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In case you missed it, Natasha and Jason Mercier made a bombshell announcement on Thursday:

Congratulations to the happy couple! A day later, they told us the sex of the child. Jason was hoping for a boy and happily got his wish:

Again, congratulations to the parents-to-be. “Mini Merc #1” will certainly have an interesting life in store with two amazing poker players as parents. Of course, he isn’t the first child to have parents as poker players and certainly won’t be the last.

There are advantages and disadvantages of having poker players as parents and here are a few of those.

Advantage – Your Parents Will LOVE to Play Games

Since your parents love to play a game for their livelihood, they are likely going to love playing games with you and it probably won’t be poker. A chance for them to get away from the poker grind will probably be a welcomed change.

If you’re parents transitioned from gaming to poker, you’ve hit the mother lode. Chances are they’ll be down with getting you the latest and greatest gaming systems out there. Just be aware you’ll probably have to fight them over it.

Disadvantage – They’ll Always Know When You’re Lying

Your parents play a game where bluffing is a profitable skill. If they can make money lying and figuring out when people lie, how do you expect to get away with lying?

Advantage – You Get to Do Cool Stuff for Free

Poker playing parent that frequent live casinos often earn comps that can be shared with the whole family. Maybe it’s a couple of free rooms at Bellagio or a pair of tickets to a Vegas show. Regardless of the perks, at some point you’ll be brought along to do something cool and it won’t cost your parents a dime – outside of the rake they paid in the game of course.

You’ll probably get more general casino SWAG than you’ll ever use, but who cares? It’s free stuff!

Disadvantage – Some People Are Going to Thumb Their Nose At Them

When some people find out that your parents are poker players, they are probably going to make judgments about them, their parenting ability and so forth. While poker is more socially acceptable than in the past, to some it is still taboo.

But that’s OK! Your parents can make more money in a single session than they do in a month.

Advantage – You’ll Probably Travel and Meet Interesting People

If your parent is a live poker player, they are probably going to travel around to different casinos or home games. At some point, you’ll get to go with them and this will help broaden your horizons.

You’ll get to see new places and meet interesting people. Poker brings in a diverse group of people and you can learn a lot about life from hanging around poker players.

Disadvantage – There’s a Dark Side to the Game You’ll See at Some Point

Unless your parent consciously chooses to shield you from the poker community as a whole, at some point you will see the dark side of the game. The diversity that poker brings also attracts bad elements and your parents will deal with that at some point. If they deal with it, you will probably experience or learn about it.

In addition, there are other bad elements such as poker debt, long losing streaks, problem gambling and other potential problems that can arise. With any luck, your parents won’t have a debt or gambling problem, but you will probably be exposed to those that do.

Advantage – You Have Ready Made Poker Mentors

Should you decide to play poker, either recreationally or professionally, you have ready made poker mentors that will probably be happy to show you the ropes. Also, chances are that you will probably take up poker at a much earlier age than others because you’ve been exposed to the game all your life.

Disadvantage – They Will Probably Try and Curb Your Poker Career

Odds are that your poker player parents will probably try to have you pump the breaks on pursuing poker as a career, at least at first. Having experienced the ups and downs of the game first hand, they are likely to want you to have some type of backup plan for life before giving their blessings on a potential poker career.

Honestly, this is only a disadvantage in the aspect that it could delay your career. Parents want the best for their kids and will try to guide their kids in a path to help guarantee success. Eventually they will come around but you might have to go get a degree or try your hand at a “real job” before jumping into the poker arena.

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James Guill

James Guill began his poker career in 2006, spending two years traveling the US tournament circuit. Since 2008, he has covered the game extensively for some of the biggest names in the industry. When not writing about the latest poker news, he can be found hunting for antique treasures in Central Virginia.

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