Posts Tagged ‘Lawrence Burns’

Pennsylvania Tourney Organizer Found Guilty of Gambling

“Game of Skill” defense doesn’t hold up

by , Aug 14, 2009 | 10:08 am

Lawrence Burns, 65, was found guilty of gambling yesterday, despite arguments the real-money tournaments he organized were not gambling because poker is a game of skill. After 2 1/2 days of testimony, the Westmoreland jury took less than 2 1/2 hours to return a verdict.

Though a judge will determine Burns’ sentence, the prosecutor has said he does not believe the offense merits jail time. Burns plans to appeal the court’s ruling.

Regardless of these semi-bummer results, we should probably all take note: while it’s not too hard to convince non-poker people that poker is different from slot machines, lotteries, craps, etc. — and we might even convince them that Texas Hold’em tournaments are as skillful endeavors as fishing tournaments (where the pros generally win, but an amateur can always get lucky) — we’re always gonna have a really hard time persuading them to believe that poker isn’t gambling, game of skill or not. Sucks, but oh well … now we don’t need to hide all the players that like to say things like “gamble gamble!” when all-in on a draw.

(Thanks Marvin-in-Bedford for the heads-up.)