Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Poker Lawsuit

Moose recently brought to my attention the lawsuit by a bunch of poker players against the professional poker association. In my judgment, it's unlikely to make it very far, but these lawsuits are rarely about succeeding on the merits. What they are about, as Moose recommended, is writing articles. Here's an intro paragraph:

Many of us have played the game, sitting on barstools in October (World Series), December or January (bowl games and pro football playoffs), March (March Madness) or later in the spring (pro basketball and hockey playoffs). Also during every fourth February (Olympic curling). "What defines a sport?" We ask. The responses vary. "It can't be something with an engine." (The anti-Nascar set.) "Skill has to overcome strength." (Baseball fans.) "Raw strength must overcome teamwork." (Wrestling and Boxing afficianados.) "You can't play it drinking a beer." (True athletes.) "It's OK to drink beer during the event, just not during actual play." (Bowlers and softballers.) Or maybe it's just we lawyers---we need a test for everything. (See Lemon v. Kurtzman, ___ U.S. ___ (___).)

Add another defining characteristic to the mix. It's a sport when it can claim its own antitrust litigation. College basketball had it long ago. (See Regents of the Univ. of Oklahoma v. NCAA.) College football can claim Maurice Clarett. Hockey and pro football, too. (Right, Moose? Help a guy out.) Professional baseball can do them all one better---anything with its own antitrust exemption must be a sport even Nietzche can subscribe to. And now, let's add one for the ages: professional poker, long a staple of low-tier cable channels, has graduated to the ranks of "sport." In NAME OF LAWSUIT, a band of highly successful poker professionals have sounded their own barbaric "yalp." No matter what the result of their highly publicized antitrust litigation, the newest addition to the ranks of sport must forever be reckoned with.

Which is good, because their claims should be dismissed at summary judgment. (So on and so on.)

What do you guys think?



At Thursday, September 07, 2006 12:39:00 AM, Blogger michael budelsky said...

This actually gives me an idea for an amusing way to waste time: compose "mad libs" for Cal to use as templates for his written decisions (Do magistrates even issue written opinions? Do they wear robes? Do they wear clothes under their robes? I'm getting off track here.) I'll work on one for a future blog posting.

At Thursday, September 07, 2006 9:05:00 AM, Blogger UCLaw98 said...

I don't think that College Football has been sued, but the NCAA was sued in hoops by the NIT tournament a year or two ago -- and settled by buying the NIT. Clarett (and USC star WR Mike Williams) each sued (and lost to the NFL. The NFL also "lost" to the USFL about 20 years ago. The damages were, I believe $1, which trebled made it $3. The story goes that Al Davis dropped a $10 on opposing counsel's desk and told him to "keep the change." Not sure if it is an urban legend or not.

BTW, I liked the "Lemon test" line.


At Thursday, September 07, 2006 9:08:00 AM, Blogger UCLaw98 said...

BTW, there have got to be some cheap poker terms that you can use too.


A collection of poker players hope to "suck out" a victory from the "big stack" WPT in their lawsuit. The Poker Players have "pushed all-in" in a hope to "buy the pot." We'll see if their "semi-bluff holds up."


At Thursday, September 07, 2006 10:21:00 AM, Blogger Jack's Blog said...


I thought we agreed that we would not be discussing laws.

At Thursday, September 07, 2006 10:58:00 AM, Blogger UCLaw98 said...

(a) Bud, even if "magistrates" issue written opinions, what is the chance you think Todd might? What we need are comedy writers to give him one-liners for issuing decisions from the bench. E.g.: "I've sent boys younger than you to the electric chair. Didn't want to do it, felt I owed it to them."

(b) Turns out, NCAA v. Bd. of Regents is a football case. So we do have college football. Law v. NCAA is a college basketball---coaches wanting higher salaries. Also, recently, Worldwide Basketball and Sports Tours v. NCAA is promoters suing over the limited number of pre-season tourneys. Pro hockey is NHL Player's Ass'n v. Plymouth Whalers.

(c) Lil' B, maybe you missed something here, but we're not talking about law, we're talking about sports---and poker. What could possibly be wrong with that?

At Friday, September 08, 2006 10:53:00 AM, Blogger UCLaw98 said...

Max, were all of those anti-trust cases?


At Wednesday, September 13, 2006 4:51:00 PM, Blogger UCLaw98 said...

Sure were. I found the lamest one yet---5 Smiths v. NFLPA, D Minn.

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