Poker is a highly competitive skilled game.  It is also rising rapidly in popularity in India.  Taking this into account prestigious business schools such as IIM (K) have started to include it as a part of the syllabus for Post Graduates in Management.

The inclusion of Poker is not about learning to play the game per se, but is about figuring out how to read people, their body language, their non-verbal hints and even their motivations and how they would respond to specific circumstances.  It is also about controlling your resources and using them to maximize your returns.

Assistant Professor Deepak Dhayanithy is not an avid poker player but his interest in the game and its’ relevance to business and social situations prompted him to take part in a poker tournament in Goa.  Not only did Dhayanithy play alongside professionals but even competed with Chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand.

Both men admitted that they were far from being experts but they were able to concentrate on the core part of the game and how strategy is employed in order to receive a competitive edge.  Viswanathan Anand had participated in the tournament as an ambassador for India’s Poker Sports League (IPSL) in order to help promote the game as a skilled one and not one of chance and thus equivalent to gambling.

MIT and other schools have utilized similar techniques such as Game Theory in Math classes to provide abstract ideas with a functional base.  Dhayanithy’s initiative does not stop at the numerical component of the game but also psychological and social factors are taken into consideration.

Legal experts reveal that the choice of Universities taking Poker as a part of the syllabus is a step in legitimizing the overall game. Dhayanithy add’s that it is also a fantastic way for students to learn complicated theories in an entertaining and engaging manner thus retaining more and being able to apply better.

The application of Poker in various situations is likely to be a growing trend for business schools.  Don’t get left behind, get your MBA now by starting to play poker!