The skill is the important element of poker
Poker is not gambling because what separates the winners from the losers is skill. Poor poker players lose over the long run while skilled poker players win over the long run. You can look at the greatest cash game and tournament players in the world and see how they make money year after year.
Big name players such as Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and Patrik Antonius have made millions of dollars over the courses of their careers. They show up time and time again at the final table of major events. They don’t even have regular jobs because they constantly make money with poker.
These professionals are not successful because they are just luckier than the average person, or something with marked cards. They are professionals because they are extremely skilled at poker. They have a deep understanding of poker strategy and can adjust their tactics to the players they find themselves against.
If poker was a gambling game like roulette or craps, there would be no long term winners just as there are no long term winners in those games. The longer a skilled player plays poker, the more money he makes. The longer a craps player plays craps, the more he loses. The element of skill makes all the difference.