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Swedish Supreme Court Says Poker Tournaments are Games of Skill

By Ian Hiaring, Rakeback.com Poker News Staff Writer

swedish-pokerIn a curious ruling, the Supreme Court of Sweden has upheld a 2009 ruling that skill, and not luck, are a determining factor in poker tournaments, but went on to define the difference between tournament play and cash game play.

The ruling stems from a 2008 case in which organizers of a poker tournament were arrested and sentenced to jail because poker was considered illegal under Sweden’s gambling laws. The case was appealed and overturned in 2009.

Judge Göran Lamberth explained the recent decision by the Supreme Court stating that “We have found that the main tournament and its side tournaments were not random chance games, but that skill does come in to it.”

The ruling has a curious twist with it though. Apparently the court came to the conclusion that cash games are distinctly different than tournament poker play, and luck is more of a factor.

In the ruling, the court states that “The cash games constitute games that primarily depend on luck as in the meaning of Chapter 16, Article 14 of the Criminal Code, while the main tournament and the side tournament (sit and go) do not constitute games of luck.”

The men originally charged for organizing the tournament were slapped with fines for the side games that were played in conjunction with the tournament.

So there you have it. If you’re in Sweden, and you’re a successful cash game player, you’re nothing more than a lucksack. Win a tournament though and you have skills baby.


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