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Debates Forum

  1. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    29 May '15 22:56
    I posted a similar discussion for this debate, initially, on the two plus two poker forums. After some investigation and discussion with poker players, I thought I'd bring the discussion to chess players. Read what poker players say here:

    http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/57/poker-legislation-forum-brought-you-ppa/chess-vs-poker-tournaments-arizona-1534182/

    Chess for Money has long been a regular thing throughout the world. But any time skill has some element of chance, there is the opportunity for gambling. With poker, a predominantly skill game, the money changing hands is obviously gambling. With chess, it's often not as transparent.

    Take the USCF US Open coming to the Arizona Biltmore this fall. On the surface, it's gambling. There's risk. A contest. And reward. Arizona, sadly, is one of those five or six states with... unique gambling laws. In Arizona, all gambling is illegal unless it is excluded gambling. The laws provide seven exclusions. The only exclusion that might be applicable for the way the USCF is structured (501c3) and the way the tournament is structured, is the intellectual gambling exclusion. Which makes sense. It's a chess tournament.

    However, the Arizona Attorney General's office has refused to "clear" an amusement gambling registration that mirrors the USCF event in every detail. The grounds? "Not every player that pays the entry fee receives the first $50,000 projected cash prize pool".

    The AG interprets the intellectual exclusion language "the money paid to gamble is part of the established purchase price of a product" to mean that the product is the prize.

    However, the Arizona Department of gaming says that the "USCF event does not fall under Arizona's statutory definition of illegal gambling". Which is hogwash, because Arizona statutes don't define "illegal gambling"... they define "gamble or gambling", and like all other forms of gambling in Arizona, they are illegal unless excluded.

    Yes, I asked the USCF how not only the US Open gets by without being illegal gambling, but the dozens of USCF-sanctioned clubs hosting weekly USCF events. They were non-responsive. I asked twice now.

    I've asked the ADG twice.

    I've asked the AG twice.

    Conflicting interpretations of the intellectual gambling exclusion. My interpretation, which works just as well for poker as it does for chess, is that the registration fee/money paid to gamble is for the convention itself, and it includes entry into the US Open. Participating in the chess tournament or just the dinners, meetings, seminars, and golf outing is up to each individual.

    Alas, perhaps the ADG doesn't realize that the AG interprets "the product" to mean "the prize(s)" awarded to the winners?
  2. Standard member vivify
    rain
    30 May '15 00:53
    "poker, a predominantly skill game"

    I don't see how that can possibly be true.
  3. 30 May '15 22:14
    The basic difference between chess and poker is that with poker you have the luck of the cards. In chess you don't have blind chance.
  4. Standard member bill718
    Enigma
    31 May '15 01:32 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by BobbyCorvini
    I posted a similar discussion for this debate, initially, on the two plus two poker forums. After some investigation and discussion with poker players, I thought I'd bring the discussion to chess players. Read what poker players say here:

    http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/57/poker-legislation-forum-brought-you-ppa/chess-vs-poker-tournaments-arizona-1 ...[text shortened]... sn't realize that the AG interprets "the product" to mean "the prize(s)" awarded to the winners?
    Typical backward American thinking. Lost in all this legal nit picking is the fact that Chess is a game that does so much good for so many. "Chess makes you smart" is a USCF motto, and rightly so. Maybe those folks in AZ would prefer the typical American hillbilly model of the half drunk goof balls, playing checkers on top of the old general store, complete with a jug of moonshine whiskey at their feet, while their old dawg looks out for those revenooers!
  5. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    31 May '15 13:51
    Originally posted by vivify
    "poker, a predominantly skill game"

    I don't see how that can possibly be true.
    Alas, it's true. Take your pick for proof positive.

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=federal+judge+rules+poker+is+a+game+of+skill&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
  6. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    31 May '15 14:14 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Eladar
    The basic difference between chess and poker is that with poker you have the luck of the cards. In chess you don't have blind chance.
    Remember, we're talking about tournaments here... "the long haul". Not single matches or individual hands.

    In chess you have luck and chance, but not the wild variance of poker. Chess is much more a pure thinking man's game. Strategic, logical, precision. Poker is dirty, it requires math and analytical thinking skills too, but luck can play a bigger role in poker than chess, no doubt.

