Teen Poker - A Craze Sweeping Across America
The rising popularity of poker based TV shows such as "Celebrity Poker Showdown" is attracting a whole new a breed of poker player.
"All my friends play Texas Holdem" says Mike, a teenage high school student from New York. A recent survey suggests Mike is correct, a lot of high school students are taking up the game of poker for fun and sometimes cold hard cash. The survey found only 1 from every 30 high school students did not list poker as a past time.
Erik and John are brothers and two other teen poker players, they meet up with friends every night in the basement of their home for their regular game of Texas Holdem. As many as 11 others would join them at times, playing around a covered pool table.
"Erik's made $1,500 off these games in the last 6 months" John states, he goes on "If you're playing for fun and not for money, then the game isn't as good".
Experts believe parents should show caution over their children and poker. Beth Schwartz, supervisor of the treatment program at St. Vincent's Hospital's Gambler's Treatment Center says "We're seeing more and more youngsters. Statistics have shown that the younger they gamble, the more of a problem they might have later on."
Some parents believe small wagering is a helpful way of teaching their child basic math' and the value of money. Whilst any poker player will tell you this is certainly true, during the "poker boom years" with the number of gamblers increasing each day, any problems amongst teen poker players may not be noticed for some time yet.
If you suspect your child has a gambling problem, visit the National Council on Problem Gambling at www.ncpgambling.org