Following a trial last week, Judge Larry Duffy of the Municipal Court of Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (a suburb of Charleston) held that poker--at least of the Texas Hold 'em variety--is a game of skill, not of chance. Unfortunately for South Carolina poker players, he held that because neither the legislature nor the courts had provided guidance on whether skill must be a "dominant factor" the defendants still had to pay a fine.

The ruling comes on the heels of a recent Pennsylvania lower-court ruling that poker is a game of skill, not of chance, and reflects a recent trend recognizing that poker is more than the luck of the draw.

With the Department of the Treasury and Federal Reserve's new joint regulations regarding prohibitions on funding of unlawful internet gambling still under debate, and the recent introduction of S 3616 by Senator Menendez, a bill that would provide for the licensing of Internet skill game facilities--such decisions at the state level could soon become quite significant on a national stage.