Among several heavy questions that the government of Russia has clambered with in recent months — of budget cuts and sanctions; and war and peace — is poker a game of chance or skill.
The reply is far from niggling. It would go a very long path in figuring out whether Russia could make online poker legal, and so bring the frenzy for the game that has swept the country in recent times within ambit of the tax collectors of the nation. This is a debate that has closely bound up with the fate of proud customs in chess.
During Soviet era, chess tables might be seen in each Russian or east European park, with countless players deep in thought. Egalitarian and heap, chess became Soviet Union’s top “sport” of the mind, offering more champs than any other country on Earth.
And yet, only twenty-five years later, chess has been poked at almost into the borders of ex-Soviet society — by nakedly moneymaking poker. For a lot of chess players, the card game of US folklore and gangster films has become a total game changer.
Even thought the game of poker is not legal in Russia, the game has dispersed rapidly. A vote in the year 2013 saw that sixteen percent of Russian people (or 20 million people) played poker, up 5 percentage points from only 2 years earlier. This balance is believably believably higher again today, 3 years on. Pokerstars – which is the largest online operator in the world – reported that Russians account for 8.4% of all users on their sites, 2nd only to the United States.