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Harvard Law Students Rally for Poker

I would bet Harvard law students anted a good turnout for their rally this morning outside the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. What brought them out on this bright but chilly morning was Gov. Deval Patrick's gaming bill, which would authorize casino gambling in the state while explicitly criminalizing online poker. The Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society, a group formed at Harvard Law School to promote poker as an educational tool, organized today's rally together with the state chapter of the Poker Players Alliance.

The rally was timed to coincide with a legislative public hearing on the casino bill. Slated to speak at the rally was GPSTS founder, HLS Prof. Charles R. Nesson, who said in a statement issued yesterday, "I don’t think filling our expensive jail cells with poker players is what Massachusetts voters had in mind when they elected Deval Patrick." If the bill becomes law, Massachusetts residents who play online poker would face jail terms of up to two years and a maximum fine of $25,000.

Why, you ask, would faculty and students at the nation's preeminent law school be concerned with protecting the public's right to play online poker? Perhaps this statement from the GPSTS Web site explains:

The Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society views poker as an exceptional game of skill that can be used as a powerful teaching tool at all levels of academia and in secondary education. We use poker to teach strategic thinking, geopolitical analysis, risk assessment and money management. We see poker as a metaphor for skills of life, business, politics and international relations. Our goal is to create an open online curriculum centered on poker that will draw the brightest minds together, both from within and outside of the conventional university setting, to promote open education and Internet democracy.

And I thought it was all about losing my pennies. No doubt, flush from the success of their rally, the students will head straight to the hearing room, where, I'm willing to wager, there will be a full house.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on March 18, 2008 at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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