John Pappas, the executive director of the PPA, said on August 13th, 2009 that given the Weld County District Court judge's decision that the game of poker is game of chance because of the small element of luck in dealing of the cards, one could easily believe that any game that depends even a little on luck-from Monopoly to Candy Land-is gambling and therefore not allowed in Colorado. Pappas said that they think that this is a wrong understanding of the law especially in regards to the game of poker.
Last year, 5 individuals were apprehended and charged with illegal gaming at a $20 buy-in No Limit Holdem event held in a bar in Colorado, including event organizer Kevin Raley. After arguing the game of poker is a game of skill and therefore not illegal gaming, Raley was acquitted of the charges and the charges were also dropped against the other four accused. During the trial, University of Denver professor Bob Hannum was called to testify that poker is a game of skill.
In an effort to clarify the state of Colorado's law regarding the game of poker, the state appealed the decision that Hannum be permitted to testify. On August 4th, 2009, a County District Court Judge decided that poker is already considered as gambling under the existing Colorado law and Hannum's testimony should not have been permitted. Although the state officials do not plan to re-file the charges, Raley is now planning to appeal the ruling in the Colorado Supreme Court.
Raley said that the decision to appeal the ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court is more about his faith or his friends. He said that this is about all poker players' chance to ensure that current gaming law of Colorado recognizes poker as a game of skill and is based on much more than luck.
The Poker Players Alliance has more than one million members in the United States including more than 13,000 members in Colorado and is standing behind Raley firmly. PPA's Colorado State Director, Gary Reed said that they will do everything in their power to support Raley's efforts in order to protect Poker Players Alliance members and poker enthusiasts in Colorado.
Reed said that he is alarmed because this decision ignores the research that proves that poker is considered as a game of skill and confuses rather than clarifies the issue for law enforcement.
09/08/2009 22:14 PM