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How Mastering Poker Skills Improves Your Life Away From the Felt

When professional poker players are asked how the game affects their life, they usually say it gives them money and freedom. In the meantime, the poker lifestyle is considered to be unhealthy: a bad regimen, burned nerves, poor nutrition, and social skills that leave a lot to be desired. However, people forget that poker is not just a specific way to earn money, but also serious training for the brain and a chance to develop entrepreneurial skills.

Poker improves your self-discipline

There are players with natural talent, no argument there. But strategy alone won't bring you success in poker if you don't maintain an adequate level of self-discipline. The best illustration of this is Viktor 'Isildur1' Blom. He showed excellent results in 2015, and it wasn't the first time. He already had amazing highs and lows. Only a player with stable results deserves the right to be called a professional poker player.

Poker improves your patience

Former WSOP Main Event champ Tom McEvoy probably said it best: "Hold'em: hours of boredom followed by moments of sheer terror." Even when playing several tables at a time, your main move is almost always "fold, fold, fold", let alone the live game, where you sometimes have to fold for hours and hours. All this, for sure, can be very frustrating, but choosing a good situation and waiting for the perfect chance is an extremely important skill of a good player.

Choosing to play when the time is right is a golden rule, but who can do this flawlessly? Very few, and their names are very well known to us. Ironclad self-control and Nordic tranquility: that's what you ought to have when you sit down at the table. And if you're not born with these skills, you'll have to develop them.

Poker improves your concentration and logical thinking

We must not use our emotions when making decisions at the table. Yes, poker is about playing cards for money, after all, which is gambling in its nature. That's why many of those who make money by playing cards are often inclined to trust their intuition.

Recreational players are more likely to make spontaneous decisions, while pros rely on their experience and notes. Poker teaches players to memorize thousands of situations and their consequences and make optimal decisions accordingly. The game, as such, makes our brain work like a computer; we have to process an enormous amount of data to find the best result. To do so, you have to pay close attention to what's going on with you and your opponents during the game.

Poker improves your competence

Poker means constant investments of money into situations you consider profitable. You can use the skills gained in the game in your future ventures and it's not just about becoming a trader on the stock exchange, but any other field.

You'll start examining the majority of important decisions in your life from the point of view of implied profit and possible negative consequences. Whether it's a fresh business idea, thoughts on emigration, or even starting a new relationship, you will habitually approach every move assuming how profitable it will be in the long-run. It also would be a good thing to look at your bank account like you look at your bankroll and manage it accordingly. This kind of approach will surely keep you from excessive expenses.

Poker teaches how to overcome stress and losses

Many world-renowned businessmen have said that one of the most important components of their success is the ability to perceive bad buys as experience and losses as a kind of investment. Poker players learn early on that variance means not every correct decision leads to good results. That's why poker is often hard for people who fly high, as they can't accept this injustice.

Professionals learn to resign themselves philosophically to bad luck. The saying "you'll get it back in the long-run" has become extremely popular among professional players. It's almost impossible to demotivate or depress a poker player with several fails, even serious ones.

The approach to life outside poker changes accordingly. On average, players who are very emotionally stable are inclined to treat their life difficulties with humor. And that's one of the most important skills in our life, isn't it?

23 February 2016 22:59
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