Swedish judges rule on poker

Swedish judges rule on poker

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Judges in Sweden have deemed that poker is a game of both skill and luck. On the surface that sounds reasonable enough but look at the judgement a little more closely and things aren't quite so straightforward.

According to the Swedish Supreme Court tournament poker is a game of skill but cash game poker is a game of luck. A report in Swedish English language paper TheLocal.se quoted Judge Göran Lamberth telling the TT news agency “We have found that the main tournament and its side tournaments were not random chance games, but that skill does come in to it.” Lamberth had a completely different opinion on cash game poker though saying, “We find this form to be a game of pure random chance.”

The latest ruling was made in relation to 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.

Having heard the ruling we would of course like to see how the judge's luck holds up against say Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan in a high stakes cash game.

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Tags: law, Sweden