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Poker News: March 23, 2008

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HEADLINE: Scientist Finds Poker to be Game of Skill

Yet another scientific study has concluded that poker is a game of skill rather than chance. Science Daily has revealed that the findings of an experiment conducted by Michael DeDonno, a doctoral student from Case Western Reserve University, are that skill is the defining factor separating winning poker players from losers.

The bulk of evidence uncovered by the scientific community consistently finds that poker rewards skillful play, and that luck becomes less and less a factor as the number of hands dealt increases. This preponderance of unbiased and objective conclusions may very well play a large role in legal precedents.

Poker has often been lumped in with games of chance, and is often considered illegal by law enforcement where such luck-based games are forbidden. If it can be established as a legal concept that poker is skill-based, then statutes against games of chance would no longer apply.

DeDonno based his findings on two separate studies, which he found gave empirical evidence that poker was a game of skill. Matching players without experience against each other, DeDonno gave half the players a short history and summation of the rules of the game. He gave the other half a synopsis of specific strategies to playing.

The group with suggested strategies consistently outplayed the other bunch. DeDonno found that with more skill came the decision to play fewer hands; the skilled players often saw half as many flops as the unskilled.

DeDonno also backed up Charles Neeson's assertions that poker is a valuable teaching tool, and is useful in risk assessment, decision making, and in situations in which only partial information is available.

Should not the sham that poker is blind luck and needs to be outlawed be ended? How can the government continue to ignore the scientific evidence and play to the uninformed?

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Article downloaded from the World Wide Web on March 22, 2007

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