God Clearly Hates Poker
But our guts tell us he doesn't love poker.
In what seems to be one blow to the game of poker after another, Derek Kelly, the owner of the Gutshot poker club, handsdown the best place to play poker in London, has been convicted of "contravening the Gaming Act" for "illegally charging a levy on the winnings and illegally charging a fee to take part in" poker games, or to put it another way, for owning the best place to play poker in London. The result will likely be the closing of the the unlicensed club, which has been holding games since 2004, and notwithstanding being the home turf of Tiffany "Crazy Bitch" Williamson, has produced a steady flow of top notch card tossers.
At issue here was whether poker is predominantly a game of skill or chance. If seen as a game of skill, like chess, bridge, the Rubiks Cube and Internet Sudoku, then Kelly's private club would not fall under the Gaming Act but instead would be considered nerdy and a complete waste of time. If seen as a game of chance, then he would be illegally operating under the Gaming Act for not holding a casino license, something that is prohibitively expensive for smaller poker clubs.
The jury, because God hates poker and we've obviously been praying to the wrong Jesus (the one in the tuxedo t-shirt), concluded that poker was a game of chance, primarily because each hand begins with a shuffled deck.
The 46-year-old Kelly will now have to pay 23,000 quid and face the closing of the Gutshot club.
In response to the ruling, a Gambling Commission spokesman, whose job is to protect small children from the big bad evil Derek Kellys of the world, had the following thing to say: "Poker is a very popular game, but without proper supervision it can rapidly escalate into a high-risk, volatile activity, as well as create opportunities for criminal exploitation and cheating."
Yes, God clearly hates poker.