PokerStars argues that law does not apply.

Mind you, I am not a lawyer, but even I know that definition of the game of poker and whether or not it is gambling is not up to Pokerstar's lawyers but the each state's code, and they tend to be very specific about whether or not poker is considered gambling; the relationship of gambling to skill; and whether or not money can be involved; and whether or not an establishment is entitled to take money hosting a game and providing dealers which has nothing to do with a game of skill.

Pokerstars can't wave a dictionary and make it all better and I question what this approach says about their estimation of our collective intelligences.

this is what ive thought of this so called poker room all along theyre nowt short of a bunch of desperados hoping for a quick kill and theyll be off quicker than a greyhound out a trap once the heats really steer clear of here you might find there flops become worse in the next weeks ..but i doubt they can get any

sounds like somebody had a bad run at PokerStars.

props to PS for taking a gamble. somebody tell Phil Ivey, Doyle Brunson and Sam Farha that poker is not a skill game!
is poker skill or luck?

I'm with David Sklansky on this one. Fish and newbies rely on luck, the former because they're stupid and the latter because they lack skill. But even a midrange poker player like me knows that there is no such thing as luck! There is only chance. A successful poker player fights the influence of random chance during every split-second of his playing time. This is proven by the fact that, in televised tournaments worth megacash, you see at least three or four of the world's top players at every final table. They make it there so regularly because they are the most skilled and experienced and fight chance the hardest. Many chance-exploiting midrange players or utter fish make final table or even finish 1st once in their lifetimes but never make it there again. I figure, if skill and experience lead to more lifetime success at poker than reliance on "luck," then poker *is* a game of skill, closer in its essence to chess than to slot machines.

If you're going to bring up Doyle Brunson on me, I think his huge talent and incomparable decades of experience are what make him able to go all in with 57o against AA and pull two pair to win (as I've seen him do). He likely experiences it as a sixth sense or intuition, but it's really his subconscious working overtime in the background.

Is poker gambling? I think the element of randomness makes ring games gambling, but tournaments are more like sweepstakes. In a ring game the purchase of privilege to gain money lasts for only one hand, while in a tournament it can last for hundreds of hands, all of which call for voluntary action and judgment. BetZip takes advantage of this principle by charging a flat monthly membership fee and making all of their tournaments freerolls.

I think Poker Stars should charge weekly, monthly, and annual membership fees of various levels--say, $10 to $10,000--and let ring games players play as if they were using play money, then award monthly prizes according to a formula that calculates player performance. This formula would take into account average bet size, bet median, hands won, folds/calls/raises/reraises, opponent strength, and other stuff I can't think of. It would be hellishly complicated to figure out and would likely require a terrabyte of RAM, but PokerStars can afford to hire the top mathematicians and poker consultants in the world to assist them. It would be better than taking a flyer on whether some senile Supreme Court Justices think poker is a game of skill or not.


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