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Practicing poker makes you a better business person

That’s right! Poker rules!

I have been playing a bit lately, with some success, but not huge amounts at stake.
I feel every time I play I learn a bit more about myself.

Yes, poker is not that luck game it used to be portrayed as. The most common variant of poker, which is No-limit Texas Hold’em requires to calculate the odds, to read your opponents and to stay cool under pressure.

People always think that good poker players bluff all the time.
If they did, they would be dead meat.
The businessweek article I just read, shows really good commonalities between poker and business.

What you should keep in mind
-Have a clear vision of the value of your hand. The potential gain estimation is crucial and you should assess what your opponents have with your limited information.
-Negotiate. And try to get the most with your hand, whatever it is.
-Know when to fold. That’s the best lesson I learnt. It’s very hard to do that, when you know you have a chance to win. Just stay clear-headed. Always go back to the odds of winning and what you can assess about the other players.
-Listen to the other players and get every information you can. Make them speak.

Business-wise, it’s a bit different. As it is said in the article, you still want a win-win situation. You are not thinking about just that deal, you’re thinking about the next time you’ll meet, or the reputation you’ll have.

But still:
poker gives you the habit to deal with high stakes, staying cool under pressure, to maximize your revenue. Business is also about that.

Professional poker players think about their activity about a business. They set their limits, they monitor their profitability, and they have a long-term strategy.

Poker is all about odds and skills. If you play well, it pays in the long run.
I hope business works the same way.

If Poker worked the same way as Business did, the players would team up to get the others out of the table, and share the profits. That’s what partnering is about. Remember that in terms of network, you still have the haves and the have not’s.

The luck and skills be with you.

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2 Comments to "Practicing poker makes you a better business person"

  1. Régis's Gravatar Régis
    June 25, 2008 - 4:36 am | Permalink

    …hmmm… Except that what is at stake is really not the same thing when you play and invest your own money to make others fold, and when you use assets (money, reputation, trust capital) that are not yours to deal with problems. And that is the core of poker.

  2. Vinh's Gravatar Vinh
    June 25, 2008 - 10:08 am | Permalink

    True. But, your reputation is always on the front line. I would not want my venture to be a total failure and have people spreading the word that I don’t deliver. That’s bad business :(

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