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James McManus

Good Poker Players Aren't Lucky

An Idaho court rules that poker is a game of skill, not a game of chance like craps or roulette. If card players are lucky, maybe the Justice Department will take the same view.
Photographer: Dan Tuffs/Getty Images
Photographer: Dan Tuffs/Getty Images

The U.S. has somehow become a country in which poker players from Staten Island, New York, to Boise, Idaho, can't risk a few hundred bucks in an honest game without fear of criminal prosecution.

Idaho is known for its libertarian streak. Recently, however, overzealous prosecutors and law enforcement officers in Boise tried to turn poker players into criminals, bringing misdemeanor gambling charges that would carry penalties of imprisonment and fines up to $1,000.