Friday, February 10, 2006

Going to Extremes.

I'm not quite finished with the whole subject of the raid on Conti's Hold'Em game on Monday night. Yesterday, I showed this quote from the story:
"There's a little known law in Columbus that prohibits bars and restaurants that serve alcohol from allowing patrons or employees from playing games of chance on the premises."
And I asked:
So, is not merely "gambling", by which I mean the actual wagering of US cash money on the outcome, but the game of poker itself which is prohibited by the statute?
If it is the games and not "gambling", or the wagering of cash money, that is outlawed, therein lies the trouble for the Rat Pack Poker League, and the path along which the law, if enforcement is taken to its logical extreme, becomes ridiculous.
Many games not traditionally associated with gambling could be called "games of chance". Backgammon, for instance, involves an element of chance in that your choices in moving your pieces are dictated by the laws of probability as they affect the fall of the dice. In fact, backgammon is the only other game I can think of that combines skill and luck to almost the degree that poker itself does. No coincidence, then, that many top poker pros, most notably Gus Hanson, are also world class backgammon champs.
Hell, just about any game played with dice is a "game of chance", including Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit. And any card game where the distribution of the cards is randomized by the act of shuffling the deck (i.e. any card game) is a "game of chance", including Go Fish and Old Maid. True, your highly unlikely to see most of the games I've mentioned being played in bars, but if they were, the players would be flagrantry flaunting the law.
And don't even think of flipping a coin. Say you see a hot redhead across the room and can't decide whether to go talk to her or jsut give up on women altogether and go crawling back to lthe Catholic church so you can become a monk. So, you pull out your lucky Kennedy Half Dollar to help you make up your mind and your ass is busted by Elliot Ness.
Keep in mind that I have not read the actual text of the statute, but am basing all this ranting on that sentence I quoted above. If anyone knows where I can find that law on the web, let me know.
For now, however, I probably will move on to other subjects until there are any further developments.

1 comment:

thebigcurve said...

So, you are publishing every day now?
Shit. I had better stop in more often.
This multiple comments in one day thing is getting tedious!

Dan Harrington's co-author for Harrington On Hold 'Em Tournaments was a pro backgammon player.