The Official Poker and Gray Market Cardroom Directory
for Valley Poker Clubs and Poker Rooms (Updated for November 2014)
“Regarding the latest ploys of the BIA gambling cartel-funded Department of Gaming agents to coerce local card rooms into their employers facilities, it is unlikely that any sane prosecutor would file felony criminal charges, in lieu of the fact that my week-long trial and conviction on a three-count felony indictment, merely pissed off the judge, while rendering a sentence that bordered on an apology... one year unsupervised probation with no jail time or fine.”
— Former three-term magistrate and convict-at-large “Judge” Harold Lee, March 2013 upon completion of his sentence of unsupervised probation for one year. His statement oddly foreshadowed the increased attention ADoG has given to gray-market cardrooms recently.
This site does not endorse or approve any cardroom listed here, and is merely providing a public service to poker players as well as authorities. All listings are unsolicated and no compensation is provided or pecuniary interest obtained in exchange for any listings.
Club and proprietor(s) Address and Phone Façade
Taglines / Website / Media
Sierra Vista Live Poker
164 Fry Blvd
Sierra Vista AZ
Esho “Chris” Odisho
717 W Union Hills Dr #4
Phoenix AZ 85027
"The #1 Private Poker Club In The Valley"
PokerUnionUSA.com (site down periodically)
AZ Clubhouse and Game Room LLC
Don and Cindy
13615 N 35th Ave
Additional Listings Below This Commentary
That's it, just three storefront cardrooms remain in operation to our knowledge. ADoG has effectively driven poker underground, where only the criminal element wins. We saw this happen in Scottsdale after 'Deal Me In' was raided in 2009. Now there are underground/home games that charge people to enter, rake the pots with impunity, and even dealing blackjack. Good job ADoG! Way to get State to spend ~$3M a year with demonstrative, rather than punitive, prosecutions to protect the $1.3M a year the State makes exclusively from untaxed tribal poker room operations.
Play poker in and around Phoenix at any of the five tribal casinos located within driving distance of the Valley: Casino Arizona, Fort McDowell, Gila River Casinos and Harrah’s poker rooms offer safe, licensed and regulated poker games. Tribal poker rooms are licensed, but untaxed, and located in another nation-state where player’s pots are raked with impunity thanks to the 2002 Poker Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Governor and BIA gaming interests. Aside from this monopolistic claim over the international sport of poker, tribal poker rooms are surrounded by the lure of amoral and outlawed games of chance (slots, blackjack, etc.), and further sustain the Jacksonian insurgency over the law of the land and continued impressments by the BIA of our Indian wards as our bookies and shills. For these reasons, many poker players refuse to be herded into BIA casinos and opt to venture into these gray market cardrooms or plan out-of-state trips to Nevada, California, or Colorado, three of the growing number of “cardroom States” in America today.
Many home poker games and poker leagues can also be found at homepokergames.com. Similar in nature to these home game listings, this gray market poker room directory provides poker players with an unsoliciated and unbiased listing of storefront poker games that use a (usually) non-participating professional dealer. If you are willing to risk a little more than your bankroll, Valley grinders have long enjoyed a true “Rounder’s Paradise”. Over 50 cardrooms have come and gone in Maricopa and Pima Counties in the past few years, and only five have run into trouble with the law, and only then as exemplary prosecutions. These rooms were doing nothing substantially different than any of the other rooms listed here. These gray market rooms all had two things in common: 1) Prosecution has always stemmed from undercover agents working for the Arizona Department of Gaming coming off the reservations to protect their paymaster’s (BIA tribal casinos) claims of exclusivity over "Jackpot poker", which is not the same as traditional poker, and 2) Owners benefit by taking a percentage of the dealer’s tips or otherwise charging dealers to deal at their tables, or from the unrealized benefit coming from the future sale of a viable business interest. In nearly every respect, the State of Arizona will consider all of the rooms listed below to be operating outside the law, and indeed, illegally. However, that does not prevent rooms from continuing to operate, and from players patronizing them. In time, we hope that things will change and poker players win back the right to play traditional, if not promotional award poker, in licensed, regulated cardroom facilities statewide, as was the case since before Statehood 100 years ago.
