Poker is life, and life is poker. It’s completely interchangeable for professionals because almost everything that happens on the felt can be applied to real-life situations as well. There is a lesson to be learned from the way we interact with each other during the game as well as our preparations and decisions.
Poker and life are so similar that professionals view each hand as an accelerated microcosm of their entire lives. Some of the life lessons we can learn from poker pros are certain to be valuable. This week we’ll be discussing 7 life lessons that these pros have learned on the felt.
1. Rewards and Risks
When it comes to making money, good players don’t rely solely on high-value hands. A bluff is always in their back pocket, waiting to be pulled when the opponent least expects it. On many occasions during tournaments, players will put everything on the line to win the game, even though they know it could be the end of their tournament career.
Only the strongest players are willing and able to take risks in their careers. Most players are presented with opportunities that require trade-offs throughout their careers.
There’s no point in being a professional player if you’re just going to sit at the poker table and win big. To increase their bankrolls, they play the game for long periods and try to earn one big blind for every hour put in. Ending the day with a winning session requires a lot of patience and good decisions, but it is possible.
On a similar note, players in the real world can be fortunate enough to gain something initially, only to have it all taken away years down the road. Because they are patient, they can take risks when the odds are in their favour.
3. How to Make a Decision
Choosing which cards to play is out of the players’ hands, but how they play them is, and their success depends entirely on it. Everything else is just a waste of time and energy. One must make the best decisions possible when the future is uncertain to maximise gains.
4. Bad Beats: How to Handle Them
Good poker players don’t get scared of bad beats because they happen all the time. When playing poker, the odds can change at any time. Your mental toughness and determination help you get through tough times and keep going.
The same is true in life, where a player faces several setbacks and is often afraid to try again for fear of losing again. Because bad beats are a part of the game, poker teaches players to move on after a bad beat.
5. Management of the bankroll
We can learn a lot about poker by doing this. First-time players are notorious for pushing themselves too far and often lose money at higher stakes, depleting their bankroll and driving them away from poker.
Only playing with money you can afford to lose, is a lesson learned early in the game by the best of the best players. Poker teaches us how to invest our money wisely in opportunities that produce guaranteed profits without compromising our lifestyle.
The truth is that no one can win every hand in poker. This is especially true if the river card changes everything and all of your equity is wiped out.
But it’s not out of the question that they’ll bet for value only to be check-raised by the villain. But only the most disciplined players can avoid it by folding when it’s their turn.
It’s easy to become complacent in life, believing that we have it all and that we’re invincible. There is no such thing as too much caution when it comes to making decisions in poker because anything can happen at any time. It’s okay to let go of things from time to time.
7. Choosing a game to play
The importance of choosing the stakes and the table for every player is undeniable. Tables filled with non-professional players are ideal, while sharks are a bad bet for any poker player. If you want to be successful in business and in life you need to choose the right career path, job, and employer.
Can you say that poker is purely a game of chance? There is some merit in this argument. However, everything still boils down to a player’s ability and skill. Professional poker players, on the other hand, know that rational decision-making and empirical evidence always win the pot in poker games.