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A.L.E. Is L.A.M.E.

This is so decidedly lame. Last night, the ALE shutdown a FREE poker tournament being held at a local Greensboro, NC restaurant. Over the last few months these games have become a part of the local scene, with more than 10 restaurants in Greensboro having games 1 or 2 times a week. In addition, there are games throughout the state being run by www.5thstreetentertainment.com. In previous posts, I made mention of my good fortune in a few of the games at Red Oak, a local brew pub. In fact, out of approximately 250 registrants in the past 4 weeks, I was 5th in points towards a final tournament to get a satellite seat to the WSOP. However, my main reason for entering these tournaments was for the fun of the game...and the chance to get out and drink some beer. Now, all the games have been cancelled until otherwise notified. Way to go A.S.S...excuse me...A.L.E...you really cracked down on many a hardened criminal last night. Idiots.

In a news brief on one of the local news channels, an investigator noted, "it's illegal because it's a game of chance and they offered prizes." I just have to delve a little deeper into that comment to really get the jest of what this penis wrinkle is saying.

So there is a free tournament - no player puts a dime of their money to play - that I will admit has an element of luck due to the random turn of the cards. However, to say this game is purely chance and does not involve strategy is absolutely ridiculous. Knowing when to check raise, value bet, fold a good hand when you think it might not be the best hand, read your opponents, etc., is not chance. Meanwhile down the street people play - legally and for money I should add - bingo which is 100% chance. And as for the prizes. 1st - 3rd, if they were lucky, would get a gift cert to the restaurant, or a t-shirt of some sort. At Red Oak, I was able to score a few jugs of beer for my good play. That's it. We didn't pay a buy-in and we certainly didn't get any cash prizes. And as for the gold at the end of the rainbow. We're talking about a serious long shot for anybody playing, and even at that, it was for a buy-in to a satellite seat.

In an attempt to segregate games of chance from games with some aspect of skill, allow me to offer the following scenarios...not sure if I'll prove points, or screw myself with my thoughts, but I've got to write this out to get it off my mind...

In poker, there are all-stars like Doyle Brunson, Gus Hansen, Phil Ivey, and Howard Lederer, just to name a few. Is Doyle a legend and Phil a rising star because they lucked and chanced their way there? I don't think so. Skill brings consistancy and proof that good play can bring positive results. From the highest stakes games played by Jennifer Harmon, to a fellow blogger grinding it out at the .50/1 or 1/2 limit tables, good play can, in the long run, bring positive results. But wait...luck plays it's part; otherwise like our ole pal Mr. Hellmuth Jr. said, "I'd win them all if it wasn't for dumb luck." Luck/chance brings an element to the game that keeps the legends of the game from winning every time. It also gives your average Joe - like you and me - a chance to play against the big boys if we play our cards right. Apologies, dear reader, for lumping you into the average Joe category. If you are, in fact, a star then I thank you for making it this far...

In bingo, there are no Doyle Brunson's or Phil Ivey's. There are no people who have a track record of proven results based on strategic and great play. Instead, there's a card and a 98 year old dude calling out numbers. Chance and luck, no doubt.

It's just plain stupid. I have to file this one in the Don't You Have Something Better To Do portion of my brain at the moment as that is exactly what I'm thinking. Are there not bigger fish to fry in Alcohol Law Enforcement land?

I am sure more than 25% of the cops and ALE here in Greensboro play poker for money. Yet they take stupid ass steps like this to make themselves look like royal ass clowns to the community. It's mind boggling...boggles the mind.

Here's the brief article that hit one of the news websites...

Texas Hold'em Poker Game At Ham's Shut Down

Here's yours truly, TripJax, at number 5 in points at Red Oak, which is now about as useful as owning Enron stock...

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posted by TripJax @ 8:19 PM,

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