Note: "Benefit" does not simply mean "profit". State law provides that an "unrealized" or "prospective" benefit also makes operating a cardroom illegal under the social gambling exclusion. Prospective benefits simply means if an owner can sell a cardroom outright to a third party, that prospective/unrealized benefit makes the operation illegal under the social gambling exclusion, even if the owners lose money in the operation and the cardroom isn’t even profitable. Yes, that sucks, and that’s why we need legislative action, from municipalities likely, because the State’s hands are tied to a potentially unconstitutional, blind-deaf-and-dumb zoning agreement (The 17 notorious Poker MoUs) with the BIA Casinos. Not all BIA casinos have signed Poker MoUs (see ADoG reports), and under the Freedom of Information Act, and only upon appeal of the initial denial, the National Indian Gaming Commission reported that in 2011, only 8 of Arizona's 17 BIA casinos reported any poker revenue, of which $1.2M went to the Arizona Benefits Fund.
Until cardrooms are accepted and legitimized by a city or the state, exercise caution patronizing any of these standalone, storefront clubs, as they are all allegedly illegal and violate the exclusivity granted tribal gaming operations, especially if they offer bad beat jackpots, aces cracked or any type of promotional awards attached to their games.
If the Indians can have poker rooms, then why can’t we all?
Why doesn’t the State just pass legislation under Sports and Recreation (Title 5) to allow municipalities and counties the right to choose to allow cardrooms in their jurisdiction (similar to California or Nevada)? Poker is similar to Bingo, played player vs. player, with no “house” participation that players compete against. Poker is a game of predominently skill though some will argue managing a dozen cards requires skill, bingo remains predominently a luck-based game and players cannot affect the outcome in any way, unlike in poker. Poker is a game of “calculated” risk, versus uncalculated risk as in Bingo or a Lottery ticket. Point is, we can all play Bingo, easily apply for a license, and use proceeds to benefit charitable organizations. So why is there a problem with doing the same for Poker?
Non-indian poker players have come to realize that our municipal and county governments have a similar government-to-government relationship and certainly the same rights to equal protection of the law in our State as the tribal governments have... at least with regards to poker and cardrooms.
The Governor of Arizona does not own the rights to poker, so in December of 2002 Jane Hull had no business signing away all non-indian citizens rights in an unconstitutional exclusive civil agreement granting all rights to professional poker to Arizonas 23 BIA casinos. Some of these casinos haven’t even signed the Poker Memorandum of Understanding and continue to operate their Class II games without contributing anything to the Arizona Benefits Fund. Nobody in the State, not even the Governor, is privy to just how much benefit, if any, this exclusive agreement benefits the State and its taxpayers. And the State today, by tacitly prohibiting municipalities and counties from enabling cardroom resolutions or ordinances that would allow standalone cardrooms to operate within their jurisdiction, continues to manifest bad fiscal logic, unconstitutional and possibly illegal conspiracy, and extortion of our American Indian citizens and their non-banked Class II poker room operations. The Attorney General Terry Goddard and now Tom Horne continue to try to protect this unconstitutional agreement by instilling fear and intimidation by raiding and indicting cardroom operators, often costing taxpayers millions to only see thousands recouped.
And not to put too much lipstick on this pig, but nobody has been able to explain how the State managed to avoid criminal charges in the Governor’s 2002 deal with 17 of the 23 BIA representatives over “criminal” poker. High Feloncy Conspiracy must have occurred at some point in the chain of events that occurred between 1982 and 2002 with the State claiming all tribal poker rooms were illegal, and the ADoG issuing cease and desist orders on the heals of the Attorney General’s formal opinion to that effect. These orders, as with all previous, (see Fort McDowell 1992), were ignored by the Tribes and the ADoG couldn’t find a federal prosecutor willing to push the issue in any court of law. State hardball tactics continued with threats of arbitration for Gila River’s new poker room, and Governor Symington arrogantly declared an end to Tribal Gaming Compacts (following 1996 Florida vs. Seminole case declaring that the IGRA edict requiring States to negotiate compacts was unconstitutoonal) unless the tribes agreed to give up their CA vs. Cabazon (1987) affirmed "sovereign right" to conduct high stakes poker and bingo games, and allow the State to participate in those proceeds. It’s not a tax, ladies and gentleman, it is a "voluntary tithe" from one sovereign to another. And the ADoG will tell you that the Tribes willingly modified their sovereignty because the State was granting them exclusivity and the right to claim that Arizona Tribal Poker Rooms are more heavily regulated than any other, with Tribal, State and Federal oversight. That’s not actually even true. Call the Phoenix NIGC office and ask for Lance Vallo, and he will tell you that the NIGC has oversight jurisdiction on Class II poker games, and he even told me that in his many years of inspecting poker rooms on BIA land, he has yet to cross paths with an ADoG agent doing the same thing. Additionally, BIA Tribes have the option to self-regulate their Class II poker games with NIGC approval. The icing on the cake is ADoG’s flat refusal to share the aggregate poker revenue that contributes to the Arizona Benefits Fund with anyone, including the governor, who signed the MoUs granting the exclusivity. That’s just ignorant. How can we enact legislation if we have no baseline to compare potential State General Fund revenue to what exists today? We estimate that $50,000 to $1,250,000 in aggregate poker revenue contributes to the nearly $100,000,000 the State receives. And that amount has historically represented less than 5% of the total proceeds, with 1% going to a lame problem gambling and self-exclusion program. Arizona’s Tribes wrote their own ticket with proposition 202, and because of that, Arizona has one of the lowest revenue sharing agreements in the nation. That’s ironic, considering that Arizona has more tribal land than any other State today, and is truly the present-day "Indian Country".
