Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Luck of the Irish

Wicklow man Derek Kelly has lost his case in a London court where he was being prosecuted for running games of chance -- in this case, poker -- without a licence. He organised games at the Gutshot club and had two systems for collecting fees from the games. His defence was that poker is a game of skill, not chance, but this seemed to rest on trying to stretch the notion that poker requires good gambling strategy, which it clearly does, into a claim that thus it's not really gambling at all. Of course when James Bond plays chemin de fer, it's an opportunity to tell us something broader about his skills, nerve, and basic understanding of French. But like all good gamblers, he knows when to quit. Kelly, who possibly courted the prosecution as a publicity stunt, did not.

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