Poker Is Good for You, Professor Says A Harvard law professor contends that poker is as much of a game of skill as is is of luck. Charles R. Nesson, famed for defending Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers case, is lobbying to make online poker legal.
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Poker Is Good for You, Professor Says

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Poker Is Good for You, Professor Says

Poker Is Good for You, Professor Says

Poker Is Good for You, Professor Says

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/16349073/16349054" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Congress is considering whether to legalize online poker. Dave Hogan/Getty Images hide caption

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Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Harvard law professor Charles R. Nesson, famed for defending Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers case, has a new cause: making online poker legal.

Nesson contends that poker is not the same as other types of gambling, because it's as much of a game of skill as it is one of luck. Lobbyists for the game are now trying to persuade Congress to legalize online poker.

The professor uses poker in his classes to teach students about decision making and risk. He describes poker as a game of two skills. The first is making good bets, or good investments. The second is being able to discern your opponent's strategy and story without revealing your own. "You put those two together and you have a dynamite poker player, or a dynamite lawyer, or a dynamite businessman," Nesson says. "You have dynamite."

On our blog, an open thread for poker players, former players and people who wouldn't go near the game.