POKER SKILLS = LIFE SKILLS? Harvard Opinion

4th Apr 2008

Harvard Law School Students grew to love poker and respect the game justifying this extraordinary connection by the set of skills that the student feel are essential to play.

Poker, will now be used to teach disadvantaged US school children and college students all about respect, business acumen, war strategy and patience. Next week at the conference on virtual worlds and cyberspace in Singapore, Harvard Law school professor, Charles Nesson, will announce the decision to organize "global poker strategic thinking societies" at universities worldwide. There are some very big names in the list, like Harvard, Yale and Oxford.

The aim of the conference is to set up poker workshops at schools, sponsor university poker matches and develop an online poker curriculum for any institution that wishes to have it. The workshops are to be organized on the basis on afterschool activity program for disadvantaged kids in Jamaica and the Boston area. It will involve real money but albeit very small stakes.

Professor Nesson explains: "Poker teaches people to think for themselves, it is a key component of individuality and a prime aspect of managing resources." He did admit, nevertheless, that some of those skills obtained by poker do not promote mutual trust and forgiveness, but do teach survival skills and instincts. "Business dealmakers could learn from poker the art of avoiding making the first offer, while teenage tearaways could take from it life skills such as patience, composure, respect for their foes and understanding someone else's point of view. Law graduates would understand the law of evidence and diplomats could apply the art of bluffing to international relations."

"As far as I'm concerned, it would be a better world if we all played poker" professor Nesson argued.

So it seems that the US online gambling, ban looks more and more unreasonable, if even highly respected professor, in the past defender in the Vietnam war, has such a strong, positive opinion about the game and its useful attributes in terms of gained skills and personal abilities that are necessary to play poker.

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