Following in the footsteps of sister state South Carolina, North Carolina joined in the fray this week by citing 39 poker players in a home game. Most of the players were soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Brag and playing in the low limit cash game as a break from the stress of being a soldier with the Iraq war raging on the other side of the world.

That the authorities felt compelled to cite these soldiers with a misdemeanor is disappointing, as these people all are serving our country and should have the opportunity to play legal poker as an outlet of some sort. Unfortunately in North Carolina that’s not the case as poker is clearly against the law according to the books.

It’s unlikely they’ll get a break in court as both states frown heavily on illegal gambling and often pose fines in the thousands of dollars to offenders that are convicted.