Poker as a real money card game is gradually reaching a global audience and more importantly, being accepted as a game of skill in India. Today, the concepts of poker have culturally weaved their way into various industries from technology (machine learning, artificial intelligence) to psychology to recruitment processes to even the suited wealth managers on wall street!
On a closer take, real money poker lessons are indispensable for developing thought processes required to trade and make investment decisions in the stock market and vice versa. A real money poker game or investing in the stock market is said to be that well-rounded curriculum everyone needs to have a fundamental understanding of to make better decisions in life. Let’s take a look at these valuable concepts and how they can be applied across all walks of life.
The millennial generation is all about instant gratification, long gone is the mother of all virtues, patience. This is precisely the skill you need to practice to be rewarded both in live and online poker games and the stock market.
Poker: Let’s say you are in a blind position (no antes), as a real money poker player you need not risk your chips and enjoy the luxury of waiting in positions like these. You should be holding a premium hand like a big suited pair or high connecting cards like AK or AQ to be putting in those chips. Being patient and waiting for a better hand and better position always bear fruits.
The Market: Don’t ever be in a hurry to invest. In Warren Buffet’s words “The stock market is designed to transfer money from the active to the patient”. You want to be making decisions with the right ‘margin of safety’ than the ‘margin of being hasty’.
Advice is always free-flowing and can be misleading, especially in situations where a herd mentality thrives. It’s important to know your skill set, your resources and limitations to make the right choices.
Poker: In a game of poker, it’s important to choose a fitting tournament that’s suited to reward you. Be aware of your skill set and choose a real money poker game that will favour you at the stakes that you play. If you think a game of Texas Hold’em is your strong suit, avoid the Omaha games till you develop an appetite for it. Be sure to have a relative advantage in the game you choose to play.
The Market: Do not ever invest blindly! Investment advice always comes by the dozen, but most of it may not be ideal for you. Take time out to read up on the companies/funds you are investing before going all-in.
Risk is more important than Reward
Poker: Let’s say you are running great with some premium hands in an online poker game and making great decisions, however, you ought to be careful to wager small enough to survive short-term losses in order to emerge successful in the long run.
The Market: Cushioning your downswings in the stock important are probably more important than the reward. A loss of 25% requires a 33% return to break even, a number to keep in mind when calculating if the short risk is worth the long term reward.
Small pots or Jackpot?
We all constantly ask ourselves, “small single rewards or one big home run”. As poker players or investors, you are at crossroads more often than you’d please. There is no definite solution for this one, only being mindful of the scenario/game can help make better decisions.
Poker: A small pot could mean that the table is playing tight and only premium hands. Big pots are indicative that everyone is trying to hit a home run. Be aware of certain specifics such as -your hole cards, position, the story you’ve told with your wager and the opponents on the table to decide if you wish to go for the kill or inch your way up for it.
The Market: Take time out to understand your aptitude for the market. Should you be investing smaller amounts, trade more actively over a short period of time OR larger sums, longer holds over a longer period of time? Be aware of the market context and your abilities to straddle between the two.
No matter the number of years of experience or your success rate, going on a negative spiral because you let your emotions get the better of you is a downward slope for both real money poker players and investors.
Poker: If an opponent has given you a bad beat or you are simply on the edge personally, you will be forced to make bad decisions and spiral emotionally out of control into a poker ‘tilt’. Keep those emotions in check and the moment you feel them affecting your logical reasoning, we suggest you call it a day.
The Market: Let’s say it’s a bad day for the markets and a chunk of your portfolio has remained in red. Don’t be eager to make up the same the very same day (if you actively trade) or hold onto the thought (if you trade long term). A weak state of mind, especially with real money involved can cause irreplaceable losses.
The past serves as a great learning lesson
Poker: With real money poker getting competitive, players are aware that they need to better their skills in order to survive. Any gap in your game can be exploited by your opponent and therefore, it is important to take time out to study your past hands. Repeating the same mistakes can be costly!
The Market: Goes without saying that studying your past decisions, the performance history of the fund/company, the market etc only equip you to make better risk vs reward decisions.
Take a decent bite at these thoughts and value your stakes right. All the best!