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Federal judge: Poker a game of skill, not chance

Judge Jack Weinstein dismisses the conviction of a man charged with violating a federal gambling law

Ending an age-old debate, a federal judge ruled last week that poker is primarily a game of skill, not chance, tossing out the conviction of a N.Y. man previously found guilty of violating the Illegal Gambling Business Act.

In July 2011, a jury found that businessman Lawrence DiCristina ran afoul the federal law by running semiweekly poker games out of one of his warehouses, which players paid $300 to join. DiCristina faced a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, but his lawyers appealed the conviction, arguing that poker was a game of skill, and thus not prohibited by the statute.

Alanna Byrne

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