Do Indian-Americans Play Poker?

Stephen Dubner, one of the authors of Freakonomics, asked an interesting question:

Whenever I see a poker tournament on TV or wander through a casino, I am always struck by a particular absence: there seem to be very few Indian-Americans playing poker. Considering that there are so many Indians of poker age in this country who thrive in finance, computer science, engineering, and other fields that incorporate math, probability, risk, etc. — i.e., the kind of fields that produce a lot of amateur and pro poker players — why should this be so?

The last time I checked there were about 100 comments following this question.  Here’s one comment by Sanjay Altekar that a friend sent me (thanks Steve) that I found to be an interesting and reasonable answer to Dubner’s question:

According to Indian mythology, gambling was the primary cause for the ruin of a ruling family (the Pandavas), a war between two families (the Pandavas and the Kauravas), and almost the complete annihilation of a race (the Bharata race).  This is why the ruling and scholarly class in India (the Brahmins) look down upon gambling .  Since the majority of Indians that come to America are from this Brahmin background, we can see why Indian-Americans are seldom seen in poker cardrooms.

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