Poker a game of skill according to New York judge
Wednesday, 22 August 2012
Anyone who has played the game for any length of time will recognise that poker is a game of skill that features elements of luck. A US judge appears to have reached the same conclusion at a court case New York yesterday.
Judge Jack Weinstein of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed a federal criminal indictment against a man accused of operating a poker club in contravention of the Illegal Gambling Business Act.
Judge Weinstein heard testimony from a professor who analysed millions of hands of online poker to show that poker is a game of skill and not chance.
“While players’ actions are influenced by chance events, their decisions are based on skill,” the judge wrote. “By bluffing, for example, players can overcome the power of chance and win a hand despite holding inferior cards.”
John Pappas of the Poker Players Alliance gave his backing to the decision, saying, “Today’s federal court ruling is a major victory for the game of poker and the millions of Americans who enjoy playing it. Judge Weinstein’s thoughtful decision recognizes what we have consistently argued for years: poker is not a crime, it is a game of skill. As the judge’s opinion aptly notes, poker is an American pastime that is deeply embedded in the history and fabric of our nation and his decision sets aside the notion that the vague laws render the game criminal.”