Following a recent win by Canadian Jonathan Duhamel (he won like $9 million in a recent poker tournament), the media has been asking if kids in Canada will be motivated to start gambling online. (The Toronto Star published one such article).
Are kids really that influenced by that kind of rock start (one in a million) performance? Personally, I don’t think so. I also think that parental influence plays a much larger part than any TV show. Personally, my kids know that the way to get ahead is not gamble on a long shot, it’s to get educated and work hard.
I don’t know how much online gambling we see in Canada - probably not that much. And even then, the online stuff is just like any other type of gambling. Use if for entertainment only, drop $100 or whatever, feel mildly dissastisfied when you’re done and move on. It’s the same for the offline games like slots and casinos as it is for an online gambling site like say www.onlinecasino.ca. I’m sure there’s a million more like that.
But gambling aside, is poker really that bad? Maybe not. Maybe playing poker is a viable choice as an income earner. Here’s why. Slots, blackjack, roulette, all those other games of chance are favoured by the house. You’re sure to lose money over the long term. But poker? Doesn’t work that way. The house takes a cut - and there’s a guaranteed winner that’s a player. Poker playing is more about skill with some chance involved. Learn enough about statistics and probability and there’s no reason someone couldn’t make a viable career out of gambling online, specifically playing poker. Not the career I want for my kids, but maybe we shouldn’t be as quick to disregard it as a math based career.
I know a number of statisticians, and many of them play poker online for this very reason. They don’t play the high roller stuff, they sit on Friday night and play the $20 tables. I’m told they can easily earn $200-$500 a night doing that - again because they beat the other players NOT the house. Whenever I’ve mentioned that, my wife has suggested I take this up. With my background in math and stats I should be easily able to pick up the game and make some coin. To date though, I’ve shown no interest, never even been to a gambling website. I’ll leave my gambling to my once a decade trip to a casino, with a $100 limit in my pocket, and leave the poker playing to the pros (and losers I guess ). And hopefully show my kids that that’s where gambling needs to be relegated to - entertainment - rather than letting them pick their cues up from the press.