Why poker may be more instructive as a game than chess
This is all very strange, and not only written by an obvious poker fan, but seemingly one who has never been to a chess or go tournament.
"Poker can train this ability better than chess."
You know you're in for a good time when the premise is stated with weasel words!
"You don’t get extra points for winning fast or for losing a close one (ELO ratings, which take in to account how good the player is you beat or draw with, are a separate metric outside the game itself)."
When you're on a clock, as in chess or go, speed absolutely matters. The perfect move after your flag has fallen is useless. All three games have a game-long resource which the player must manage, within the framework of the rules: in poker, it's money, while in chess and go, it's time. You can spend it now, or save it for later. Is this the big move which will decide the game?
"In poker, scale matters. How much you win, and even at what speed you do it, measures how good of a player you are. You can lose in 70% of your sessions and still be a better poker player (aka have made more money, as money is the score-keeping tool in poker) than someone that has won in 70% of their sessions."
Again, this sounds like a go game. This is why the handicap system was invented. Winning the game is essentially only a question of whether you covered the spread. Otherwise, newcomers would lose every game for their first 10 years. That makes it hard for them to improve -- or want to come back tomorrow.
"Mental coaches and sports psychologists are more prevalent in poker than in chess, as are meditation and yoga as a performance tool."
I'm highly skeptical of this claim. Every game and sport claims to be deeper and more thoughtful than the others.
"Given a chess puzzle, you can find an optimal solution without any background about the players involved. Chess relies on spatial reasoning and pattern recognition."
So what's the "optimal solution" to the first move? And do you really think chess and go players don't study each other's tendencies?
"With deterministic games, it’s easier to find the correct lessons."
By that logic, the more luck involved, the more "adult" and realistic the game. Let's all play that most adult of games, Russian roulette. We'll do yoga first to relax, and then shoot guns at ourselves. No children allowed, since they won't be able to derive the correct lessons from this deeply meditative and realistic activity.
If you want a poker-like game without the economic risk, try bridge. All the same things hold true without the gambling risk, and it is fine for children.