8 Ways Playing Poker Can Boost Your Professional Career

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27/06/2018

If you play poker even half seriously, then you know it requires taking the best version of yourself to the table or laptop screen. And if you want to progressively increase your success, it means re-defining who you are on a personal level.

Just like promotions at work, poker is all about 'levels'. In fact, honing your poker game can help you to enhance your work prospects and flourish in the business world – here are eight legitimate reasons why:

1. Poker Strategy & Skill Learning

Whether it's video poker or classic table gaming, winning takes an intent to learn, hone skills, develop strategy and mould a winning, all-round game. Anyone with a good level of poker play therefore displays a capacity to learn, develop and apply discipline – three traits that any employer is looking for.

2. Emotional Intelligence of the Poker Pro

Professional poker players are some of the most emotionally intelligent people you can meet – having the capacity to be aware of and control their thoughts and feelings, while responding to them in a productive manner. Whether it's via meditation, breathing techniques, deep psychological work or being forged the hard way via tough times at the table, poker can put you a step ahead of the competition when it comes to business.

3. Confidence in the Office

Whether you're playing poker online, or in a face-to-face casino environment, confidence can help your decision making and unnerve other players. Like Mike Tyson used to say when he ruled the Heavyweight boxing division, “80% of the fight is in the mind”.

Employers sense authentic confidence and so do clients – that makes you highly employable and someone people will have trust and faith in. Confidence is a winner when it comes to hosting presentations, winning clients and closing sales calls.

4. Using the Bluff to Manage Clients & Close Deals

While honesty and integrity are vital traits that employers seek – so is the art of making friends and influencing people. And that can take a great deal of persuasion and occasionally putting on your diplomatic hat when you really want to blow a fuse, or speak a truth that might hurt business deals. This is where some refined poker bluffing skills can be very handy, giving you the capacity to deal with difficult clients or customers and close tricky business dealings.

5. Capital Management & Budgeting

Many jobs require money management, whether it's investing, managing an advertising campaign, hiring staff or countless other projects where cost control is imperative. And the same certainly applies to managing your poker budget and controlling risk. For serious players with the goal of progressively building their bankroll, budgeting and controlling losses during bad runs takes discipline and humility – two prized attributes in the business world. Taking hits in poker can also teach you to stay calm when a business is under financial stress, or tough targets need hitting.

6. Leadership & Time Management

When you play poker – you're ultimately on your own. And that means you're developing the skill of managing yourself autonomously, which is an excellent attribute to have in the corporate and working world. Serious poker pros develop their own pre-gaming rituals, whether it's working-out, meditating or affirmations – whatever it takes to get in the zone. Prospective employees will be able to rely on you to project-manage yourself – and potentially take on important managerial positions.

7. Focus, Productivity & Accountability

Whatever level you poker gaming's at, focus can be the winning edge. Many players crumble due to pressure and fatigue, leading to sloppy wagering decisions and poor strategy. This human trait costs businesses billions every year, so a productive, focused team player is a huge company asset. Develop your poker focus and concentration, and you'll have a tool to excel in the business world, too.

8. Growth Mindset & Responding to Failure

When someone starts playing poker (whether classic or video poker), they begin having a low level of knowledge, skill, strategy and (often) psychological development. Over time, poker players can develop each facet, becoming a better version of themselves again and again.

Every failure is viewed with a “‌it happens for me, not to me” mentality – allowing them to improve aspects of themselves and their game. This innately benefits you in the business world, while demonstrating to employers that you're open to learning, training, personal development, new ideas, constructive criticism and using failure as fuel for success.

Putting Poker Gaming on Your CV?

Everyone knows that when they go for a job, they're under the microscope, and that means hobbies and interests are always going to be potentially analysed in the hiring process.

Some people might be put off highlighting their interest in gambling on their CV, and ultimately, that's a decision best left to oneself. However, why hide your true self – particularly when you should have the confidence to boldly explain why playing poker makes you the perfect candidate?

You could also reveal a yarn about Warren Buffet and Bill Gates playing Bridge together – not exactly poker, but another highly strategic game of the mind. There are a vast number of successful high-flyers in the world who play poker and other games of skill and strategy – and it's no surprise that the traits they develop transfer from their leisure time to the career world.