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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

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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Of course they are legal -- aside from in Texas and New York, it's perfectly legal to play any card game amongst peers, so long as the house is not getting a cut.

1124 days ago


Had he had spent the money on drugs and whores would they try to get their money back?

1124 days ago


It is legal to play a game if the house isn't getting a CA and NY. But in both places, it is illegal if the house is taking some of the money (e.g. a percentage of each hand or an amount per player). If these were all games at peoples' houses and no cut is taken, then no law is broken. But I have read that some took place in clubs that had hired security, etc. I assume a cut is involved, hence "illegal". From Section 337j of CA's penal code: An illegal ("controlled") game does not include: "(D) Games played with cards in private homes or residences, in which no person makes money for operating the game, except as a player."

1123 days ago


Thankyou so much for this. Interesting.

Redbus Bingo -

1123 days ago


Oh no! Another controversy! I really am intrigued what it feels like playing with a star! I love playing at though. I guess no A-lister

1122 days ago
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