Online Poker has a Chance
By staff
Until recently, police detective Randy Peterson was on the front lines of the fight against illegal gambling, but now he’s gambling on an idea that could make him a rich man.

Mr. Peterson has invented a method that he says removes the element of chance from poker making it a game of skill that he hopes won't be subject to anti-gambling laws in most of the U.S. He calls it 'skill poker.'

Players at different virtual tables are given equivalent hands of cards. At the end of the game, the players are rated against their peers at other tables, rather than against the players at their own table. The winner is the player who did the best with his or her set of cards. The idea resembles duplicate bridge.

Gambling generally is defined under state laws as an activity that includes a prize, chance and 'consideration.' Theoretically, removing one of these three elements could make it a legal activity in most states.

But how much chance has to be removed to make a game legal? 'The question is whether chance is predominant,' says Anthony Cabot, a gaming-law attorney at Lionel Sawyer & Collins in Las Vegas, who says the issue is whether skill poker removes enough chance to pass legal muster.

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