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Supreme Court won’t consider case of underground poker game that conflicted with federal law

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court will not disturb the criminal conviction of a New York man whose underground poker game ran afoul of a federal anti-gambling law.

The justices on Monday rejected an appeal from Lawrence DiCristina, who said his twice-a-week games of Texas Hold ‘em should not be covered by the federal Illegal Gambling Businesses Act. DiCristina said the law targets games of chance, like lotteries, slot machines and dice, but not poker, which is a game of skill.

Bridge and Scrabble players weighed in on DiCristina’s behalf, worrying they could be targeted under a federal appeals court’s expansive interpretation of the law.

At least three justices, Elena Kagan, Antonin Scalia and Sonia Sotomayor, like to play poker.

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