In 2013, under an appeal to a Freedom of Information Act request, the NIGC informed us that less than half of Arizona's 18 "poker" tribes reported any cardroom revenue in 2011. The NIGC also told us that the aggregate poker revenue for those half reporting income, was $30 million. And it's what they report, with no oversight. This means that according to the formula, the tribes tithed $1.2 million to benefit some very specific State programs.
By comparison, California's licensed off-rez cardrooms generate ~$880M and are taxed to the general funds of local and State governments. Taxed at the "BIA" rate of 4.9X%, that's $32M, but taxed at a more appropriate 15%, that's $132M. The point is, citizens have no oversight of the ADoG. ADoG holds the numbers as sacred, but who cares, because those numbers are what the casino bookkeepers are telling us anyway. Regulated cardrooms are not an option thanks to the citizen-approved language of 2002's historic Proposition 202, written by the BIA tribes. 29 States have BIA casinos now. Arizona is not alone in our fight to regain the right to the international sport of poker.
Poker and Supplies
Mark and Missy
9123 E Southern Ave #102
Mesa AZ 85209
Gilbert location of the original owner of this club closed in 2010 after attempting to obtain a liquor license and coming under scrutiny of the mayor and city council. The Mesa location may be under new ownership 2013.
Elite Poker Social Club
3642 West Pinnacle Peak
Glendale, AZ 85301
New proprietor(s) bought the existing room from Harry and his partner.
Card Club II
Ashton and Lana Stokes
10880 32nd St. #33 Phoenix AZ 85028
Closed down after sale to third party and failure to manage the cardroom and maintain a regular game. Statute of Limitations is 7 years for illegal benefit from gambling through the sale of a cardroom to a third party, or the benefits of proprietorship (control) - even in a non-profit operation like this room was. Ashton and Lana had deeper pockets than most owners though, and both CCCI and CCCII were far and away the "nicest" venues to play in. Gotta applaud the audacity of opening CCCI in the same camelback corridor building as Sentator McCain's office.
New Avondale Club
965 W Van Buren
"Papa" Mike O'Hara helped get this new Avondale cardroom up and running. As the only southwest club, this room should do well... locating across the street from the Sheriff's sub-station is sheer brilliance.March 2014 room has closed/relocated/underground. For a couple of months, this game was hoppin' though.
Joker's Social Club
3519 W Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85051
Joker's Social Club started around 2011 and was a rounder's favorite for mixed games and omaha for a number of years. Unfortunately, Frank was indicted and arraigned after hte ADoG raids on 12/12/13.
nee Nash's Social Club
4220 W Northern Ave #5, Phoenix
Repeatedly dogged by ADoG, Joker's just keeps moving around to different storefronts. Now at what used to be Nash's Social Club. Not sure if Frank is still involved as the operator or if the dealers have taken over. Rumored to have closed after notice served by a solo Phoenix cop and single ADoG agent.
after ADoG notice of ARS 13-3305 violation
Nash’s Social Club
4220 W Northern Ave #5, Phoenix
This game sputters and goes. Was closed for a several months, but then resurged in 2013. At least there have been reports of operations going on as of Fall 2013. Cars often seen parked in front of the venue late at night.
Owners: Arkan, and Jajou
2535 East Bell Road, Phoenix, AZ 85032
"The biggest game in town"
Still operating a regular game - unknown Fall 2013.
VIP Poker Supplies
5128 W Northern Ave
Glendale AZ 85302
Rumors of ADoG issuing a notice of inspection for illegal betting and wagering in 2012, but appears to still be operating today.
