Judges in Sweden given poker lessons

Judges in Sweden given poker lessons

Friday, 25 February 2011

Anyone reading this will know that poker is a game of skill containing an element of luck. Judges in Sweden will surely come to that conclusion after being given a poker tutorial during a court case at the country's Supreme Court.

Swedish news site The Local reported that an experienced player was giving the lesson in a case involving four men who were convicted of violating Sweden's tight gambling laws by running a Texas hold'em tournament in 2007. Two men were given jail sentences with the other two men receiving hefty fines. The sentences were subsequently reduced at an appeal hearing after judges ruled that poker involved skill and not just luck. The Swedish Prosecutor General appealed against that decision hence the latest Supreme Court case.

According to the TT news agency the unnamed player giving the tutorial said that "courage, patience, experience, mathematical and psychological knowledge are some important characteristics" for a poker player adding, “you never fully complete your training. It takes a long time to become experienced”.

Another witness in the case, Erik Broman from the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg added, “After the first card, skill is what matters. It's about how one reacts in different situations, bets, and calls. A talented player has a greater chance of winning than a less talented player ”.

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The result of the trial could have big implications for the game in Sweden. Legal poker is currently restricted to events run by the Svenska Spel state monopoly.

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