Dumaguete Info Search


playing poker

Discussion in 'Expat Section' started by JOHNNY B, May 1, 2019.

  1. JOHNNY B

    JOHNNY B DI New Member

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    A friend of mine comes and goes here and likes to play poker.
    He says there's a place to play here in a Hotel Texas Hold'em.
    Does anybody know if there's any poker here in business or house games thanks Johnny
     
  2. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    Honeycomb on the boulevard. It sits on the corner of Locsin and the boulevard. If you go around the side on Locsin you'll see a small Japanese restaurant and then there's another section of Honeycomb. Go past the Japanese restaurant and you'll see a small parking area and a door. I think the game starts around 6pm. Before it starts, the parking area is empty. While it's going, the area will be full of motorcycles. Go in that door and you'll see a couple of tables going.

    There's also a walkway which goes further into the building where there's a bar. Don't go in there. There's no poker there.

    There's also home games around the city. If you see foreigners in there, you can ask them about other games. Games and locations change all the time because the legality is questionable. Occasionally a game gets shut down because the organizers start feeling heat. Right now the poker scene is quite small. There used to be a lot more options.

    The game at Honeycomb is Texas Holdem. Sometimes you get Koreans or tourists who drop a lot of money and you can do quite well. A lot of the locals play loose and aggressive, so you have to be careful. Avoid small tables where you see all locals with small stacks. They just go all-in and buy back in at the minimum. You end up with relatively small wins and their all-ins hit often enough to wear down your stack.
     
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  3. OP
    OP
    JOHNNY B

    JOHNNY B DI New Member

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    Thanks dude from a fellow poker player.
    Do they play tournaments there as well?
     
  4. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    All cash games. They may do an occasional tournament. There are maybe a couple of tournament house games. I haven't kept up on those. Try Honeycomb and then ask foreigners if you see one.
     
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  5. furriner

    furriner DI Forum Adept Restricted Account

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    You say legality is questionable? Gambling with playing cards is absolutely 100% illegal! Even the playing cards are illegal to bring into the Philippines. Do the police or customs enforce these things? Maybe, sometimes. Maybe not. Want to take a chance on imprisonment just because somebody is trying to impress his new police chief boss? Gambling is not a good pastime for recreation in the Philippines unless you like legal lottery, legal cockfights or legal bingo all of which are available here, or, several casinos in Manila and Cebu some of which have video poker. Not too sure about that Honeycomb thing.


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  6. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    Warning: I may be talking out of my @$$ here, but here it goes...

    Poker is under the jurisdiction of a state owned monopoly by the name of Pagcor. If you have picked up a license, then you can run poker. It's setup so that only a large casino or poker establishment would be able to carry the costs and still grind out a profit.

    AFAIK Pagcor only deals with large casinos in Manila, though if you put up the cash, I'm sure they would accommodate you anywhere. There may currently be exceptions to this. For example, there are casinos in Cebu and I don't know if they are licensed by Pagcor.

    That puts the rest of the Philippines in a weird spot. There's no licensing scheme, but there's also spotty enforcement. I imagine it's a lot like legal weed in the US. Weed is illegal at the federal level but you have to do something to get on in the cross-hairs of the feds, because many states have decriminalized recreational use (if it's not fully legal.) Similarly, Manila may pass a law, but the provinces may not bother enforcing it.

    Online gambling was in a similar situation in the US. It raged for years and the market was huge. It was a legal gray area with some more blatant about pushing the line than others. Then apparently one day someone decided enough was enough and put an end to it.

    There have been reports of different types of games getting raided and shut down. But these games are running under different regimes. As with many things here, there's probably something going on behind the scenes which we don't know about.

    I have seen poker places shut down. There were never raids at any of them. It seems a warning is good enough.

    Honeycomb has survived all of this. Nothing is ever certain, but I wouldn't worry about playing there. If there were a problem coming down the pipeline, the worst is that they would likely close.

    Outside of poker, I believe the E-games here are licensed by Pagcor. I believe that cock-fighting works on a different scheme. I know nothing about bingo.
     
  7. Rye83

    Rye83 with pastrami Secured Account Highly Rated Poster SC Connoisseur Veteran Army

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    Many of the "e-games" locations are owned by the same people/families that run the poker games. If they have the pull to get a PAGCOR license for e-games they have the pull to get it for their card games. (Or at least have the power make the government look the other way for the last 10-20 years.) You run zero risk of getting in trouble gambling at these locations.

    Any game ran by a foreign "owned" (lol) restobar runs the risk of getting busted up if they steal too many of the customers from the "legitimate" games. They will always quickly come to a stop when they become too popular. There will also always be some butthurt foreigner that goes and complains because they feel they were "cheated" during the game as well. The last person you should ever trust in the Philippines is a foreigner customer.
     
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  8. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    Who knows. These things change hands as anything else does. I don't have time to chase down articles right now, but I believe that E-games was owned / operated by Pagcor and then sold it off. There was even talk of Pagcor going private at one point as well.

    The poker games here are for sure not licensed by Pagcor. The people who run the game might have connections with Pagcor, but the games aren't legit by Pagcor requirements.

    I don't see how it would make financial sense for a small operator to own any sort of legit gaming platform in the Philippines. The taxes and requirements are quite big. Maybe E-games are different, but for sure nobody would bother with poker in Dumaguete if they were held to Pagcor requirements. I also couldn't see something like E-games running as an indie thing. These sorts of things generally get eaten by bigger operators who can profit from scale.
     
  9. jim787

    jim787 DI Forum Adept

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    There is a distinction to be made. A casino includes games where you play against the house. That's where a license comes in. Poker in a casino pays a fee to the house in return for dealing. I am not a player, but it seems to me that these card rooms in and around Dumaguete do not have a "house", except to serve food and drink.

    By the way, the former Mia's in Sibulan had one or two weekly afternoons devoted to poker.
     
  10. TheDude

    TheDude DI Forum Patron Highly Rated Poster

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    All the local cash games I have ever played at here have collected some sort of rake or fee for playing. Most (all?) of the tournament games I have played at have taken some of the winnings as well. Otherwise they couldn't be bothered to organize a game. This has been true for home games as well as games running inside a resto-bar. Poker players often don't rack up much of a bill as they may not otherwise be regulars.

    The license addresses things like taxes, compliance, anti-fraud and protections for the players (they can afford to pay out expected winnings.) Keep in mind that Pagcor is also possibly (not sure they do this right now, but I imagine they could) a licensing jurisdiction for "remote gaming" accessible from anywhere in the world. This is important because a gaming licensing jurisdiction is sort of like a reputation in the competitive space of global gaming. If Pagcor allows one bad actor to screw over customers, then all operators under that jurisdiction could take a hit. Knowledgeable players shop based on this reputation.

    The only distinctions I can see inside the Philippines is the heat being applied to operators. I believe that's variable depending on your location. Each region has its cast of characters looking for an opportunity or to deny opportunity to others.

    ETA: Yes, you might have home games between close friends where there's no rake. These are difficult to organize and aren't consistent. This isn't the sort of thing people ask for when they want to play poker in city they are new to. Personally, I don't even like to bother with these games.
     
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