Closed 2013 after ADoG inspection notice
Like him or loath him, Sheriff Joe Arpaio has nailed it here with his assessment of poker. We play poker for Amusement: in tribal casinos, in standalone gray market cardrooms and clubs, in pubs and bars that offer "free poker", and in our home games and leagues. Poker is NOT illegal in Arizona. But the State won’t regulate professional poker as an Amusement, where a dealer can accept a tip (benefit, even if voluntary) without committing a felony criminal act, because in 2002, the Executive granted exclusive rights to professional poker to the Tribes. As far as we are concerned, all currently operating cardrooms except the cooperative model are illegal because some ownership group or individual (including dealers operating for voluntary tips) receive a benefit.
Many feel that today, it is the Tribes pressuring the ADoG to put State prosecutors to task to protect their exclusive rights to poker, as the ADoG is continuing to come off the reservation and closing rooms more and more regularly. At least this way the State avoids the obvious threat of the Compact’s poison pill clause by saying "we ARE trying to stop them".
Forcing the games underground doesn’t work, as then only the criminal element wins.
Bosnian Social Club
3411 W Northern Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85051
1 table, high stakes game 3-5 days a week only. Invitation only. 1-2 no limit.
Open 8pm - ? Tue-Sat
More information needed, if still even operational.
AZ Poker Supply
43rd Ave and Bethany (NE)
Higher stakes games
Hold’em & Mixed games
Rob & Liz Ghezzi
4494 W Peoria Ave #113
Glendale AZ 85302
“The Valley’s Longest Running Social Card Room” ... Requires dealers to play in short-handed games. Liz claimed to be above the law as she holds a "gaming license" from the ADoG, which is a preposterous notion off-rez. Glendale taxes and licensing department cannot confirm any such license either. Possible ADoG notice of inspection and determination that "betting and wagering" is taking place may have caused this long-standing cardroom to close it’s doors after an unprecedented seven year run. Rob and Liz are reportedly dealing at Ft. McDowell, website down, new management/ownership? PokerPlayLive.com
Aces Cracked Poker Room
15224 N 59th Ave #14 Glendale AZ
Open Daily 4pm - call first until they get a regular game going. Tournaments kicking off 7/26. Cash game 1-2 NLHE. 2 poker tables, pool table, room for expansion. Ask about new venue promos. Aces Cracked wins a rack. $20 early bird bonus. Member referrals. Comps. Snacks and beverages available for sale.
13048 W Rancho Santa Fe #115(623)
Avondale, AZ 85392
"The Westside Gaming Room"
Rumored to be expanding into a stand-alone venue sometime in 2013, outside of the trophy shop.
Diamond’s Social Club
12450 N 35th Ave
(NW 35th Ave and Cactus)
More information needed, if still even operational. Rumors about a club operating at 35th and Cactus but nothing confirmed yet. Sign is still on marquee Fall 2013, but previous location is vacant.
303 W Van Buren #104
Avondale, AZ 85323
"The private social club for Poker enthusiasts!"
Good late night cash game that often runs till sunrise. Great promotions. Nice massage girls. Lots of comps. Well run and organized room.
Pete’s Poker Supply
3002 N Arizona Ave
2-3 table tournaments and cash games nightly. Voluntary donation on the button and seat rental fees.
2001 W Peoria Ave
3411 W Northern Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85051
Changes ownership often, closes often, but a good high stakes game if and when it’s going, or the room is leased out. Fernando has been in this gray industry as long as anyone.
All In Card Club
3143 E Greenway Rd #803 Phoenix 85032
Merged with Camelback Card Club II.
The Tilted Jack
Social Poker Club Cooperative LLC
18425 N 19th Ave #112
CLOSED Nov 2012
Poker & Supplies
15224 N 59th Ave #14 Glendale AZ
Open Daily 5pm Till Close
Hold’em & Omaha
Northest corner of 24th Ave and Northern, behind Denny’s
Opened early February 2013, mixed games. Closed quickly after reports of uniformed ADoG going around issuing warnings through investigative reports, which indicates that following Lee’s trial and Korza’s plea (Poker Nation) that the Attorney General isn’t all that interested in continuing to pursue gray market cardrooms, a practice that has cost taxpayers millions only to see a few thousand dollars, if that, recouped. Cardrooms continue to operate in more ingenious ways, most now operate in unmarked, invitation-only venues.
Jack’s All In
Social Club and Cardroom
4226 W Dunlap
Phoenix AZ 85081
15820 N 35th Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85053 Third room after Chip and Papa’s to try this shopping center. No advertising, unmarked entrance with surveillance and no weapons stickers. First heard of this "secret game" from Aces Up owners in late 2011. Very secretive. Must know someone to get in. High stakes raked games. Reported but not confirmed closed July 2012.
Other cardrooms in Maricopa & Pima Counties that have come and gone. There are likely others not on this list.
