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America’s Love of Bluffing

by Matt Matros |  Published: Oct 03, 2012

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It happened to me again, just before I sat down to write this very column. “Oh, you’re a professional poker player?” my new acquaintance said. “You must be good at bluffing.” This is the everyman’s understanding of our game — that poker players are good bluffers, good liars who could probably take an odd job as a con artist. The public’s fascination with bluffing is mostly harmless cocktail party banter. Where it potentially becomes dangerous is when it rears its head in our justice system. Recently a court decision came down, in the case of U.S. v. DiCristina, that verified what we all already knew — poker is a game of skill. But at least federal Judge Jack Weinstein did, in fact, rule this way. Believe it or not, in the recent past other courts wouldn’t even grant that skill predominates in poker’s long run. To Weinstein’s credit, his decision ...


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