Six life lessons I learnt from my poker-playing father
Any time someone asks me “So, what does your father do?” and I tell them, the reaction is almost always the same: “NO WAY! That is SO cool!” And you know what? I’m not going to lie – it is pretty cool. Being a full-time professional poker player has taught my dad some valuable life lessons, which he’s further passed on to me. For that, and a father who inspires me a great deal every day, I will forever be grateful. To know more about the essential life lessons I’ve learnt from him, keep reading!
Starting your own business, making a new friend, choosing your life partner – almost every decision we take in life involves a certain risk. Poker is no different. There’s always a chance of failure, but doesn’t that hold true for just about everything else? Whether in poker or in real life, there comes a point when it’s pivotal to raise the stakes if you want to win big. You know how they say… in the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.
Always be mindful
Needless to say, poker is a mind game, which makes being mindful at all times extremely crucial. It’s necessary to make every decision after careful consideration – setting goals, not spending more than you earn, being level-headed under pressure etc. The same skills need to be replicated in real life in order to achieve your goals.
Play the hand you’re dealt
No one gets to choose the hand their dealt – not in poker, nor in life. Circumstances are often beyond our control. Therefore, it’s important that we play the hand we’re dealt i.e. accept, deal with, and make the most of our situation or circumstances. Besides, when you’re dealt a bad hand and still make it, the taste of victory is so much sweeter.
Professional poker players, like my father, play the game for long durations and try to increase their bankroll with one big blind for every hour put in. It takes a lot of patience and good decisions to have a winning session at the end of the day. Similarly, being patient in life allows you to take chances when the odds are stacked in your favor. The key is to understand that poker is played for the long-run; you don’t look at individual sessions to determine a player’s ability. It’s all simply one big, long game. So, don’t sweat the small stuff and beat yourself up over setbacks. Instead, enjoy the process of becoming a skilled practitioner in whatever you choose to do.
Failure is a part of success
“Never let success get to your head and never let failure get to your heart.” The truth behind this statement is what makes it such a big cliché. Failure is inevitable and you are going to experience it – in poker and in real life. However, that most certainly isn’t a bad thing because it only helps you improve. It’s like constructive feedback and gets you thinking – Did I make the right decision? What could I have done differently? The secret is to fall seven times and get up eight. Sorry, I can’t talk about failure and not mention at least a few clichés. In my defense, they’re all so accurate!
No matter how skilled you are, without discipline, you will implode sooner or later (most likely sooner). While playing poker, you need to be disciplined in terms of your approach when it comes to your bankroll and the way you study and play the game. The same goes for the way you approach life. After all, discipline is the bridge between your goals and accomplishments.
For many, being a professional poker player is still unconventional and a hard pill to swallow but in my opinion, it comes with a lot of learnings – the most important one being ‘always follow your passion’, which my dad did. He led by example and that’s what makes him a great poker player and an even better father. On that note, Happy Father’s Day to all the daddy cools in the world!
Rummy is played with equal passion is all parts of India. However, Rummy is more popular in Deccan India, states like Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh.
I find Rummy is a higher game of skill than any card game, and it requires different skills like memory mapping, game theory, logical thinking, and decision making in different scenarios.
All this enhances our critical thinking, but we should be very responsible when we are playing with cash money.