Ace High - 12751 W Bell Rd Surprise (State indictment after closing)
Aces Poker Room - 4344 W Indian School Rd Phoenix 623-846-5353*
Arizona Aces - 1435 E University Dr. Suite C108 Tempe
Arrowcrest Live Poker - 8160 W Union Hills B201 Glendale
The Bear’s Den/Lady Luck Live - 18700 N 107th Ave #13 Sun City
Camelback Card Club - 2201 E Camelback Rd 323B Phoenix (Relocated, new management)
Champions/Rounders/Liberty Station - 15332 W Bell Rd Surprise
Chip N’ A Chair - 15820 N 35th Ave Phoenix
Club Poker Supplies LLC - 10656 N 32nd St Phoenix
Club Royale - 2665 N. Campbell Ave Tucson (Raided by Tucson PD/ADoG and sued by Pascua Yaqui Tribe - Casino del Sol, Tucson)
Crazy Fish - 710 E Gilbert Dr Tempe
Deal Me In - 7607 E McDowell Rd #102 Scottsdale (Raided by Scottsdale PD/ADG)
Double Deuce Gaming Supplies - 4825 E Warner Rd #5 Ahwatukee
Diamond’s Social Club - 12450 N 35th Ave
Elite Poker - 10565 W Indian School Rd #101 Avondale
The Final Table - 3320 S Price Rd #B115 Tempe
Got Poker AZ 10620 N 43rd Ave #4 Phoenix
Poker Union II "Gold House" - 17220 N 19th Ave, Phoenix (was Poker Union’s Monday night 5-10 game, moved to Semiramis location May 2012)
Nino’s / Good Fella’s - NW 19th Ave and Greenway Phoenix
The Nuts Card Room - 4139 W Bell #1 Phoenix (Raided by Goodyear/Phoenix PD, ADoG, AG SIS and multi-state cooperation from CA)
The Nuts Card Room II - 2333 N Pebble Creek Pky Goodyear
Papa Mike’s Poker Supply - 15820 N 35th Ave #22 Phoenix
Paradise Cove - 15226 W. Bell Rd, Surprise
Pizza Tony’s Poker Room - 35th Ave and Greenway Phoenix
Pocket Jacks Poker Supplies - 825 S Cooper #B7 Gilbert (Closed voluntarily after failing to obtain a liquor license)
Poker Bluffs At Anthem - 4220 W Summit Walk Ct #1201 Anthem
Poker Nation - 1859 W Greenway Rd Phoenix (State indictment after closing)
PokerFace - 8160 W Union Hills B201 Glendale (sold to Arrowcrest)
Rounders Club - 1290 N Scottsdale Rd #122 Tempe
Smokin’ Aces Poker Club - 9132 W Cactus Rd #E Peoria
Sweet Tooth Billiards - 10040 N 43rd Ave #1H Glendale
That’s Poker - 1610 E Bell Rd Phoenix
Ultimate Poker - 3424 N 19th Ave Phoenix 602-266-2300*
Changes or revisions please contact Thomas Jackson via e-mail. Thanks to all the cardroom operators, owners, managers, dealers and grinders that help make PhoenixPokerClubs.com the most up-to-date and error-free directory of standalone, storefront cardrooms in the Valley.
Note: PhoenixPokerClubs.com can’t accept money to "advertise or promote" a potentially illegal cardroom, but we can accept money NOT to list your venue. Go figure.
Visit The Poker Revolution website, offering the new paradigm and the de facto standard for off-rez (non-BIA) professional poker rooms in Arizona. Locations for events include sports bars, restaurants and other third party venues, including some of the gray market cardrooms listed below.
The Poker Revolution on Facebook.
The following graphic shows the locations of BIA reservation casinos with poker rooms and the actual number of poker tables.
ADoG's poker table count erroroneously includes poker derivatives like Three Card Poker and Let It Ride Poker, which
are technically pit games and should not be included as "poker tables".
Note that seven of Arizona's 15 counties do not even have access to a professional poker game.
Note that 75% of the State's poker tables surround the Valley Metro Area.
Suffice to say that Arizona's potential poker market of $120M is pitifully underserved
by the 12 gaming tribes that have poker rooms in their casinos.
Legalize Poker Rooms for Arizonans on Facebook. Following the selective raids led by ADoG on five Valley cardrooms in December 2013, you can purchase bumper stickers, window decals and other merchandise to help raise awareness and assist in defending our constitutional rights to play professional poker outside of BIA reservations in Arizona. Organized by Mike Talerico, former Aces Cracked cardroom operator, and the second operator to go before a jury trial late in 2014.