Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Poker Players Alliance Pays For Testimony Of Statistics Profressor Who Says Poker Is A Game Of Skill And Not Chance!

It's All In Attempt To Get Brick & Mortar Poker Legalized Everywhere And Then Online Poker As Well!...Good Luck!

Read this:

Possibly the biggest no-no in a poker game — a no-no that in the days of Wild Bill would get you shot in a saloon — is collusion. That’s when at least two players work together to take money off the other players, either by avoiding each other, dumping chips to each other or downright cheating, as Edward Norton’s character did with Matt Damon’s in “Rounders.”

But Kevin Raley of Windsor wanted to prove poker was a game of skill — and only partly because he wanted to use it as a defense to dodge a professional gambling charge in his criminal trial. He also had another motivation: He wanted to do his part in building what he called a “mountain” of cases of positive verdicts for poker and poker players. As a result, Friday’s jury verdict of not guilty, where the jury stated the prosecution failed to prove poker was not a game of skill, gives more ammunition to poker players who want to see state and even federal laws changed to declare poker a game of skill and not chance.

“The poker players have to work together as a group on this,” Raley said.

Last August, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and other agencies raided Rafferty’s, 5990 10th St. in Greeley, and arrested five patrons and members of a poker club on professional gambling charges. The club only accepted invited members and required them to read bylaws. Rafferty’s didn’t take any percentage of the game, commonly called a rake. State law prohibits games of chance from being played at bars with a state liquor license. So Raley, with his attorney, Todd Taylor of Greeley, wanted to argue that poker was a game of skill, not of chance. That was important because the state law does not include risking anything of value on contests of skill, speed, strength or endurance. Poker does have an element of chance to it, Taylor said, something he acknowledged in court and knows himself as a poker player.

“That doesn’t mean it’s not a contest of skill,” Taylor said. “Remember the Immaculate Reception? That was based partly on chance. But would anyone argue that football isn’t a contest of skill, speed, strength or endurance?”

Two points in the trial helped his defense, Taylor said. One was when the undercover CBI agent who played in the game told the court he was losing on purpose. It’s almost impossible, Taylor said, to lose on purpose in games of chance. Try it sometime in slot machines or roulette.

The second was testimony from Robert Hannum, professor of statistics from the University of Denver. He’s the author of “Practical Casino Math” and has done a lot of research on gaming modeling and applications. Taylor said Hannum once ran a billion hands in a simulation with two players in a heads-up match. He programmed one player to play his cards randomly, and the other to raise with a certain number of select hands. The player selecting his hands and raising with them won 97 percent of the hands, Taylor said.

The Poker Players Alliance, a nationwide organization lobbying to legalize poker across all states and also online, paid for Hannum’s testimony.

Jury trials don’t make decisions that have precedence-setting power, said Gary Reed, director for the Colorado chapter of the Poker Players Alliance. But it could help the cause of the alliance if decisions like this one keep coming down. Last week, a Pennsylvania judge also ruled that poker was a game of skill, freeing a man who ran a small no-limit hold ’em game with no rake out of his garage. The Colorado chapter would like to see the law changed, declaring poker as a game of skill. That would help protect games such as the one hosted by Raley and the four others who were arrested at Rafferty’s that night.

“We don’t advocate the unrestricted and unlicensed play of poker throughout the state,” Reed said, “but we do think this was the correct decision, and we certainly applaud it.”

It could even help legalize online poker, rather than it be subjected to the federal Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which prohibits players from transferring money from an American bank to a gambling site. The alliance wants to see poker carved out as a game of skill, something that’s allowed sites to offer fantasy football and games such as solitaire for money.

“I would hope that these decisions would send a message that reasonable people would look at it,” Reed said, “and have it show that reasonable people believe that poker is in fact different than games such as roulette and craps.”

As for Raley, he said he would discuss whether to start up the poker club again with his other organizers once their legal issues are resolved. They intend to resume the game, but they’re not sure. They need to discuss it, together, possibly over a game of poker.