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Celebrity Poker Scandal

Director Wants Suit Thrown Out

Texas Hold 'Em is Legal!

8/22/2011 11:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

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The now-infamous Texas Hold 'Em celebrity poker games that have triggered a flurry of lawsuits has a new twist -- according to a famous player/director, the lawsuits are bogus because the game is legal.

Nick Cassavetes, who directed "The Notebook" and "Alpha Dog," has filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit filed against him to take back his winnings, on grounds California law does not consider Texas Hold 'Em to be illegal gambling.

According to the docs, the game is not played as a banking or percentage game.  For example, blackjack is a banking game because you play against the house.  In Texas Hold 'Em, you play against the other players.

According to California law, the penal code only prohibits banking or percentage games.  The law singles out illegal games, including roulette, blackjack, 21, hokey-pokey, rondo, tan, fan-tan, 7 1/2, lansquenet and rouge et noir ... but Texas Hold 'Em is not mentioned.

Cassavetes is being sued by the bankruptcy trustees of Brad Ruderman -- a convicted ponzi scheme criminal who lost a lot of money in the games, to people like Cassavetes and Tobey MaguireLeo DiCaprio, Ben Affleck and others also played.

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