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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 12:03pm     #1
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I'd like your thoughts on Poker viewed as gambling thanks.
I am an avid online poker player which is 100% Legal in NJ. However it is only legal in a couple other states. It drives me nuts that it is included in the same category as online gambling. Poker is a game of skill and is highly debated . I hope one day it is legal across the whole country. What bothers me not only is that poker is considered gambling but it is perfectly legal in almost every state to place a wager on a horse, Bingo or fantasy sports. Why are they classified as not gambling??
For people who do not play poker they may not understand but poker is a game of skill with luck involved. What that means is it takes skill in many situations to make the proper bet etc but there is still a luck factor to a degree. I can play Pocket Aces vs Pocket fives and be an 80% favorite and still lose. So yes luck may count for one hand, but for somebody like myself who has played over 500,000 online poker hands (I am mostly a tournament player) the skill comes into play over the long haul. There is a reason why some people play poker for a living. If it was all luck that would not be the case.
Even when you go to a casino there is NO house advantage in poker they get a fee and you are playing against OTHER people.

Any thoughts? Thanks.

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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 12:59pm     #2
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It isn't the "skill" involved it is the "money" involved.
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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 3:28pm     #3
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I wonder if it's harder for the government to regulate than bingo or horses.

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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 4:39pm     #4
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As another person who plays online poker in a state where it is legal ( Neveda-WSOP ), I totally agree with you about poker being a game of both skill and luck.

I started playing poker back in 2005 on sites like PokerStars in the height of the online poker craze. I was even playing online at PokerStars on that fateful day in April 2011 ( Black Monday in the poker world ) when the Department of Justice shut down online poker to all U.S. citizens. I was devastated at the DOJ's decision to involve itself in the world of poker.

While I understand the argument that poker is considered gambling because of the money involved, what most non-poker players do not understand is that there is a level of skill attached to the game. For one, you have to have a mathematical ability to play poker. You have to be able to calculate your odds in every bet you make against another player with every turn of a card. You have to have the mathematical skill to be able to calculate your buy-in's ( the amount of hands that you can monetarily be able to engage in ) and the mathematical skill of 'bankroll management', which is knowing what monetary limit of game levels you can comfortably play with your available money in your account ( like playing to $1, $5, $10, $25 and so on games, if you are playing tournaments ). Playing over your sustainable limits, and losing, have caused many a good poker players to go bankrupt in their accounts.

I am fortunate enough to have a son who plays poker professionally. He plays here in Las Vegas and has played in the World Series of Poker several, several times. In a good year, between playing live poker games and online, he makes a good six-figure income. During the days of PokerStars, I did his taxes for him and he made upwards of $250,000+. He is ranked as a top online poker player. And I was lucky enough to have this young man as a mentor when I decided that I wanted to play online poker. He sat with me for hours on end as I would play in tournaments and teach me the pitfalls on making impulsive bets on mediocre cards and he taught me the fine art of bankroll management & how to use the math in poker to my advantage. So yes, there is quite a bit of skill involved in playing poker. But as you so elegantly pointed out, you can mathematically be the favorite to win a hand, only to have the cards end up favoring your opponent. I guess that's where the old saying 'Luck of the draw' must have come from.

As someone who is retired and has health problems, I love that I live in a state that has legal online poker. I can't always go to the poker room at the casino, so being able to play online allows me to play poker in the comfort of my own home. I only wish that it would go back to the old days of PokerStars so that I could, once again, play poker against players from all over the world. I used to love playing poker against the guys from the Eastern European nations and the United Kingdom. We became friends after time and there was a friendship & respect for each other forged. Now, I am limited to playing against only those players who reside in my state.

I think that poker should be consider a sport, just like golf. To have the skill to play and the physical fortitude to play for hours on end makes it a sport in my mind. To say anything else, in my opinion, is disrespectful to those of us that choose to play poker professionally.

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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 5:17pm     #5
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when they can classify sweepstakes which involves no risk on the person entering as "gambling", then I can't even come close to answering your question.

