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Poker is a Game of Luck Not Skill, Court Rules
The London Times ^ | January 17, 2006 | Lucy Bannerman

Posted on 01/17/2007 10:37:25 AM PST by meg88

Poker is a game of luck and not skill, court rules Lucy Bannerman

In the end, good fortune had the stronger hand.

A jury decided yesterday that luck, not skill, played the greater part in poker in a landmark ruling on the status of gambling in Britain.

Derek Kelly, the chairman of a private members’ club in London, lost his fight to make poker exempt from gambling legislation on the grounds that it was a game of skill.

He was found guilty of breaking the 1968 Gaming Act, after hosting two poker games at the Gutshot club, bar and restaurant in Clerkenwell, Central London.

The jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court found him guilty of breaching the Act on December 7, 2004, when a levy was charged on the winnings, and on January 27, 2005, when a fee was charged to take part.

The Act states that a licence is needed to host games of chance such as blackjack and roulette, but not games of skill, such as chess and quiz machines.

The trial was seen as a test of whether poker should fall under the remit.

Kelly, 46, from Greystones, County Wicklow, said that he was very disappointed.

“We still will be playing at the Gutshot tonight. We may have to change the way we do it.”

A date for sentencing has been set for February 16.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Political Humor/Cartoons; United Kingdom
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To: meg88

They should read the short story by Mark Twain called Science versus Luck. Boy would I like to be on that jury!


51 posted on 01/17/2007 2:00:09 PM PST by Geostorm
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To: Tallguy
"Sure... that's why you can recognize at least half the final table at any WSOP event. It's mostly skill in that it's a manipulation of risk & percentages. It's hard to sustain luck."

Best example I've seen. The judge must be a bingo player.

52 posted on 01/17/2007 2:02:59 PM PST by Eastbound
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To: Buffalo Head
That would be Billy Baxter. His basic contention was that poker was his "business" and he should be allowed the filing status of "professional", which would allow him the ability to take deductions for expenses incurred doing business (travel, entry fees, etc...).

He won.

53 posted on 01/17/2007 2:06:54 PM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: All

Any good Hold'em player knows......

Your playing the people, not the cards.

Like another said the best retort is that you see the same people at the final table over and over again.

That ain't luck. And if you still think Hold'em is a game of chance........

I hope your sitting at my table.


54 posted on 01/17/2007 3:03:53 PM PST by baystaterebel (http://omphalosgazer.blogspot.com/)
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To: TADSLOS

Hmmm....are you saying the games are rigged? I guess they have to be...random numbers are chosen by computer algorithm, and if that algorithm is possible to calculate in your head, then you could come out ahead....otherwise I don't see how it's possible.


55 posted on 01/17/2007 10:16:00 PM PST by scrabblehack
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To: scrabblehack
I think you may have video poker confused with slot machines. The random number generator software in a slot machine can be adjusted to certain levels of theoretical payout percentages by the casino (minimum allowable by law in Nevada is 75%). Most in Las Vegas are set in the mid 80 to 90% range.

Video poker machine payouts are determined by the specific paytable that is displayed on the machine based on the hand dealt when the player bets and/or redraws from cards held by the player at the end of that particular bet. The RNG on a video poker machine is strictly tied to the shuffle of the cards and is not set to a payout percentage (there is no switch on a true video poker machine that the casino can manipulate to alter the outcome of what is dealt). The card shuffle is as random as a computer can get and ends when you hit the deal button (or play max coin- usually 5 coins). The software then deals 5 cards from the deck for the player to either hold or discard. Discarded cards are replaced with unplayed cards from the top of the same deck.

The key to playing video poker is picking a game with a pay table that provides a high payout percentage and playing that particular game at a high level of optimal strategy (skill). In this respect, video poker is similar to some table poker games in that each hand dealt is a combination of luck (drawn cards) and skill (determining what to keep and what to discard). Placing a bet in a slot machine, on the other hand, is purely a gamble. The only decision made by the player is when to hit the button or handle. Even then, the RNG software embedded in the slot machine has already determined the outcome. It's really all bells and whistles at that point to entertain the player.

56 posted on 01/18/2007 5:17:28 PM PST by TADSLOS (Iran is in the IED exporting business. Time to shut them down.)
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To: meg88
This shows us how completely stupid many of the judges are--I don't care if they have a law degree or not--poker is not a mere game of luck. People make a living playing poker.
57 posted on 01/19/2007 1:58:23 AM PST by Recovering_Democrat (I am SO glad to no longer be associated with the party of Dependence on Government!)
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To: meg88

The best description of skill vs. luck came from Chris Fergusen.

He said (paraphrasing here), when it comes to a single hand, the outcome is 99% dependent on luck. However, over the period of a year, the outcome is 99% dependent on skill.

As another poster observed, when you look at the final tables, you continually see the same faces.


58 posted on 01/19/2007 2:37:24 AM PST by Beckwith (The dhimmicrats and liberal media have chosen sides and they've sided with the Jihadists.)
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To: meg88
The Act states that a licence is needed to host games of chance such as blackjack and roulette, but not games of skill, such as chess and quiz machines. The trial was seen as a test of whether poker should fall under the remit. I would say the judge made the right decision. Poker is much closer to blackjack or roulette than chess or a 'quiz machine'. There's a certain level of skill in most gambling endeavors. Betting on horses requires skill to be succesful. Same with most any card game. It's still a game of chance, though.
59 posted on 01/19/2007 2:44:10 AM PST by Reform4Bush
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To: rightinthemiddle
Indeed!


60 posted on 01/19/2007 8:24:31 AM PST by meg88
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