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Gives Halo 2 lessons.



September 11, 2006 -- A shy 8-year-old Long Island boy wonder is making money hand over fist by teaching grownups how to master a popular video game.


The brown-eyed second grader, Victor De Leon III, has been tutoring gaming greenhorns in Halo 2, an Xbox game in which the player fights to save Earth from destruction, for $25 an hour. That's a ton of money, considering most of his peers have no income beyond their tooth-fairy stash.


"It's fun," said the digital-pastime prodigy, who's been tutoring people online from the gaming room of his Mastic home for more than a year.


His students hail from as far away as Australia. He's even given some free pointers to New Jersey Net star Richard Jefferson.


"He's better at basketball," Victor giggled.


His proud father, Victor De Leon II, said Jefferson was pretty star-struck meeting the youngster, who goes by the name Lil Poison II in gaming circles.


"He actually asked my son for his autograph," said De Leon.


Victor happily obliged but had to print it because he doesn't know cursive yet.


Coaching from the littlest Xbox phenom - who has already won thousands in tournaments by beating people twice and three times his age - is booked through gaminglessons.com, where he's the youngest of the 12 instructors, who get paid up to $65 an hour.


Victor teaches players about "map control," hidden secrets in the game, when players should leave the corners they're ducking in and other tricks, his father said.


Still, the kid does have homework of his own - like learning what two times three equals and how to spell 'picnic' - so Dad said he only takes about four clients a month.


Victor began playing video games when he was 2 years old.


"He was crying a little bit, so I gave him the console to play with," De Leon recalled.


It was like Pac Man gobbling a power pellet. Within months, the toddler was deftly maneuvering around the game.



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