Poker isn’t just a game. It’s a metaphor for life.
And it’s not a sordid form of gambling. It’s an academic pursuit – one that encourages strategic thinking, judgement, resilience, confidence, and empathy.
That’s the view of Harvard University Law School’s Professor Charles Nesson, whose love of poker led him to test a novel concept called Duplicate Poker with his students.
Duplicate Poker, devised by Bruce Altshuler and Dan Kleinman, works the same as Texas Hold ‘em except for one big difference: it involves six players at six tables all using identically shuffled decks. This minimizes the role of luck.
Match Poker, which is governed by the International Federation of Match Poker (IFMP), is an offshoot of Duplicate Poker. The innovative online version can be found at Match Poker Online. This offers a slick interface, IFMP Rating integration, and a fantastic ace card: Battle Royale mode.
In Battle Royale, there are six tables, each holding six players.
Say you’re sitting at table seat 1, table 1. Your goal is to win chips off the five other players at your table in the usual way, but your real opponents are the players sitting at seat 1 at the five other tables.
That’s because you’ll all be playing the same hands at the same time, removing luck from the equation almost entirely. The winner is the person who played their hand best.
In Match Poker, your stack always resets to 1,000 after each hand, even if you’ve just lost all your chips. This ensures that every hand is played in the same circumstances, not only during your session but throughout the entire recorded history of the game.
Not only is it a rigorously fair test of skill, but it’s more gratifying than normal poker too.
Download Match Poker Online to check it out for yourself.