Poker And Me

Poker chips

Poker fascinates me.

I’m not particularly great at it, but I’ve spent quite a lot of time studying and playing it lately. Now, I’m well aware this is another shiny object but I’ve found it to be one of the most useful shiny objects I’ve come across.


More Poker ChipsAlthough there is an element of luck, to be a successful poker player requires heaps of self control. Just like trading. At a poker table, we can get a good idea of when someone is acting irrationally. Perhaps they are on “tilt” after losing a big pot to a Royal Flush against their Full House. Whatever the reason, people behave irrationally under stress and poker pro’s will take full advantage of that.

In sports trading markets, inexperienced traders behave in a similar, irrational manner. By cutting their losses too early, getting bullied out of good positions or falling trap to market manipulation. Whatever the reason, the psychological challenge is very similar to poker.

I’ve found that playing a games of poker has helped build my self control that was often lacking in the sports trading markets. Perhaps a small break from the sports trading markets has helped take things out of context?

Who knows.

I’ve never really focused on one particular thing throughout my life. When I’ve worked on projects in the past, I’ve always had my fingers in 12 other pies. Music, club nights, web development, trading, poker, writing, cycling, countless other distractions.

Without a doubt, that is a weakness of mine. But, I can’t help but think that experience in different fields has helped me get to this point in life and will help further down the road. However, it definitely comes with it’s disadvantages. Perhaps there is a perfect middle ground that I am still a few steps away from reaching!

Yesterday, I came across this post by a friend on Facebook.

Elon Musk

Elon Musk if of course, the guy behind Tesla and countless other projects. The article in the post talks about how exposed to different industries he has been and the amount of books he reads. Maybe diversification isn’t such a bad thing after all? I have to be honest though, I do work a lot but I wouldn’t want to spend 90 hours a week at my desk forever and miss out on my children growing up.

On that note, I have heard successful traders mention that the books that have helped them the most aren’t always trading related.

So, this is a fairly open ended post and I’m interested to know what you think. What works for you? What is the perfect balance of focus and diversification in business/trading?  Is it personality dependent?


Written by laurencestanley