Focus Story

Poker as an Unusual Hobby for Startup Founders

Most of us have one or more favorite activities we like to undertake in our spare time. Some people say that work is their true passion, but it’s good to have a useful hobby that helps us grow and develop new skills.

Startup founders and business owners might find it surprising that playing poker could help them develop many desired skills they can put to good use in their line of work.

Practical skills


Armed with scientific facts on the subject, gamers of the world can rest assured that their hobby is more than an entertaining way of spending time. Video games increase concentration and coordination, improve memory, and more. The same goes for poker or other card and logic games. Competing against the best will help with analytic skills, critical thinking, learning abilities, and focus.

With the gameplay being based on math and probability, poker could teach you a thing or two about the game theory, which is a study of mathematical strategic models that aim at explaining the rational decision-making processes. Those can be applied to various areas of life, anywhere from logic and computer sciences to business and politics.

Relatively uncomplicated in its principle, poker offers insurmountable strategic solutions, so it’s not easy to develop an optimal one. In this game, it is crucial to find a balance between aggressive and submissive behavior. It’s safe to assume that the best poker players possess such an attitude that any aspiring entrepreneur needs to increase their chances for success.

Keep calm and move forward

Another quality any good business leader should have is patience. The same way patience and self-discipline are fundamental to being good at poker. Particularly in the beginning, when inexperienced players might feel intimidated. Fortunately, it’s easy to start learning the ropes on some of the best poker training sites.

Just like you cannot play every poker hand, you have to pick your battles regarding making business decisions. Sometimes you must be patient and count your odds. It may take a while to get your company running smoothly, which could mean that you need to “fold a few hands” and wait for better times.

Risk management

Then again, when the right moment finally arrives, one needs to be ready to take advantage of it. In any area, fearing failure cannot prevent us from taking a shot at our dreams, and here as well, poker can teach us proper risk management. When based on available information, knowledge, and skill, the game becomes more of an educated guess.

The same goes for money management, which is an equally fundamental aspect of a successful long-term strategy in playing cards and overseeing a company’s operations. Various bankroll management techniques could be required for different poker variations, especially when betting limitations are considered.

A good player will behave in one way when playing a no limit hold’em game, and in another way when dealing with pot limit omaha or fixed limit hold’em. Ultimately, if you’re bad at managing your money, you won’t be able to do either of those jobs very well.

Read the room

Because poker is not merely a game of numbers and probability, the psychological factor is also essential. You have to read the room, or better yet, your opponent, to be successful. You may assume they behave rationally, but the concept of bluffing goes to show you that people can be unpredictable. So can the market, and being able to read it properly requires skill, knowledge, and experience, but it will pay off in the long run.

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BossMac Suba

Owner and lead reviewer for Back2Gaming. More than 10-year of corporate IT experience as well as consumer IT journalism. His extensive skill set and experience in communicating complicated technical details into easily understandable bits. He's been with you since dial-up and the ISA slot. His favorite animal is the scapegoat.

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