Posted February 6, 2014 by John Baintree in News

Should poker be taught in school?

poker schools
poker schools

Sharp intake of breath!  Can you imagine what the blue rinse brigade would make of such an idea? I can see lemon lips throughout the Shires of this green and pleasant land but perhaps the idea merits some further consideration.

I think we would all agree that childhood and education serve to prepare us for the fortunes of modern day life. We learn to read so that we can take instruction, give instruction and even enjoy ourselves on occasion. We learn Maths so that we know how much change to expect and we learn about science stuff so that some of us can go on to become quantum physicists and chase particles around in a tunnel in Switzerland.

Based on this then, why on earth would we even consider teaching poker in school. For sure, we are not interested in teaching the next gen how to drink whiskey or whisky and neither do we want them to learn to talk with a cheroot in their mouth so what does go on in a game of poker that might be of value to our children? To answer that question you have to work out exactly what poker is all about.

If you talk to Deepak Thandani a successful poker pro, he believes that there are many similarities between the skills needed to be successful in poker and successful in business – so sit up and read more closely Mr. Gove and you blue rinsers……At the heart of any successful poker player sit a few core skills we could all do learning more about.

Learn to read people and you will successfully predict what they are going to do. If you can plan ahead you develop a solid strategy, something needed to be successful in both poker and business.  Poker also teaches you to manage your money, by knowing your limits you can work out what risks you can afford to take and what you can’t. How many failed entrepreneurs would do better after learning that one!

Learning to handle defeat correctly is an early lesson for most poker players. Developing the ability to accept defeat and look at our own performance is the first step in learning from our mistakes. Finally you should never stop learning as a poker player because if you do, the others will simply move on up ahead of you. Same goes for business; it is a constant learning curve that you must stay on top of.

So perhaps the sharp intake of breath can be let out now. Just one quick question Mr Gove – do you need someone to write a poker curriculum?