    But consider in chess, the "draw" for opponents. Anytime a human plays another human in a contest of skill, the element of chance is increased. What if your opponent just found out his significant other was cheating, or his best friend died? If it was pure skill, an ELO rating would determine who wins the tournament. And if Vegas put odds on a chess tournament, do you think who drew black vs. white would have any bearing on those odds?

    I think the basic similarity between chess and poker is that they are both predominantly games of intellectual skill. Chess, being almost pure skill subject to little variance. Poker, being more subject to variance, but still, the degree of skill over the long run determines the winner more so than chance. Poker players have known this for a long time. Mr. Baxter knew it when the IRS declared his poker winnings could be claimed as earned income. Most countries recognize poker is a different kind of gambling than blackjack or slot machines. And now, formally and officially, so does the US. It's Arizona that has the goofy laws.
  7. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    31 May '15 14:26 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by bill718
    Typical backward American thinking. Lost in all this legal nit picking is the fact that Chess is a game that does so much good for so many. "Chess makes you smart" is a USCF motto, and rightly so. Maybe those folks in AZ would prefer the typical American hillbilly model of the half drunk goof balls, playing checkers on top of the old general store, complete ...[text shortened]... jug of moonshine whiskey at their feet, while their old dawg looks out for those revenooers!
    Ouch Bill. Ya, chess does good for a lot of people. But plenty of great articles by lots of great people discuss how poker can teach you bankroll management, finance, math, odds, psychology, acting, reading, masking, bluffing, negotiating, trading...

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=what+does+chess+teach+us&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

    I'm not attacking chess, I'm questioning the laws of Arizona that may make the US Open high felony conspiracy, racketeering and illegal gambling just as they do with illegal poker rooms, race tracks and slot machine dens.

    If questioning the laws constitutes legal nit picking... please be advised that the OP in the tread is a question on interpreting the law. The subject (Not Unlawful?) tips the reader off.

    I respect chess and hold it in a different class of game and gamer than poker "rogues", but regardless of that, BOTH chess and poker are "predominantly" skill games in as far as the eyes of the law in Arizona are concerned.
  8. Standard member vivify
    rain
    31 May '15 15:07 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by BobbyCorvini
    Alas, it's true. Take your pick for proof positive.

    http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=federal+judge+rules+poker+is+a+game+of+skill&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
    A judge's ruling isn't "proof" dude. The Supreme Court once ruled in the Dred Scott case that any prohibition of slavery would violate the 5th Amendment. Was that "proof" that slavery shouldn't be banned?

    There's a reason why poker is played in casinos.
  9. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    31 May '15 16:18 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by vivify
    A judge's ruling isn't "proof" dude. The Supreme Court once ruled in the Dred Scott case that any prohibition of slavery would violate the 5th Amendment. Was that "proof" that slavery shouldn't be banned?

    There's a reason why poker is played in casinos.
    Right. The ruling isn't proof. It's federal case law. Even though on appeal, the not guilty verdict was tossed out -- because it's gambling duh -- the appeal didn't challenge the opinion. And the briefs filed to support that formal opinion most certainly are evidence/proof that supports that reasoning. Unfortunately, as fascinating and significant as the Dred Scot case is, I am not that familiar with the details of the opinions of the courts and jjustices at the time. But I don't see any way to overturn the hard proof that poker is predominantly a game of skill... Not as much as chess on the pure intellectual level, but skill trumps chance nonetheless.

    While rhetorical, why do you believe poker is played in casinos, but not chess? In the context of Arizona laws please, as that is the thread specific topic.

    Or rather, why do you think Arizona allows a $200 chess tournament but not a similarly structured poker tournament?
  10. Standard member vivify
    rain
    31 May '15 17:12
    Originally posted by BobbyCorvini


    Or rather, why do you think Arizona allows a $200 chess tournament but not a similarly structured poker tournament?
    Gambling usually includes playing against odds that are stacked against you. Casinos operate on this principle, offering games where the odds are in the house's favor.

    When playing Texas Hold 'Em, the most popular poker game in casinos, you have a 1-in-10 chance of winning, assuming it's a full table. Those odds are heavily stacked against you. Add the fact that getting a good hand is random chance, and getting community cards that work in your favor is also random chance, and the "skill" portion is dwarfed to the point that it's mostly luck.

    Now consider chess, a game of pure skill. Assuming no cheating is involved, Magnus Carlsen has pretty close to a 100% chance of winning any random tournament thrown in Arizona.

