Judge: Poker Is A Game Of Sklll, Not Luck

A federal judge has tossed out the conviction of a man running a Texas Hold 'Em game in a Staten Island, New York, warehouse. The judge says federal gambling law should not apply to poker because it's more a game of skill.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And our last word in business brings to mind Matt Damon's character in the poker movie "Rounders."

(SOUNDBITE OF MOVIE, "ROUNDERS")

MATT DAMON: (as Mike McDermott) Why does this still seem like gambling to you? I mean, why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table at the World Series of Poker every single year? What are they, the luckiest guys in Las Vegas? It's a skill game.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And a federal judge agrees. He tossed out the conviction of a man running a Texas Hold 'Em game in a Staten Island warehouse. The judge says federal gambling law should not apply to poker because it's more a game of skill.

INSKEEP: You know, knowing when to hold 'em, knowing when to fold 'em, knowing what the cards are by the way they hold their eyes, that sort of thing.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GAMBLER")

KENNY ROGERS: (Singing) You got to know when to hold 'em...

GREENE: There it is.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GAMBLER")

ROGERS: (Singing) ...know when to fold 'em.

GREENE: Sing it, Steve.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE GAMBLER")

KENNY ROGERS AND STEVE INSKEEP: (Singing) ...know when to walk away and know when to run. You never count your money...

INSKEEP: You get to get your news on MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

GREENE: And I'm David Greene.

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