Poker Gets the Ivy League Treatment
Did you know that the eight colleges that make up the Ivy League all have poker clubs?
It’s no coincidence that schools like Harvard, Princeton, University Of Pennsylvania, Columbia and other prestigious universities like MIT provide students with opportunities to try their hands at the game. Poker isn’t just a great way to pass the time; it builds critical skills to help people succeed professionally.
The benefits of mastering poker have been so great, they’ve been integrated into academic curriculum at Harvard University. Harvard Professor of Law Charles Nesson founded the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society, which offers workshops, seminars and conferences focusing on how poker relates to a larger learning experience. Students learn important life skills like strategy, self-control and risk-assessment. The results are favorable since the society has grown to include chapters at Yale, UCLA and USC.
Getting the Upper Hand
Many high level executives in businesses ranging from finance, technology and everything in between, are also great poker players. That’s because the same strategies used on the poker table are also used in the boardroom.
Harvard Business Publishing, a subsidiary of Harvard Business School, published a 2015 report “Leading Now: Critical Capabilities for a Complex World” indicating eight capabilities that make great business leaders. Turns out nearly half of those capabilities can be taught by poker.
The benefits of a good poker player are so useful that global employers use the game to recruit new talent and train employees. The Susquehanna International Group (SIG), a privately held global investment firm, hosts competitive employee matches to help employees gain the skills they need to excel in their job.
Poker players learn how to:
● Calculate risk and motivation
● Build endurance
● Adapt to changing circumstances
● Evaluate decisions and outcomes
● Strategize key moves
● Improve Probabilistic Thinking
Playing poker is about more than just getting lucky with the cards. It’s about reading each player’s cues; observing choices and past decisions; adapting for each hand; and maintaining emotional resiliency to make the best decisions for an optimal financial outcome. Sounds like another day at the office, right?
Ladies, Take a Seat
Poker has historically been a male-dominated sport much like corporate America, but the cards are shifting both at the poker table and the conference table. Women like Vanessa Selbst and Kathy Liebert have raked in more than $14 million combined and won events at the North American Poker and World Series of Poker Tours.
As women make strides in the game; they make strides in the business world too — benefitting from the confidence and patience the game instills in its players.
Poker Divas will be leading a Women’s Poker/Leadership Workshop for Female MBA’s for Wharton Women in Business ( WWIB ) -Managing Risk and Playing to Win in Business and in Life Using the Principles of Poker on Friday March 18.
Handling the pressures of the game give women a hands on opportunity to practice strategic tactics that will help them grow professionally and prepare them for leadership, relationship building, negotiating and other business opportunities.
Poker Equals Success
The skills gained from a mastery of poker can help people become great business leaders. Maybe that’s why notables like Sonia Sotomayor, Bill Gates and David Einhorn have all been known to play a few hands. The perception of smokey, male-dominated game halls is quickly growing outdated in favor of more engaging spaces where men and women can learn incredible tools for business success.
With academic institutions promoting the value of poker and major corporations using it as a tool to find and train the best talent, isn’t it time women throw in their bets?