Most people familiar with Texas holdem poker, understand the connection between the popular game and math, at least when it comes to successful play. The best players will be good at math. Some of them will be very good. Seemingly, in an effort to teach math to students in a way that’s relate-able and fun, one school has opted to start a poker club. Students have long bemoaned the fact that what they learn in school is either inapplicable or boring. The creation of the poker club was designed to combat both. George Mason High School in Virginia is now the proud sponsor of the school’s poker club. It was recently added to their roster of extracurricular activities.
The poker club helps students learn math and also improve their logical reasoning skills. The students obviously don’t play for real cash and all of the games focus is on mathematical essentials.
The principle of George Mason High School, in an interview with the Washington Post, stated that he understood that his students could play outside of school but when they play in school, had an opportunity to learn and play responsibly and also have a chance to see how math and school can relate to real life. When the principal was asked to approve the poker club, he agreed to, only if real money was not used and that the goal of the club was educational principals.
There have, of course, been people in opposition to the club. Some anti-gambling advocates have decried the allowance of gambling in schools. Keith Whyte, the National Council on Problem Gambling’s executive director believes that the school is playing with fire. He agrees that poker can be used to teach students but that it also has the potential to lead to abuse and addition, something he believes that schools should avoid being involved in.
Whyte believes that the excitement students get from gambling, even if they aren’t playing for real money, can lead to them abusing the sport and perhaps lead them to becoming addicted to the feeling that winning produces. This excitement, Whyte goes on to say, can significantly impact a young person’s decision making abilities and even their brain, which could cause them to take up gambling outside of school, namely online, where the sport is largely unregulated. Individuals interested in reading the entire story, can do so by visiting the Washington Post’s website. Kevin Seiff is the article’s author and its title, ‘A Falls Church School Gambles on Poker As An Educational Tool.’