The Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society or GPSTS was established by a Harvard law professor, Charles Nesson. This organization has only been in existence a relatively short time, but is becoming quite a popular concept in the educational realm.
GPSTS believes that poker, whether you are playing poker in Las Vegas with luxurious
casino poker chips, is a game of skill that can be used as an exceptional tool in teaching strategic thinking, risk assessment, money management and geopolitical analysis. “Poker teaches many lessons that are transferable to the challenges of life, including strategic understanding of risk, resource management and self control,” says Nesson. Because they believe that poker is a skill game and not just a game of luck or chance, they are actively involved in legalizing gambling. Many advisors of the organization, whom are lawyers have initiated numerous rallies and have protested many political views on poker related issues. They are also very persistent in their pursuit to secure the future of online poker.
Many prestigious Universities such as: Harvard, UCLA, Stanford and even North Georgia State University have formed charters in support of GPSTS. The charters are very active in spreading the views of the organization that poker can be extremely beneficial when incorporated with education and the overall preparation of functioning in the work world.
GPSTS is also at work abroad. In Jamaica they are involved in a rehabilitation program along side the group Students Expressing Truth. Prof. Nesson himself worked with the inmates at the Tower Street Adult Correctional Facility. Nesson, eager to prove his views that strategic gaming (poker) not only teaches but also heals, was more than happy to participate in the study.
Most of the inmates in the facility were pushed into lives of crime due to a lack of marketable skills which lead to a lack of employment. The inmates’ rehabilitation includes lessons in media production and other aspects of technology. Along with the vocational training the benefits of applying the lessons learned in strategic gaming the outcome has been quit impressive. A less important, but significant side effect is improved motor skills and basic math computations while fulfilling the role of dealer in the mock poker games. Motor skills are improved while learning to proficiently deal plastic playing cards and the math skills are improved while managing bets from the players to make sure the main pot and any side pots are correct. Due to the success of the program the reoccurrence of criminal activity of released inmates has been incredibly minimal.