Wednesday, July 29, 2009

August 21st Marks Next Online Poker Showdown

The Poker Players Alliance, or PPA for short, has certainly been in the thick of things recently. Not only have they been responsible for presenting the President with a petition regarding online poker, but they have also been responsible for raising a lot of awareness regarding the game of poker through their National Poker Week. Now, it looks as though they are set for yet another showdown against the US government over the issue of the legality of online poker within the United States of America.

August 21st is scheduled to be the day in court and PPA lawyers will be representing the case of Account Services, a payment processor that had around $14 million in funds seized by the government under the auspices of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. PPA lawyers will be challenging this particular perception and the battleground for this legal battle will be the Southern District Court of California.

While details are sketchy at best at the moment, it appears to be a strong possibility that the Poker Players Alliance will adopt a strategy of attempting to prove that online poker is predominantly a game of skill rather than a game of luck. If they are able to do this to the satisfaction of the court, it is quite possible that it could set the groundwork for a national poker definition that legally ends up exempting it from the UIGEA.

The focal point for their argument will be a study that was done last year regarding hands that had been played at Poker Stars. The study took a close look at 103 million hands at the cash game tables and came to the conclusion that 3 out of 4 hands never ended up going to the last betting street. Furthermore, the hands that did go to that last street ended up largely not going to the player with the best hand because of betting and bluffing.

This is important because it shows that less than 15% of the time does the best five-card poker hand actually win the pot. In other words, luck determines less than 15% of the hands while skill determines the other 85%+.