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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Btdino laws

Last Sunday, Dennis and Donna Jackson of Casper made their way up to Sidelines Sports Bar to play a game they, like many other Americans, have grown to enjoy immensely in the past year -- Texas Hold 'Em.

They headed to Sidelines, as they have an many recent Sunday afternoons, to play in Clear Channel Radio's weekly Texas Hold 'Em tournament against about 60 other card sharks.

Neither Jackson came out on top on Sunday, although Donna finished second at her table and Dennis has won his table before, they said.

Despite the fact they didn't come out on top, they did have fun, they said. And their enjoyment only cost them $25 apiece.

The Jacksons didn't risk any money playing in the tournament, so they didn't think what they did at Sidelines was gambling, they said.

However, there is some debate that, legally speaking, the Jacksons' take on Sidelines' tournament, and other Texas Hold 'Em tournaments that have popped up at bars around the state, is wrong.

Texas Hold 'Em is a style of poker made popular by such televised events as the World Series of Poker and the World Poker Tour.

State law makes it clear that professional gambling is illegal in Wyoming. What is not so clear is whether Texas Hold 'Em tournaments are professional gambling.

Local Clear Channel General Manager Bob Price said neither his company nor Sidelines engages in illegal professional gambling by holding the tournament.

Professional gambling is first defined by Wyoming law as "aiding or inducing another to engage in gambling, with the intent to derive a profit therefrom."