In an earlier blog, we drew connections between poker and three fields: Finance, Actuarial Science, and Research & Development. If you’re interested in applying your poker talents to your career, here are three more lines of work to consider.
The Poker Industry:
A fair number of poker players work in the poker industry. This means they facilitate, arbitrate, and even deal poker games. Poker enthusiasts can apply their unique knowledge of the game and make a comfortable living, all the while getting to socialize with a diverse pool of players. While many great poker players are introverted, nearly every job at a cardroom is filled by an extrovert. On the dealer or floor person’s side of the table, hospitality and game integrity are top priorities. If you’re fascinated by the personalities of your local poker community or if you just can’t get enough of those poker vlogs on YouTube, consider a customer-facing or management role within the poker industry.
A poker player is in some ways a business. Sure the day-to-day tasks of a poker player and a small business owner aren’t very similar, but the bigger picture is. Internal drive, setting your own schedule, living modestly while you build up capital, and the fat-tailed distribution of success are at the core of both entrepreneurship and professional poker. Even elements of fundraising are prevalent in poker when players sell action, set up stakes, or work out coaching-for-profit arrangements. The two ventures each teach the same powerful lesson: failure is natural. When most low-likelihood high-yield events end in “failure”, risk-takers acquire a seasoned understanding of the value in the risks they take. Every individual risk in poker from playing a multi-table tournament to moving up in stakes won’t lead to success for most people most of the time, but poker players and entrepreneurs learn to pursue ventures with high expected value regardless of the variance involved. If you are a self-starting creative thinker who likes control over the fruits of your labor, think about small businesses you’d like to create or join at the ground level.
A career in law, particularly as an attorney, plays to the strengths of the exploitative poker player. That is to say, lawyers make adjustments to their approach depending on how they read people (judges, juries, opposing legal teams.) Both legal battles and poker games are skill-based in the long run but obfuscate participants with luck, incomplete information, and a variegated multitude of possible situations. Working on cases, similar to studying poker, requires you to identify, organize, and prioritize issues given excess information. Finally, both poker and law are zero-sum and tend to draw individuals who relish the challenge of pitting their best strategy against strong opponents. Law may be a rigorous field, but the path to achievement is clearly laid out. If you enjoy competing in a merit-based work environment, look into the steps necessary to practice law.
These six divisions of the workforce don’t represent the complete or even the majority of poker players’ careers. People enjoy poker for plenty of different reasons, these jobs merely highlight qualities of the most analytical and competitive players. For those who enjoy poker more for its social culture, careers in human resources, public relations, sales, or politics could showcase their people skills. No matter what you love about poker, be sure to get involved in a POKERPOWER club here to build your professional skill set. We hope this has given everyone a better idea about what their table-mates might do for a living; if you’re seeking a job, apply your passion and ability from poker to your search!
Written By: Sam Anschell