Playing Texas Hold’em may get you arrested

Virtually every blogger is familiar with Texas Hold’em, a variant of poker which seems to have gained in popularity in recent years, mainly because the spammers have taken to posting ads for it all over blogs’ comment sections wherever they can. What you may not know is that Texas Hold’em is actually gaining a significant following among the mainstream in the U.S., but that is causing some problems…

All over the country, local bars and venues, hoping to increase business, have begun holding Texas Hold’em nights, where anyone can play, but not for money — typically there is no entry fee, and the winner takes home nothing but bragging rights. Many state regulators, however, are claiming this is illegal, and many have been arrested, fined or even jailed.

The New York Times has a complete report on the situation.

As much as I’m soured on the idea of Texas Hold’em, thanks in most part to the legions of comment spammers trying to post unrequested ads for it here, I firmly believe if someone wants to play for free, they should have every right to do so. The state has no business in the matter if one is not risking one’s own money to play.