On May 1, 2007, poker is considered a game of luck or chance not skill, making it illegal to put wagers on material things while playing poker in North Carolina, according to the state Court of Appeals.
In a unanimous decision, the 3 man panel said that a good poker player can change the odds, improving the chances of winning, but the player is always in danger of defeat at every draw of the card.
State regulations make it a misdemeanor charge for any individual or group to hold a poker game where players need to bet money or any other items that have great value.
However, in 2004, Mr. Howard Fierman wanted to open a poker club in Durham County and later filed a case against Durham County District Attorney, Jim Hardin, when the latter said that it is illegal to open a poker club in the area.
Fierman's lawyers said that poker is a game of skill, not chance. Marcus Hill, a Durham lawyer said that anyone who does not think that poker is a game of skill hasn't played a skilled poker player yet. He added that it is a pity that North Carolina has not lost that kind of mentality regarding the game.
4 witnesses, like Poker Pro, Roy Cooke, said that a good player can utilize techniques in order to turn a game around. But Richard Thornell from the North Carolina Alcohol Enforcement Division said that while skill is a useful tool in the game, luck will ultimately play a big role in the game.
Judge Ann Marie Calabria said that although skills like knowing the human psyche, bluffing and analyzing odds will make it more likely for a pro to beat a beginner. No amount of skill can do that.
May 13, 2007