All poker involves both skill and luck, this is a consequence of a game with unknown and dynamic starting variables. However, this doesn't make it any less a game of skill, it just increases variance. This is partly why poker is so popular... anyone can win on a given day and think he's a poker genius. It's especially true for tournaments where the skill edge of the participants is greatly reduced since the stacksizes are small. there is a fear of busting out and there are so many players changing tables (not giving much time to develop reads). However, over the long term, the same 1,326 hand combinations will be dealt pretty evenly to every player and the difference will be how they play them and the appropriate situations. Sometimes the long-term is only 50K hands and sometimes it's 500K but inevitably, the best player (assuming unbalanced skill levels) will be the biggest winner. The smaller the skill edge, the higher the variance and the larger the required sample. For instance if I'm playing 5NL and beating it for 50bb/100 over 10K hands, it's pretty unlikely that I'm not a winner even though my winrate is probably unsustainable. However, if I were only beating it for 5bb/100, it's still not clear I will be a long term winner. If anyone doubts this, there are countless databases with billions of hands tracking hundreds of thousands of players. There are clearly some VERY long-term winners that have played poker at the highest levels professionally over more hands than one can imagine.
Poker is ultimately gambling only in the sense that you have incomplete information but must still make a decision. However, good players know the rough chances of success for a given action and situation. Sometimes it's just math... I have a nut-flush draw and two overs, he will have TPTK 90% of the time here and I'm a slight favorite to outdraw him so I'm happy to get the money in. Whether you win or lose, you made a +EV decision. Other times it's much more involved and read dependent. For instance, you might see a player 3-bet all his aces better than AT from the BTN against a CO raise deep stacked but calls with Axs etc.. Then, when he 3-bets you and an A flops, you know that he doesn't have it. Thus, he may have KK but you will outplay him by increasing the pressure until he's forced to fold. Many players are predictable in such ways and that's something you definitely don't want to be in poker... especially in online poker where good players will have plenty of statistics on you (VPIP, PFR, 3B, F3B, CB, FCB, TCB, FTCB, SQZ%, AGG%, AF, WTSD%, W$SD%, and much more). To anyone who doubts that poker is a game of skill, pick-up a good book on it like the Mathematics of Poker or watch some high stakes videos by top players. The game is simple at face value but beneath it lies a lot of depth and that's part of the beauty. For me it's a hobby and I treat it like a math puzzle. I usually do range and equity analysis but nothing too brave and it works for me. Better players can push much bigger edges. To call poker gambling is to call meteorology random. In poker, you control the action and most hands don't even go to showdown (only about 25% reach showdown). Most governments have recognized this, as well and it's remarkable to me that this is still debated in the US. Although, it is uninformed debate, much like the debate between creationism and evolution. Poker is an interesting and challenging game with many lessons to offer. Of course, one needs discipline and should play at appropriate stakes... or for some, even play money. In fact, it's even used as a teaching tool by a Harvard professor: http://www.pokerlistings.com/learning-from-the-game-poker-in-academia-22258
My suspicion is that the opposition to poker by some members of government is due to corruption by casino-monopolies, a lack of understanding and a misguided sense of morality. Of course, online poker is still legal in the US, but the fact that it was even attached to this bill is rather ridiculous.
Sorry for rambling!