Jury to be taught how to play poker


RIP Brian
Feb 22, 2001

Potential for London case to be a landmark in gambling law

The Times reports that UK poker players will be closely watching developments in a trial that started this week in London under the 1968 Gambling Act.

The accused is Derek Kelly (46) chairman of the Gutshot Private Members' Club in Clerkenwell, Central London, and the charges arise two poker games with allegations of financial charges levied by Kelly as a reward for organising the events.

Kelly denies contravening the Act by organising a poker game in which a levy was charged on the winnings and a second game when players were charged to participate. The Act states that a licence is needed to host games of chance like blackjack and roulette - but not games of skill, like chess and quiz machines.

The jury at Snaresbrook Crown Court has been asked to decide whether poker is a game of chance, skill or a combination of both.

To assist them in doing this, members of the jury will be treated to a free lesson on how to play poker, according to the prosecutor.

Graham Trembath QC, for the prosecution, told the jurors: "This case is all about poker. Now, ladies and gentlemen, I do not know of course whether you, or any of you, are familiar with playing poker, what poker involves, the rules of poker. Some of you may know what it is all about, some of you may not.

"Well, I anticipate during the course of this trial you will have, as it were, a free short tuition in what poker is all about, what poker involves, how it works and so on and so forth."

Trembath said that poker was a game of mixed skill and chance because playing cards that are used are shuffled beforehand. It would, therefore, require a licence.

However, Kelly denies this, saying poker is a game purely of skill.

Trembath said the case concerned the Texas Hold'em, a version of poker that has seen massive growth since the arrival of poker websites.

He revealed that police visited the club on December 7, 2004, and saw a levy being charged on the "prize pot", of GBP 2 165, from which the club kept a cut of GBP 270.

Officers again visited the club on January 27, 2005, when players were charged GBP 22 to enter. He said players were charged the money and given GBP 20 worth of chips, with the club retaining GBP 2 per head.
Very interesting case!! Been to the Gutshot a few times myself.

My opinion is that poker is a game of both luck and skill but I bet a lot of poker players would disagree with me!!
IMO luck plays a big part until you get skilled.

So it is a game of skill, because you can learn to work with the luck factor and make it insignificant.

But a novice will not see it that way at all and so the above exercise is likely futile.
Poker... game of skill. If not then hellmuth, doyle, negreanu, etc, etc are very lucky people. Of course there's luck involved (raymer, gold) but if you put top 5 stars with 5 amateurs in same table during a year pretty much sure amateurs will loose more than 70% of the time, estimation though no real data on it.

I hope its ruled as a game of skill, Cal has that right?
What a load of bollocks... I saw some of the arguments presented, and I finitely believe poker is a game of skill.

I met Derek Kelly a couple of months ago as I was speaking in Dublin - and so was he. An accomplished poker player, and very persuasive in his talk which really had the delegates buzzing - but the jury obviously does not see it the same way that the players do.

Not only that, he taught me how to play poker at the tournament (I finished 6th even though I had more chips than everyone else combined going into the final table).

Good to see that the judge agrees imprisonment is not recommended. He does not deserve that for taking a stand which I am sure the rest of the poker industry much appreciates
Me 2.54 cents and a half...

I dont think people will stop playing poker.....

These guys know what they are doing...

I am not following, was the game an online game?
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There is a way to truly bolster the argument that Texas Hold'em is a game of skill.

Of course every hand has a mathematical probability of winning which increases or decreases as common cards are revealed.

That in and of itself is pure random luck.

As players stay or fold in the hand the probabilities again are changed.
The probability of a remaining hand winning or losing is not random anymore at that point.

Is Scrabble a skill game? Or, is it a game of chance?

What online poker rooms have at thier disposal are ALL the factors.

Long story short--online poker rooms can show how often, what could only be characterized as statistically weak hands, have been winners.

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