Divided panel

Mar 30, 2010 1:28 AM

Even the members of the Pennsylvania appeals court couldn’t agree on whether Texas Hold’em poker is legal under state law. But two of the three panelists said it was illegal therefore poker players must conform to the decision.

The panel was given the challenge of deciding whether the decision of County Judge Thomas James Jr. that said the poker game required more skill than chance was consistent with state law. He had decided in favor of two people who were charged with violating gaming laws by conducting a poker tournament.

Judge James wrote, "The academic studies and the experts generally agree that a player must be skillful to be successful at poker."

Only one of the three panelists agreed with him. Defense attorneys said they would appeal the decision to the state Supreme Court.