Business skills you need as a poker player
The worlds of business and poker have a lot more in common than most people imagine. While you may not think entrepreneurship and casino gambling are similar, the skills you need to succeed at one often translate to a positive experience in the other.
Many advanced poker players around the world are self-made men and women. They make money through entrepreneurship, investing in the stock market, trading forex, or flipping real estate. Such a “go-getter” attitude is common among those who succeed at poker, given how hard you must work to master the game.
If you are a successful business person, having started a small business in your area, you may be wondering if you should take up poker. There are likely many friends within your local business community that play the game. Some may even host poker nights and might have invited you to attend.
Anyone curious about playing Texas Hold’em poker who has a background in business should rejoice. Many of the skills needed to start and maintain a successful business are directly transferable to the poker table.
Below is our rundown of the most important business skills that every poker player needs to possess.
Considering Every Scenario
One of the most important assets of a successful business person is being able to consider every possible outcome in a given situation. When you are running a small business, you are doing so against the odds. Not only do you have a modest budget for every aspect of your company, but you are also facing competition that has been around longer and has more resources.
Succeeding in such an environment can sometimes happen due to luck. The best entrepreneurs, however, are the ones who can assess a particular situation and think about all the possible implications of a decision they make. That allows them to weigh out the pros and cons, make a final choice and proceed accordingly.
Translating such a skill to poker is very much relevant, as you must quickly go through everything that can happen during a hand of poker. You see the two cards in your hand, then you assess what is on the table and try to think about what the other players could have in their possession. Such thinking is necessary if you are to come out on top in such a competitive game.
Knowing When To Fold
Ask any entrepreneur, and they will tell you that knowing when to fold in business is very important. Much like poker, folding from a business standpoint does not mean you are throwing in the towel or giving up. You are strategically deciding that a particular battle cannot be one and that you should focus on the bigger picture.
A poker player must have the same mindset. Say you are involved in a tough contest against a competitive player. They keep raising the stakes with each card that is shown on the table. You do not have the best cards, which means you know that if you keep going, you are bluffing.
Knowing when to call it quits in this situation can be invaluable. Instead of throwing more chips into the center, you can fold and try again in the next hand. You may lose a few chips, but you are still better off than if you had competed against your opponent, who was being very aggressive.
There is nothing quite like the pressure of being a business owner. Everyone likes to think of themselves as budding entrepreneurs. But when you are in the hot seat, when you have to make choices that could impact the fate of your company and the livelihood of your workers, then you begin to understand the true nature of pressure.
Advanced poker players are well aware of such pressure. They go through it each time they play a game, as most of their matches are worth millions. With so much money at stake, they know that any mistake could cause them huge problems. They cannot afford to misjudge or miscalculate a situation.
If you have succeeded in the business world, you are aware of how to operate smoothly and calmly within a pressurized environment. When you translate that mental and emotional skill to the poker table, you are in with a great chance of being a star.
Manage Money Responsibly
Most businesses go under because they are being financially mismanaged. There is a misconception that a failed business is one that does not have a compelling product or service.
The truth is that many thriving businesses have average products or services. They are not market leaders, but they know their target audience, invest within their means and churn out products consistently to ensure they make a profit each quarter.
If you can apply such a mindset to poker, you will be successful. Before each game, assess your resources. How much money are you adding to the pot? Consider the chips in front of you before each hand. Are you willing to bet a significant sum if you have a good set of cards, or will you remain patient and try to slowly build your pile?
By playing responsibly and not rashly going all in with your chips, you can ensure you last longer in poker games and give yourself a chance of winning it all.