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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 6:07pm     #6
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I play poker locally in casinos. I don't play online. Money changes hands and you probably play no-limit where hands can be won with a bluff. Yes there is skill involved but it's also involved in blackjack. As long as it is offered in casinos and by casinos it will be considered gambling. On the plus side a W2G allows qualified tax write offs and only taxable at $1199+.


My two cents: poker is gambling.

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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 7:59pm     #7
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It is pretty simple to me that of course it is gambling and requires skill to be good. Sports gambling takes skill and knowledge also to be successful. Gambling can take many different form and some have advantages depending on your skill level. Depending on how you are doing it investing in the stock market is gambling.
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  Old  May 15th, 2017, 11:37pm     #8
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It takes skill to be GOOD. It doesn't take much skill to get taken advantage of by unregulated poker sites OR to lose your house if you're awful at it.

It's silly to say there's no skill in BEING GOOD at sports wagers or horse racing. The math involved makes my brain hurt. So if skill being involved means it's not gambling, what IS gambling?

But really, the govt just wants its taxes.

Also, don't forget, if poker isn't gambling, you can't deduct your poker losses from your taxes, so... mixed blessing.
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  Old  May 16th, 2017, 12:21am     #9
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It's gambling with an edge for the knowledgeable. It's illegal because of the high potential for problem gamblers to lose a lot of money playing it.

Which is unfortunate for the rest of us. I miss badugi, razz and 2-7 triple draw. I especially miss stud 8. I miss sit and gos.

Online poker is a felony in my state.
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  Old  May 16th, 2017, 10:12am     #10
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Is this a serious question?

Do you have money at risk? YES, it's gambling.
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  Old  May 16th, 2017, 2:13pm     #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bomar97 View Post
when they can classify sweepstakes which involves no risk on the person entering as "gambling", then I can't even come close to answering your question.
They don't in any way consider sweeping gambling (IMHO). If you are declaring money has gambling winnings you are probably doing it wrong and should look into talking to your accountant.

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  Old  May 16th, 2017, 2:52pm     #12
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Ok then let me go about it like this
I was asked if I am serious, maybe this point.

How come you can legally bet on horses, bingo and fantasy sports online in almost every state in this country? Is that gambling?

If so then why is poker not allowed? Just wondering. Either something is gambling or not, I'd like to think that Poker is less luck involved then Bingo and horse racing.

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  Old  May 16th, 2017, 2:56pm     #13
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Why can I go there right now and start betting but can't play poker, seems shady to me

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  Old  May 16th, 2017, 7:49pm     #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vetstadium View Post
I was asked if I am serious, maybe this point.

How come you can legally bet on horses, bingo and fantasy sports online in almost every state in this country? Is that gambling?

If so then why is poker not allowed? Just wondering. Either something is gambling or not, I'd like to think that Poker is less luck involved then Bingo and horse racing.
It is all gambling but the answer is complicated by a combination of federal, state, and local laws. In my state for example you can only gamble on horse racing in a few locations and not online. Sport gambling is illegal but the advent of sports "fantasy" gambling is so new it is a mess of lawsuits and differing state laws. There are also areas that don't believe in new laws but keep old one on the books.

Bingo is a whole different conversation. It is gambling but many states have a different set of laws for churches and non-profits in order to court the religious vote. Church based child care in my state have a different set of laws than for profits childcares. They do this only because some lawmakers believe church comes before state. If enough churches wanted to start poker tournaments they would probably pass a law making those legal too.
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  Old  May 17th, 2017, 2:50pm     #15
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The only online poker that I play is on WSOP (free). The only problem with a free poker site is that there are people who rarely play with skill. It is hard to find a good table with players that will play right. I'd love to play some of those players in real life!

It's not legal to play online for money in my state. They don't even have lottery in this state! You can purchase pull tabs, but they are connected to a prepaid phone card. I don't even bother purchasing those. There are casinos though. I haven't played a live game in the casino yet, but I have played live tournaments with people in the past.

Yes, it is gambling, but I do agree with you. I don't understand why some things are not considered gambling and others are.

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