I hate to put all the dodgy officialdom at the door of Anurag Dikshit, but, his name in a Anglo-Saxon sense does lend its self to parody the establishment and the establishments confusion over poker and gambling.
We have had the original version of Dikshit Law US style, then Dikshit Law Danish style and now we have Dikshit Law UK style. The thing about the UK version was that it was more petty than serious and it happened when I was around and straight away I put on my legal eagle hat and laid into the civil servants like a crackhead into a pile of Colombian marching powder.
One thing I am good at and that is licensing law and gambling regulations within the licensing industry, and the poor souls whose job it was to bring aggravation to the nice people that run the poker club where I was did not know what hit them.
You see in UK law if a publican want to organise a poker tournament where there is prize money but no entry fee then that publican could have £1, £1,000 or £1,000,000 whatever! The problem comes about when there is an entry fee. These under briefed council workers were under the impression that poker the game was illegal.
In fact it is not illegal to have an entry fee as long as it does not exceed £100 in a public house or £250 in a social club. Having a tourney which has a rolling prize money such as a lottery roll over is frowned upon but no one is sure whether it is illegal or not and will depend on case law which the licensing authorities are very reluctant to prosecute. So there is a little grey area which has been exploited by a number of pub poker leagues.
However, I digress a little because the tourney in this particular pub was running, was more of a training event with a very small entry fee to keep the poker virgins interest (£5). At the same time there was a funeral and international football so the evening was packed and the beer was flowing.
Round about the time when the pub was closing two representatives from the council licensing officer came in and started to lay the law down about all sorts of very minor misdemeanours. The reason for this is that someone has been complaining to the licensing authorities with the attempt to get the establishment closed down – why because the local resident wants it closed down.
Now why would you buy a house in the vicinity of a vibrant public house? There is a reason why the property are cheaper than other comparable houses without a pub within walking distance, so you will get taxis peeping their horn (that sounds quite rude really), people smoking outside of the pub (smoking has been banned from indoor public area).
The head civil servant started to lay down the law about the licensee’s obligation; then said that poker was illegal! At this point I invited myself into the discourse and started to lay down the law and the moral obligation to do our best on behalf of the poker lovers. Head honcho was taken aback as her version of ‘official’ law was question and that has never been done before.
After full and frank discourse, it began to dawn on the couple that I must be right since a well known brewing company and a famous betting firm would not be sponsoring pub poker equipment if it were illegal. Obviously in these situations you cannot go too deep and metaphorically slam the opponents to the floor, jumping all over their bodies, as it could store up problems later on with other licensing issues and in the end the argument was a mistake on the law and not remotely comparable to the other Dikshit Law situations.
What it does signify is that there is still official perception that poker is about shady characters and dodgy practices as if the players were gambling miscreants who has well as being social misfits are the sort of people you should never invite into your house as bad things will happen if you do. The truth is that poker is psychological chess where the mind is manipulated and moulded by maths and subterfuge.
My theory is that law makers who have made anti poker laws or even created an anti poker climate have probably been a fish and were taken down easily by a person who was deemed to be off lower intelligence/social rank and therefore lower than the legislator and the legislator has never forgotten it, hence the anti poker feeling.
I am proud to have stood up for liberty in the face of tyranny and have won. best of all I got a drink out of it as well, slap officialdom and got drunk – win/win situation. Happy days!
To go off topic at the moment it has been put on me that I should organise a calender photo shoot for the Poker Tottys’. This sounds like a good idea and I will investigate and come back with an answer in the next day or so.
If you have any views on this subject then please drop me a line. In the meantime hear are a selection of previous Poker Totty’s for you to consider.