If there was ever any indication that poker is a game played by smart people, look no further than Harvard.
Harvard Law School has its very own Harvard Poker Thinking Society, a group that aims to talk about poker and bring it into the mainstream (even more so than it is now).
Charles Nesson, who advises the group, has ambitious goals. He wants to see parents play poker with their kids, which would help legitimize the game. He even suggests that poker could be taught in elementary school classrooms.
Nesson thinks it’s important for kids to learn how to take risks within their means and ultimately manage where they are in life. Poker can help people think critically and advance properly in the real world.
Hidden among the goals, though, is a complete reshaping of the poker tournament concept. Right now, poker players buy in with their own money (or in many cases they are staked by people with big bankrolls). The group would like to see tournaments created that mimic other sports. Instead of paying to play, participants would compete for sponsors’ money and not their own cash.
The group would also like to see poker move from a gambling game into an official mind game. The International Mind Sport Federation reserves its distinctions for games like chess, but there’s a push to move poker into that world.
One interesting concept that the group once explored was called Duplicate Poker. The game is played with teams of six players, spread out at six different players. Here’s where it gets interesting. Each deck of cards is shuffled identically, which reduces the role of luck.
Now, if you’re thinking that the Harvard Poker Thinking Society is made up of a bunch of poker playing students who are hell-bent on playing the game at every opportunity, think again. While members do include people who have played in the World Series of Poker, and no doubt some online poker players too, a good chunk of players haven’t even played poker in the past.
They’re in to learn the logical thinking concepts that come into play, something that goes way beyond poker chips and cards and ultimately applies to the real world.
The concept is definitely interesting. As an online casino, we’re looking forward to the Harvard Casino Thinking Society. Or perhaps that branch will originate in Las Vegas.