Green has been playing poker for a long time, and he prefers rooms to casinos.
“He felt that he could do a good job of opening up a place where players could play legally,” said Amanda.
All players must pay a membership fee and cannot play at any other locations.
“Texas laws are very accommodating to private poker clubs,” said Amanda.
The owners do not take any money off the table. Each player pays for their membership, and the hourly fee for their chair and chips but what they bet is, according to Amanda, “On them. The house doesn’t take any cuts.”
The two had made some decisions regarding the location of their business while traveling. One of these decisions was that the location had to be warm and near the beach. According to Amanda, they were also in search of a smaller community. They felt that this made Port Isabel the best place for the club.
“We have two kids. So we decided this was a great place to establish as a home,” said Amanda.
The lack of a poker room was the final deciding factor for the two. From their initial visit to the area, to the opening of the poker room, was only two months of preparation.
To the community overall, Amanda said, “I’m happy so far that everyone has been welcoming and helpful.”
They hope to see lots of people come out, spend time with them, and feel like this is a club they can come to and share their ideas of how to accommodate the community better.

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