It might seem unlikely, but successful poker players and businessmen and women share many of the same skill sets. So it’s no wonder that the two professions often overlap, whether it be poker players investing in business ventures or entrepreneurs enjoying a game on the felt.
The Business World Is A Poker Game
In fact some of Silicon Valley’s most notable businessmen play poker in their spare time. Not convinced? Here are just some of the similarities between poker and business:
1] Money Management
Many people don’t realise that professional poker players have to extensively bankroll all their plays. This involves knowing exactly how much money you have available for poker once you’ve subtracted all your costs and money needed for future tournaments, meaning that even if you don’t make any money from one tournament, you’ll have protected yourself from having no money available for a long spell.
Business works in exactly the same way, with all the business costs and expenditures having to be carefully budgeted for months in advance. This means that if a business wants to invest in something, such as new machinery or marketing, it can do so safe in the knowledge that the business has good money management.
2] Importance of Reading Situations
When you have to make lots of decisions on a day-to-day basis, it’s incredibly important to read situations, and indeed people, accurately.
Poker players will study their opponents to see if they display characteristic patterns for situations like bluffing or when they have a good hand. These same skills are needed in business to read people such as clients, employees and even investors to ensure you’re making the correct decisions.
Patience is definitely a virtue, especially when it comes to poker and business, as without patience you can easily make silly mistakes or investments that will cost you. Instead, both poker professionals and entrepreneurs need to be patient in waiting for the right hand or business opportunity. Only then, will either play aggressively, as the gains will be high and the risk will be low.
Both poker and business are selective processes, if you went for every opportunity rather than being selective, then money would be lost over silly decisions.
Much like in poker, business is all about calculating the risk of an action. As well as measuring this risk against the potential gain and loss that is associated with it. You can’t run a successful business or be a successful poker player without risks, you wouldn’t survive against your competitors.
Nor can you be successful by taking too many risks, as being flippant with risk is just a slippery slope. Both business and poker are about managing risk by using assessments, calculating and processing them quickly and having a good instinct.
An amateur player or businessman might be excited by an all-in risk, especially if it pays off. However, you’ll find the best players and entrepreneurs will only take an ultimate risk if the odds are heavily stacked in their favour, in other words, they play smartly.
You can read more similarities between business and poker here. 🙂