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South Carolina: Poker May No Longer Be Game Of Skill

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Dec/31/2009

The Poker Players Alliance praised a South Carolina court for recognizing poker as a game of skill earlier this year.  Nevertheless, five players -- Michael Williamson, Scott Richards, Bob Chimento, Jeremy Brestel and John T. Willis -- were found guilty of violating the state's anti-gambling laws for their involvement in a private Texas hold'em tournament held at a Mt. Pleasant home.

Now the PPA and poker community alike may risk having South Carolina reverse its declaration that poker is a game of skill should South Carolina's attorney general have any say in the matter.  He's appealing the ruling by Circuit Judge Markley Dennis, which ultimately resulted in overturning the convictions of 5 Mount Pleasant poker players as well.

McMaster's appeal says he doesn't think whether there is skill or just chance involved has anything to do with lawmakers' attempt to ban gambling.

The attorney general skipped the Court of Appeals and filed with the state Supreme Court, saying the question deals with the constitution's wording on gambling.

Dennis' ruling said playing Texas Hold 'em in a private home does not violate the state's anti-gambling laws, some of which he said are vague.

The Poker Players Alliance has long argued that poker is a game of skill. 

Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com 

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