Everything I Know About Business I Learned From Poker

I just read this post and thought it summed up very nicely the relationship between poker and running a company. It’s written by CEO of Zappos.com, Tony H.


* 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.


* 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 it’s a long term game. You will win or lose individual 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.

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