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Is playing poker more than just an investment?

Poker is the ideal option when considering the cognitive benefits it produces, especially during these vigorous stock market ups and downs.

November 28, 2022 / 11:19 AM IST

Being wise about one's finances is not as easy as they make it out to be in financial guides, especially when there is no shortage of investment opportunities. While the traditional way of investing has always been more appealing (which is understandable because of the levels of safety and control the investor perceives), there is another potential pathway that could not only ramp up your returns but offer you a level of awareness and control that the more typical formats might not. Poker is one such pathway that does not lend its dynamics to the turbulent forces of the market, which one would otherwise have to weather. With poker, you not only make mindful investments via careful analytical decisions, but you also imbibe a host of venerable skills and lifestyle qualities that could do well to serve you. For those who feel that poker is just another playful game that seems to infuse certain aspects of investing, remember that it is not child's play and demands a sharp mind and even sharper bluffs. Poker is the ideal option when considering the cognitive benefits it produces, especially during these vigorous stock market ups and downs.

It all boils down to the basics of poker — the cards dealt, the stakes, the signature tells of a player, the bluffs, and so on. The game comprises split-second decisions that could end in a massive win or a disappointing loss. This dynamic will strengthen and boost one’s critical thinking skills, specifically one’s analytical thinking skills when levying one decision versus another. It is a game that allows us to sharpen one's concentration because a single wrong move could spell a loss, and this is one way that the game helps an investor level up their mind power. This is because, in poker, you are responsible for your pot; there are no extrinsic forces at play when the cards are dealt. You have control over the returns you take, based on plays that you make and, ultimately, on the behavioral cues exhibited by the other players.

The environment brought to life during a game of poker features striking parallels with the nature of decisions we face in our daily lives. Poker isn’t an elitist setup that is reserved for a certain section of society, rather is a game that can spell various benefits for the every-person.

In fact, Moneycontrol, one of India’s leading business and financial platforms under Network18, has joined hands with Spartan Poker, the country’s leading online gaming platform, to announce ‘Poker for People’. This one-of-a-kind competition sees Moneycontrol introduce an online poker championship to its users. The tournament, with a prize pool of Rs 1crore, will offer poker enthusiasts an opportunity to go all in.

Poker is a highly skill-based game requiring utmost foresight, planning, and the ability to take calculative risks. Moneycontrol draws a parallel between the card game and the stock market/investments for their audience.

Consider this: While the atmosphere within the game itself is simulated (so to speak), the keen focus on the risk of losing money pushes one to face the beast that is tough decision-making with little to no information descriptively available. Poker goes the mile in sharpening one's character by amplifying their sense of sharpness and confidence in the decisions one makes, and with the added element of thrill in the mix, the experience is anything but plain. Eventually, the lessons and observational tricks one learns from poker sessions evolve into their lifestyle and how one approaches any decisions requiring tough calls and, sometimes, more onerous consequences. Learning how to bounce back from a gut-wrenching loss is a venerable skill, and what better platform than poker to learn it through? It helps promote prudent financial management to avoid jumping into a play just because it might seem like the right move. The worst thing is when you greedily go all-in, only to realize that it would've been more prudent if you had been patient for a few rounds. Therefore, poker is a tool that can help polish one's persona and lifestyle perspectives.

The frantic mind of a poker player is always enlivened, always pondering how they can better play the next round to best their opponent. That sounds like every business investment experience. It jump-starts one's mind in finding weak spots of their opponents, which can be advantageously adapted into a blaring win. This relentless quid pro quo is a solid boost to our perceptions and inner judgments of what constitutes an airtight decision given the context, alongside the constant analyses that one undertakes to rise above their opponent, which will indubitably boost their analytical skills as well as the parameters that one considers significant towards an efficient decision-making process. Not to mention, poker is a form of entertainment. Yes, there is quite a flurry of emotions due to the stakes, but that is precisely what makes the game all the more adrenaline-surging. There is an undoubted rush of excitement as you play your hand as deftly as possible, even though your mind is jumping with tons of nervous energy. It could also be a more relaxed match between friends, without the worries of money-making strategies. Poker is a double-edged sword — it can be highly beneficial and financially productive, providing players with a chance to kick back and have some good 'ol poker-fuelled fun.

The environment simulated through a game of poker is noteworthy. Perched at the poker table, it’s every man for himself — one's decisions need to be as analytically precise and calculated, accounting only so much for perceived luck. Thus, it encourages individuals to become more scientific in their thinking processes. However, the subtle intricacies of poker are lost on its larger-than-life depictions in countless movies and television shows, and in reality, all the fluff overshadows just how accessible and beneficial it can be to understand and master. Its skills are templates for the multi-faceted decisions one faces in day-to-day life, where the stakes are high and time isn’t boundless. It’s a must-have notch in anybody’s skill sets and in taking on poker, not only will you be completely in control of your investments and financial plays, the throes of the game will leave you (and your mind) sharper than ever. Poker is more than just a bravado-fueled investment — it is a concept that can help you take on some of life’s challenging situations.

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“This game involves an element of financial risk, and may be addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk.”

Moneycontrol Journalists were not involved in the creation of the article.
first published: Nov 9, 2022 08:03 pm