Are you a missile or a bully? A sidekick, or a Jane/John Doe? Your answer to this question can determine a lot about how you show up at the poker table and in business.
In a poker game, much like in business and in life, getting to know your competition can mean the difference between winning and losing.
You need to learn how they play, their motivations, and when they make certain moves. As your powers of observation continue to improve, you’ll soon know with more certainty whether your opponent is meek or bold, focused or spacey, a leader or a follower. Then you can adjust your play accordingly.
How do you Figure out who really has the goods and who is bluffing?
When you’re at the table, you’ll notice that there are many different types of poker players. As you begin to play more often, you’ll see that the way people play their poker game reflects their personality in business and in social situations.
There are four types of players:
I refer to these personality types in my book PokerWoman – How to Win in Love, Life and Business using the Principles of Poker as The Bully, The Missile, The Right-Hand Man/Woman, and Jane/John Doe.
Not sure which type you are? See how you respond to this brief sample of questions from our poker personality detector:
1. My motto is:
A. Act now, ask questions later
B. Get the facts and get ready to go
C. Wait and see
D. Better safe than sorry
2. When I walk into a room, I:
A. Introduce myself to everyone I see
B. Scope out the room for people who I want to meet
C. Talk to whoever talks to me first
D. Stand in the corner and have a drink
3. Which of these compliments would you most like to get?
A. You’re not afraid of anything
B. You really know how to take charge of a situation
C. You’re a really good team player
D. You never ruffle anyone’s feathers
If you responded mostly As, you have the characteristics of The Bully personality at the table. The Bully is a super-aggressive loose player, a big risk-taker. Bullies never check or pass and they typically bet or raise very aggressively. In business, The Bully tends to be somewhat reckless and overly aggressive. That personality can work in some fields as some people have successfully bullied their way into a huge career, but this can also work against you. Think of the 1970s version of tennis star John McEnroe.
Answered mostly Bs? Consider yourself The Missile; a tight but aggressive player. Missiles carefully select what they play at the poker table or take on in the workplace, but when they do get involved, there is no stopping them. They are focused and aggressive without being reckless. Think of Oprah Winfrey.
Checked off mostly Cs? You may be The Sidekick, or as we say in poker, a calling station. These players like the action but don’t initiate it. There are legions of fictional Sidekicks, from Harry Potter’s Ron Weasley to Batman’s Robin. They are callers rather than bettors or raisers. In a professional environment, this person is a great team player, but may not have the desire to be front and center as a leader. If this sounds like you, and your desire is to be more of a force and step out into the front line, you are going to benefit by being the “bettor”; making the first move more often to take the lead.
If you answered mostly Ds , consider yourself a Jane or John Doe type—totally risk averse with little chance of winning big. At the poker table, Ds will typically fold unless they are sure they hold a winning hand. They do not want to lose, and have a fear of being assertive. They often work behind the scenes and tend to be anonymous. People who want to
move out of this zone need to practice getting comfortable making the first move and getting noticed.
If your natural personality type isn’t getting the results you want, try out a new persona.
Poker players change their strategy all the time, and if you are aware of yours, you can change it too.
If you can learn to recognize personality types and understand the best way to handle each one, you’ll have a competitive edge in every interaction. Follow my blog here to learn the art of perfecting your table image.
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