Sunday November 13, 2011 : SKILL VS. CHANCE POKER ARGUMENT FAILS AGAIN
Virginia judge accepts there is an element of skill, but not enough to outweigh chance
The critical legal question of whether poker is a game predominantly of chance (making it ‘gambling' and illegal), or one of skill, defining it as legally acceptable, was again aired this week in a Virginia court, where the Poker Players Alliance sought to support an indicted poker hall owner from Portsmouth.
The PPA called in world poker champion Greg Raymer in an effort to convince Judge Thomas Shadrick that skill dominated and that poker halls should therefore be regarded as legal in the state, thus acquitting defendant Charles Daniels.
The Virginia-Pilot reports that Raymer gave a 15-minute demonstration to prove that winning in poker requires considerable skill, therefore placing the game outside the definition of gambling that is "uncertain or a matter of chance."
Whilst the judge accepted that skill was an important element, he remained unconvinced that it was sufficiently so to outweigh the clear fact that the outcome of each hand remained uncertain, thus rejecting the defendant's argument.
Daniels has yet to indicate whether he intends to appeal the decision.