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Sexton to Appear as Expert Witness in Illegal Gambling Trial

World Poker Tour host and professional poker player Mike Sexton is scheduled to appear as an expert witness in a trial concerning illegal gambling in a South Carolina court case this week.

The well-known face of TV poker will give a statement in defence of poker being a game largely dictated by skill at Mount Pleasant’s Municipal Court on Friday when the court reviews the case of five players who were arrested at a private Texas Hold’em home game three years ago.

The trial covers the cases cited by two-dozen players who attended the game in 2006 after it had been advertised on the internet, with each of them paying a $20 buy-in to play in the tournament. After discovering the online advert, police subsequently raided the house hosting the game and deemed the area to be an illegal gambling crime scene.

Most of the players involved have since pleaded guilty to police charges and paid a small fine, but the remaining five have chosen to challenge South Carolina’s anti-gambling laws and will do so when the trial resumes tomorrow. Sexton, who was called upon to add his expert insight in the case, has already filed an affidavit to the court defending the need for skill in the mathematics, card-reading and bluffing involved in poker.

"One of the reasons that many analyses of poker are incorrect is because the object of poker is grossly misunderstood," Sexton said in his affidavit. "The object is not to win the most hands, but rather to make correct decisions, which will allow you to win money no matter whether you have won more hands than the hands you lost."

The outcome of the case will be decided in a bench trial in from of Municipal Court Judge Larry Duffy.

Duncan Wilkie
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