    I think films like The Gambler and Rounders play a large part in perpetuating the myth that poker is mostly a game of skill.
  11. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    31 May '15 19:28 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by vivify
    Gambling usually includes playing against odds that are stacked against you. Casinos operate on this principle, offering games where the odds are in the house's favor.

    When playing Texas Hold 'Em, the most popular poker game in casinos, you have a 1-in-10 chance of winning, assuming it's a full table. Those odds are heavily stacked against you. Add th ...[text shortened]... er and Rounders play a large part in perpetuating the myth that poker is mostly a game of skill.
    It's skill if you cheat but then you might suffer like this guy from the movie Casino:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYa1IsxGVuc

    (notice how this movie glorifies white criminals btw)
  12. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    31 May '15 21:05
    I was afraid of this... the debate is turning into "chess is more skill than poker", rather than a discussion of Arizona's laws that seem to prohibit poker as well as chess, making the 116th US Open as illegal as a poker tournament.

    Arizona makes no distinction between skill or chance in determining whether a gambling device (chess/pieces or cards/chips) is being used to conduct/promote illegal gambling. Arizona is pretty strict. And they've raided veteran's posts for awarding a free dinner to the high score on the megatouch video game each month.

    http://www.azleg.state.az.us/ars/13/03301.htm

    Check out


    1. "Amusement gambling" means gambling involving a device, game or contest which is played for entertainment if all of the following apply:


    4. "Gambling" or "gamble" means one act of risking or giving something of value for the opportunity to obtain a benefit from a game or contest of chance or skill or a future contingent event but does not include bona fide business transactions which are valid under the law of contracts including contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, contracts of indemnity or guarantee and life, health or accident insurance.

    6. "Regulated gambling" means either:

    7. "Social gambling" means gambling that is not conducted as a business and that involves players who compete on equal terms with each other in a gamble if all of the following apply:

    The gaming department tells us that 13-3302 prohibits all gambling unless one of the seven exclusions (above in 3301) apply.

    So which exclusion applies to the US Open Chess Tournament?

    I posted on the poker forum first, because poker players would be more "pro-poker rights", and I expected chess players to be up in arms about the debate, but to agree that poker is predominantly a game of skill. Read the 120 page opinion and amicus briefs filed by the PPA and others in the NY vs. DiCristina case in question if you don't believe poker is predominantly skill... again, not as dominantly as chess, and we are talking tournament situations here. KEep that in mind too.

    Posting in the chess forums tho, where "great minds reside"... I was really hoping to get more helpful debate than the twoplustwo poker forums provided.
  13. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    31 May '15 21:13
    Originally posted by vivify
    When playing Texas Hold 'Em, the most popular poker game in casinos, you have a 1-in-10 chance of winning, assuming it's a full table. Those odds are heavily stacked against you. Add the fact that getting a good hand is random chance, and getting community cards that work in your favor is also random chance, and the "skill" portion is dwarfed to the point that it's mostly luck.
    1-10 at a 10 seat table? Are those Phil Ivey's odds or mine?

    Heavily stacked? Man, I'm not going to argue whether poker is a predominantly skill game. It is. So is bowling, darts, billiards, scrabble, chess, golf, canasta, euchre, pinochle... somebody stop me! lol

    I'm not debating whether chess or poker has more random chance. I agree with everything you say about the chance being bigger part of poker's outcome than it is in chess. Sometimes. lol

    "Dwarfed to the point that it's mostly luck"

    How man "professional poker players" will make it to the WSOP final table this year? 22K players in the Colossus event that started already. Watch and see how skill is dwarfed to the point of mostly luck. Watch and see. I rest my case.

    But that's not the case. It's poker vs. chess under the amusement exclusion.
  14. Subscriber AThousandYoung
    Poor Filipov :,(
    31 May '15 21:30
    So...a debate for lawyers. In Arizona. For the benefit of poker players. Zzzzzzz
  15. Standard member BobbyCorvini
    JoBo66
    31 May '15 22:48
    Originally posted by AThousandYoung
    So...a debate for lawyers. In Arizona. For the benefit of poker players. Zzzzzzz
    Or a debate for constitutional liberties for all intellectual gamers in Arizona, not just chess. A debate where chess players and organizers should be asked to defend and retain their rights to gamble in Arizona where other groups or classes are not.