My colleague Chris Jones recommend that I read Delivering Happiness by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. Knowing my voracious appetite for good business books, I devoured Delivering Happiness this evening. Great read!!!
One area of Delivering Happiness realy hit home with me: How Poker and Business Are Related. While I enjoy poker (but rarely play due to time contraints), I’ve always found a litany of parallels between poker and business. Tony Hsiesh masterfully verbalized those similarities as follows:
“I noticed so many similarities between poker and business that I started making a list of the lessons I learned from playing poker that could also be applied to business:
Evaluating Market Opportunities
- Table selection is the most important decision you can make.
- It’s okay to switch tables if you discover it’s too hard to win at your table.
- If there are too many competitors (some irrational or inexperienced), even if you’re the best it’s a lot harder to win.
Marketing and Branding
- Act weak when strong, act strong when weak. Know when to bluff.
- Your “brand” is important.
- Help shape the stories that people are telling about you.
- Always be prepared for the worst possible scenario.
- The guy who wins the most hands is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
- The guy who never loses a hand is not the guy who makes the most money in the long run.
- Go for positive expected value, not what’s least risky.
- Make sure your bankroll is large enough for the game you’re playing and the risks you’re taking.
- Play only with what you can afford to lose.
- Remember that it’s a long-term game. You will win or lose individual hands or sessions, but it’s what happens in the long term that matters.
- Don’t play games that you don’t understand, even if you see lots of other people making money from them.
- Figure out the game when the stakes aren’t high.
- Don’t cheat. Cheaters never win in the long run.
- Stick to your principles.
- You need to adjust your style of play throughout the night as the dynamics of the game change. Be flexible.
- Be patient and think long-term.
- The players with the most stamina and focus usually win.
- Differentiate yourself. Do the opposite of what the rest of the table is doing.
- Hope is not a good plan.
- Don’t let yourself go “on tilt.” It’s much more cost-effective to take a break, walk around, or leave the game for the night.
- Educate yourself. Read books and learn from others who have done it before.
- Learn by doing. Theory is nice, but nothing replaces actual experience.
- Learn by surrounding yourself with talented players.
- Just because you win a hand doesn’t mean you’re good and you don’t have more learning to do. You might have just gotten lucky.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for advice.
- You’ve gotta love the game. To become really good, you need to live it and sleep it.
- Don’t be cocky. Don’t be flashy. There’s always someone better than you.
- Be nice and make friends. It’s a small community.
- Share what you’ve learned with others.
- Look for opportunities beyond just the game you sat down to play. You never know who you’re going to meet, including new friends for life or new business contacts.
- Have fun. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you’re trying to do more than just make money.”