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Va. court ruling fails to answer poker question

Thursday - 2/28/2013, 3:03pm  ET

Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. - The Virginia Supreme Court has declined to say whether poker is a game of skill or a game of chance.

That question was central to a dispute between the proprietor of the Poker Palace in Portsmouth and the local prosecutor. Charles Daniels, who hosted charitable Texas Hold 'Em tournaments, asked a judge to declare whether the game violates the state's gambling law after he was threatened with prosecution.

The judge ruled that the gambling prohibition does cover Texas Hold 'Em because the outcome of a given hand is uncertain, making it a game of chance. Daniels appealed.

The justices ruled Thursday that a court can't enjoin a possible criminal prosecution, so the judge didn't even have authority to consider the issue -- thus leaving the "skill or luck" question unanswered.

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