A complex nature of poker generated in poker community, a discussion on what dominates in this casino game: skills or success. Most of the people believe that poker is a casino game the outcome of which depends on skills of a casino player and only a small probability is given to a chance. This thesis is confirmed by facts. For instance, legendary poker players have won WSOP poker championship for many times independently on a number of participants. Thus, Johnny Moss has triply become a poker champion (in 1970, 1971 and 1974), a three-time poker champion is the greatest player of the 20th century Stew Ungar, he won WSOP in 1980, 1981 and 1997. Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chen have twice tried on Gold WSOP winner bracelets. In poker as in any other kind of sports there is an elite of poker players who win great tournaments every year or take prize places. Just sport compound of poker let make poker player rating, every year the first places are occupied there by the poker the casino and poker rooms community.
As to the opinion of the states on the nature of poker, here everything’s more complicated and sophisticated. As a rule, in many countries the authorities don’t make any difference between gambling games and poker. However such a fuddy-duddy approach has recently tried to break the poker community. Poker and casino games fans unite themselves in associations, public entities trying to prove to the officials that poker can not be put together with roulette or slot machines.
Sometimes the authorities themselves understand that. For instance, in the United States poker can be played not only in casinos but in special card rooms the activity of which is allowed only on the territory of the states where gambling business is prohibited. Thus, on the territory of California successfully work 91 card rooms, in Florida 16, in Washington 112, the state of Montana counts even 493 card rooms. The income of American card rooms (not including casinos) in 2006 made more than 1 milliard dollars. The activity of these organizations are severely controlled by the government. For instance, the legislation of Florida fully regulates the rate of the stakes in poker. This year in June got effect the law according to which the stakes in limited poker games are allowed to be increased from 2 to 5 dollars, in unlimited Texas Hold’em maximum allowed rate of buy-in makes 100 dollars.
However these states are predominantly exceptions. Unfortunately poker for most of American officials is a gamble. For most of them but not for everybody. In June 2007 a congressman Robert Wexler introduced to the House of representatives of the USA a draft law named “Skill Game Protection Act”. According to this draft law such games as poker, bridge, chess should not fall within the scope of the law because on the author’s mind they are games where skills dominate over a chance. A very serious political force acting on the side of poker is a senator Alfonse D’Amato who together with the organization “Poker Players Alliance” fights for a fair and objective attitude of the authorities to the favourite game.
But if in the USA the process of poker recognition as a skill game has just begun in some other countries poker scored off the conservatism of the officials.