Today I'm going to share some thoughts and research on the world of Poker, and what life lessons we can learn from the game of poker.
If you've seen my Instagram stories you'll know I've teamed up with PokerStars who are the proud sponsors of this blog. They've kindly invited me over to Barcelona to join an event and I'll be cracking wise and learning all about the psychology of Poker with some of the best players in the world.
WHAT CAN POKER TEACH ME?
What are the mental benefits from playing Poker? Everyone knows that exercising the brain is good for longevity. It's why we're encouraged to do Crossword puzzles the more we get older.
I've discovered the same can be said about Poker. There are life-lessons that you can take from the game of poker.
ACCEPT SOME BAD LUCK
You could be an amazing poker player. Imagine you're the best poker player on the table and you've calculated the odds that the hand you're holding has a 99% chance of winning.
The person across from you wins, through fluke luck. That 1% didn't go your way.
You sometimes have to accept that you don't lose to the better person but you lose to lady luck.
When you win at poker you're the best and smartest in the room. When you lose it was because you had crap cards all night. How many times have you heard that or told yourself that?
You have to be able to admit your faults. Maybe you didn't play those crap cards as well as you should have? Maybe you waiting too long for the right hand, not doing enough with what you were given?
Admit your faults and don't rush to pat yourself on the back when you win. Even when you win, think on how you could have improved.
THE GREAT STUDY OF OTHERS
This is a game unlike any other. You have what is known in the trade as an immediate feedback loop. Meaning on average, each hand of poker lasts 2 minutes. You can learn something about peoples behavioural patterns every two minutes.
Was someone too impetuous to raise? Did someone go all in an attempt to bully their way out of trouble? Is someone averting their eyes, uneasy, unsure?
Watch people’s reactions. How do people react under pressure and what does that say about their mental state? How do you handle stress and what facade can you create to help shield your emotions? People watching, not naval gazing. So much more fun.