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What poker can teach you about business strategy

Here are some key skills you can learn from poker and leverage them to grow your business

August 31, 2020 / 10:20 AM IST

Running a business can often feel a lot like a game of risks. You need to assess the odds, make strategic moves, maintain consistency, and play your cards right to maximise your potential for success. It has its risks, but it is also rewarding. Some of the world’s top CEOs and entrepreneurs have been known to use the powerful strategic tools poker has to offer, as the game centres on strategy and the ability to read verbal and nonverbal cues.

Parallels between poker and business

Both, in business and poker, there is uncertainty, which requires you to assess risk, analyse competition, and prepare an effective strategy to deal with this. From decision-making to risk-taking, the game of poker challenges you at different levels just like in business. While luck is a component in any outcome, the world of poker and business is full of probabilities, so you need to weigh the odds and be prepared for a range of hands to mitigate potential risk.

One of the big challenges business leaders face is the threat of competition as the stakes are high, just like in poker. To gain a competitive advantage, they have to understand who they are competing against, and decode what motivates them, which is the key to succeeding in business. This risk assessment helps them take decisive action in a fast-paced environment, in which they often operate without all the information they need.

Business lessons from poker

Here are some key skills you can learn from poker and leverage them to grow your business:

1) Manage cash flow

Just like poker players need to manage a dedicated bankroll to support their games, business leaders need to exercise discipline in managing their investments. For both, it is crucial to ensure that you never put more at risk than you can afford to lose. Have clear goals, limit spending and invest with caution.

2) Calculating and mitigating risk

Poker teaches you restraint and patience, so only take risks when the odds are in your favour and choose the best avenues to put in your hard-earned money. In addition, both involve quick calculations, assessments and instinct. So it’s important to recognise your competition's tactics early on and shift strategies to figure out when to fold or go all in.

3) Decoding different personas

In business, you're catering to a gamut of people, both in the office and out of it (consumers, etc). You need to understand their motivations and observe their behaviours in order to take action. Poker lets you harness this skill and redirect emotion as you have to adapt to the people at the table; notice non-verbal cues and track their patterns to succeed.

The thrill of the game

Much like immersing yourself in a gaming challenge or the thrill of winning a poker game, the exhilaration of starting a business is irreplaceable. That feeling of accomplishment despite the challenges is what drives entrepreneurs and poker players alike. Both offer you the opportunity to make your own decisions and be in control of your own destiny.

Entrepreneurs and poker players are always seeking new challenges, and looking to acquire new skills to scale up and win despite all the odds blocking their path. Online poker portal PokerStars India celebrates this bold attitude and passion to go all in with their new campaign entitled ‘I’m In’ featuring cricketing champion Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Dhoni's ability to make fearless decisions, calm composure in high-pressure situations, and emotional agility make him a perfect poker player. The thrill, the excitement, the pressure, and the competitiveness of poker is akin to the stimulating world of cricket. Having led India to many international victories, Dhoni steadfastly maintained his focus; weeding out any distractions to disrupt the game—a skill that's very useful in poker. When Dhoni was appointed captain in 2007, ahead of several other established players and former captains, he harnessed his emotional maturity and valued his senior teammates instead of rushing to make changes. Even in poker, it is vital to keep your emotions in check instead of letting them guide your next move.

Online poker's popularity is rapidly rising as people from all walks of life are looking to engage in fun gaming experiences with friends and family.  With PokerStars India, Dhoni aims to answer the call of the thrill and take online poker to a larger audience. So, are you in?

Join MS Dhoni and others like you for a fun game of skills and thrills on PokerStars, India’s Home of Online Poker.

This is a partnered post.
Tags: #Features
first published: Aug 31, 2020 10:18 am
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