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The www.FedPrimeRate.com Personal Finance Blog and Magazine

Friday, February 08, 2013

Is It Wrong to Teach My 10-Year-Old To Play Poker?

Teaching my daughter to play poker
Teaching my daughter to play poker
What say you?  Am I a bad parent for teaching my 10-year-old daughter to play poker?

Some might say yes.

Some might say that I'm teaching my daughter that gambling is OK, at an age when she is very impressionable.

But I don't see it that way.

Play poker, for free thanks to Zynga, teaches many things, including:

  • Money management
  • Patience (good things come to those who wait...)
  • Discipline
  • Statistics
  • Budgeting
  • Calculated risk (risk management)
  • How to think (e.g. not to make strong bets out of position)
  • Keeping a cool head under pressure
  • The perils of overconfidence
  • The importance of being bold, when the timing is right
  • Practice anything every day and YOU WILL become an expert
  • Self-esteem / self-respect: never play crappy cards....NEVER!
  • etc. etc. etc.

To those who still don't agree with my position, let me shed some more light on my point of view.

Back in 1979, I was 9 going on 10, and living in NYC.  I was @ the UN school (UNIS) on the East River (www.UNIS.org.)  A very, VERY good school, but not a good school for me.  I had some serious issues with discipline, and my learning suffered.  My dad, suffering much resistance from my mother, insisted that I attend an English boarding school in 1981.  I went, and I'm glad I did. 

In 1979, while I was @ UNIS, my sister, at age 9, attended the very, VERY prestigious Dalton School (www.dalton.org.)  Dalton only has The Trinity School (www.trinityschoolnyc.org) as an institutional  peer.

At Dalton, my sister was taught about economics and the stock market, AT AGE 9!  She used to tell me about the virtual stock portfolio she had, and how her teachers would monitor her portfolio's performance every day.

Are the equity markets risky?  Yes!  Just ask the folks who lost their life savings when General Motors -- a top Fortune 500 company -- collapsed during the peak of the Great Recession.

But if you teach your kids early, they can learn to play the market, and be wealthy at an early age.  Yep.  Of this I have no doubt.

And that's the difference between a good school, and a great school.  A great school will teach kids very serious money lessons very, very early.  Why?  Because they get it.  Teach kids important money lesson as early as possible, and chances are, you won't have to worry about their financial well-being when they grow up. SIMPLE AS THAT.

You don't have to have loads of money, or be a movie star,  to teach your kids to be successful in life.  Just take the time to teach them all the good stuff you've learned over time, as often as possible.  That's the difference between good parenting, as just phoning it in.

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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Free Internet Poker Keeps Me Out of The Casino

Does playing Zynga poker 3 hours per day save me money?

Yes, it does.

It's free, and it's just as fun as playing with real money at the casino.  When I win or lose big with Zynga poker, the thrills and disappointments are just as intense as the real thing, no doubt.

I have very easy access to a very nice casino where I live.  It's a short 20 minute drive, all highway.  Very tempting.  Open 24/7, 365 days a year, of course!

I haven't lost money at any casino since 2010 (I only play Texas Holdem poker) but I know I  have the potential to lose big. I have a bad habit with overconfidence in poker, a habit I'm working hard to train out of myself  with help from my good friend Zynga.

I'm getting pretty good, but I can't call myself an expert.  I've seen guys and gals walk into the casino with a few hundred dollars, play the 1/2 no limit tables all night, and leave with many thousands.  When I can do that, then maybe I can call myself a pro.

And so, on this lazy and chilly Saturday afternoon, I present my:

 Top 12 List of Signs That You're A Zynga Poker Addict

12) You believe that buying Zynga GOLD is a wise investment that may end up paying for your kid's education.

11) You believe that donating $100,000 chips to a broke buddy is such a noble gesture that you should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize

10) You're so proud of reaching Champion Level status that you spent $100 to have t-shirts printed.

9) You can't decide whether to change the baby's diaper, or wait a few more hands for pocket rockets (you're due, after all.)

8) You test the intelligence of all potential mates with this question, "Do you think going for an inside straight is a good idea?"

7) Before teaching your toddler the alphabet, you set them up on Zynga poker with $10,000 chips and have them play the 1/2 tables 3 hours per day.

6) You believe that people who create poker bots should be sent to prison for 10 years

5) You recently changed your middle name to "Vegas Nights"

4) You often wait 5 to 6 hours on the Weekly Tournament table for someone to show up and play.

3) On your resume, under achievements, you have listed "Earned the 'Catastrophe Win' Award in Zynga Poker"

2) You can't fall asleep at night unless you've won at least one Sit N Go Tournament

and the number 1 sign...

1) When you get the "You missed it" message when trying to claim free poker chips, you sink into a severe depression for 3-4 days.

Zynga stock is not doing well.  I support the company by buying lots of GOLD as often as I can (I play on G+, since I deleted my Facebook account more than a year ago.).  Hope all you Zynga fans out there do the same.  Would hate to see it go away.

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