March 9, 2009 (InfoPowa News) — Online poker coaching website Bluefire Poker has come up with a high-profile initiative to draw attention to the skill vs. chance debate in poker — a $1 million challenge to U.S. President Barack Obama and any member of the United States Congress that an amateur player from Capitol Hill cannot defeat any of the Bluefire pros in the long-run, proving that poker is predominated by skill.
Bluefire is proposing that respondents to its challenge put up a $1 stake. If the respondent can defeat one of Bluefire Poker's sponsored pros, the prize will a million dollars donated to a charity of their choice.
That's a big donation, indicating that Bluefire must be doing well in the teaching business to have that sort of capital available!
The importance of the skill vs. chance question is that it removes the game of poker from the definition of an (illegal) 'game of chance', something which three U.S. courts have recently recognized.
Bluefire's Bill Murphy explained why his company launched the challenge, saying: "We wanted to make a move to pressure Congress to do something. As a public relations move, we wanted to drive home the point that poker is a game of skill. If it wasn’t a game of skill, anyone would accept this bet."
The finer points of the challenge (and the guarantee on that million-dollar prize) have yet to be publicized, although Murphy has opined that the contest would have to be of sufficient length to prove skill and not just short-term good fortune.
"I'm not sure if we'd do a best of seven series or something like that. We'd also have to determine how quickly the blinds would escalate. We haven’t thought about the exact details," Murphy says.
In the probably unlikely event of the President or a congressman taking up the challenge, he or she would face one of some pretty formidable players on the Bluefire team, which includes Phil "OMGClayAiken", Niman "Samoleus" Kenkre, Jason "PBJaxx" Senti, Martin Fournier Giguère, Ryan Fees, and Don "SoCalQuest" Nguyen.
Bluefire Poker is primarily focused on providing cash game instruction.
The deadline for an elected official to take the site up on its offer is March 17th, St. Patrick's Day, and the story has appealed to Fox News, which has carried it.

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