Silly Laws in Virginia

Anybody that’s ever looked through anything passed by a legislative body has likely seen a number of strange things included that had little or nothing to do with the main bill or law. These riders are often included to appease a small constituency and don’t always have a big or lasting impact. Sometimes these riders come in the form of money for a state or district, and sometimes they come in the form of rules and laws that are quote often, to be frank, silly. Here are some of the silly laws that have managed to make it on the books in Virginia, even if only for a short time.

Politics As Usual?

This is one that just makes you shake your head. There is a state law “prohibiting corrupt practices of bribery by any person other than candidates.” This sounds like the type of law that a corrupt politician got passed to help themselves retain their office against a better, more morally pure candidate.

No Tickle Parties

I’d like to think that this law was the result of a more conservative time in the state’s history, but I honestly can’t think of any reason to pass a law that makes it illegal to tickle women. Maybe there was a tickle bandit, but I suspect puritan hands are to blame for this law.

Hunting Season

There has been a law in Virginia making it illegal to hunt for any animal on Sunday, with the sole exception of raccoons, which may be hunted until 2 AM.

Apparently whoever passed this law didn’t feel that raccoons were really one of God’s creatures and thus not worthy of his protection on Sundays.

Clean Your Mule

This has to be an old law as I think it’s fair to say that nobody has attempted this in some time. In Culpepper it was made illegal to wash a mule on the sidewalk. I really hope this isn’t a recent law as it may be too much for my mind to handle.

Dress For the Hour

This law is clearly something of an antiquity, but it still makes you want to know the reasoning behind it. There has been a law on the books in Norfolk, Virginia that required women to wear a corset after sundown and to be in the company of a male chaperone.

Civility is Key

This law likely goes back to a time when we put more of a premium on civility towards each other. There was enacted a law in Prince William County that made it illegal to cuss about another person. Maybe this also made gossip more civil as well.

Who Gets the Tab?

I’m working under the assumption that this law was passed in response to gambling issues in relation to restaurants, though I could be way off base.

In Richmond, a law was passed making it illegal to flip a coin in a restaurant to see who pays for a coffee. I’m not sure why coffee alone was singled out in this law, nor am I aware of a history of coffee and gambling going hand in hand.

Warning! Lady Driver!

As it has never, to the best of my knowledge, been illegal for women to drive in this country, I honestly don’t know what to make of this one. In Waynesboro a law was passed making it against the law for a woman to drive a car up Main Street unless her husband was walking in front of the car waving a red flag. Did this mean that unmarried women couldn’t drive on Main Street in Waynesboro? I appreciate a female driver joke here and there within reason, but this seems to be taking the notion to excess.

Only the Tip of the Iceberg

This is just a small sampling of the silly laws that you can find not only in Virginia, but across the country. While some may have reasoning behind them, in the end they seem frivolous, even though to this day many of them remain on the books of many states, cities, and counties.

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Big Hand Blunder: Greg Raymer vs Aran Kanter WSOP 2005

Well its not often I get to critique a pros blunder, but this one stood out as a whopper, which turned the tables at the 2005 WSOP and propelled a young internet player to the final table in place of Greg Raymer who was on a miraculous path to challenge for the WSOP main title for the second consecutive year.

Down to 26 players, Raymer is one of the chip leaders with around 4 million. With the blinds a very comfortable 20 and 40 thousand, he picks up KK in middle position and puts in a raise to 100 thousand. Does that seem small to you? It does to me, even though it is a well concealed 2 and a half times the blind, it literally invites a draw out. Raising that small, compared to your stack in an internet tournament is tantamount to limping in. What it also negates is being able to judge what your opponent may have later in the hand when it could become crucial, as it did in this case.

With a small raise you are inviting low pairs, low connecters, weak suited aces, weak suited kings, and unpaired big cards. With such a variety of possibilities, you are essentially playing blind, and hoping your kings hold up. Kanter calls in the cutoff followed by Ivey and Hechem folding the blinds. The pot is around 300 thousand including the antes. The flop comes 6c, 3h, 5d. Raymer could look at this as a good flop, assuming Kanter called with big cards. Myself, I see straight chemistry, and definitely something that could jive with a call of ace, 4 suited or 8, 7 suited. When there is chemistry on the board you need to get your opponent out. If he calls a big bet, or re-raises, I am apt to let the hand go if I am playing another big stack. If my opponent is significantly shorter, I will put him all in without fear of jeopardizing my tournament.

Raymer follows up his wimpy preflop bet with an even more pathetic flop bet of 150 thousand. When assessing this flop, you need to bet big, and cut your losses with that. With an over bet here, you either eliminate the danger, or you determine that you are beat, or on way to being beat. But this is also your stop-loss bet. Once a reaction is taken by your opponent, you will know to fold, or check it down, save for other intelligence factors. Curiously, Raymer moves rather quickly through this hand, failing to assess this game critical intersect properly. Clearly, at this point Raymer failed to realized he was not the favorite in this hand anymore. Turn card is 7h. This is a great card for Kanter as it gives him his heart draw, and puts a scare card out there him to take it at the river. Raymer simply seems not to notice.

The odd thing about this hand is that Raymer was in fact, ahead all the way. Kanter played this hand like an internet rookie calling the flop bet with only a back door flush draw, and over cards. He could have been planning to take this pot from Raymer with a bluff on the river, but that doesn’t explain his rash all in call after reraising Raymers 300 thousand turn bet. But when Raymer does make his turn bet and gets reraised, in that spot, with my tourney on the line, and that board, I am out of the hand, even if I still feel I am ahead. It is simply too risky, and too probably that your kings are beat. You think I am over analyzing? I have laid down aces in this spot, several times in money play in online tournaments. Maybe just a couple thousand was on the line, not millions!

I take this situation to reiterate several things here. Play back the hand, and figure your opponents possible hole cards. Investigate the flop by knowing what the nuts are at all times. Do not go up against another stack in marginal situations while moving up the pay scale. Raymers actions here would have been perfectly fine if he were up against someones last 700 thousand chips, but as it turned out, and I quote Norman Chad from ESPN, Kanter makes an horrendous play and puts a big hurt on Raymer. The heart came for Kanter who should have really never been in the hand, but his awful play was surpassed by Raymer in that particular exchange.

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