To the man on the street, poker is ridiculously difficult to learn. However, the pros believe that it is one thing to learn poker, and a totally different ideal to master it. A common refrain is that poker is not difficult to learn; it is just hard to master. Those who have been in the game for a long time know what to hold and what to let go, and they learn to anticipate moves and react to them in real time. In a way, poker is a hurdle one has to cross before they learn the finer aspects of life, so the two concepts are intertwined. What you learn in this game can form a crucial aspect of your path to success in real life;
Here is how mastering poker can prepare you for success in unrelated areas of life;
It helps you lay out your goals
Poker is about the process, not the event. A player who sets out to win $1,000 is bad at strategy. A player who decides to play 1,000 hands a day is a fine specimen of what the game needs. The difference here is that one player is focused on a single event rather than the process that inches them closer to that goal. Life is about processes. Don’t focus on the event; look beyond that. A successful person knows that results are just half the story.
Poker inculcates financial responsibility and discipline
Even the best poker players of all time have lost money at some point. In poker, a player needs to know when they run out of luck and quit while ahead. Good players have a limit to the amount of money they can wager. When their limits are reached, they are disciplined enough to ignore their emotions and head out. That way, they live to play another day. In life, you always need to be measured and composed. If you are financially disciplined, then you are able to avoid irresponsible decisions and stash a good amount of money away. This stash comes in handy at some point when you are trying to plan for retirement or thinking about starting a business.
Poker teaches you to turn misfortunes to opportunities
An expert poker strategy is to simply play what you are dealt with. You have no control over the hands being played by others, so there is nothing you can do to influence the outcome. However, once the cards land in your hands, you can find a way of beating a grim-looking rap. Life is just like poker. It is served up to you in ways you have no control over, and you have to find a way of turning things around. Successful people are good at flipping misfortunes into opportunies.
While poker is an intellectually stimulating pastime, its way more than that; it is a game that prepares you to take on challenges in life and parlay your gains into something monumental later in life. Every hand played is an opportunity to learn ideals that end up informing your worldview and act as a blueprint to success.