Play Poker?

Why Play Poker?

Why do people play poker?  Why put up with all those hours of gameplay, frustrations of broken internet connections, losing streaks and bad beats?  Are our lives so mundane that the most exciting thing is sitting around a poker table or a computer screen and staring at cards for hours on end?

Though that paints a dim view of the game and it’s players, there is much more value to be gained from playing poker.

It’s the Money Hunny!

No matter what anyone tells you, money makes the world go round and one of the biggest desires to play poker stems from that fact.  What other ‘jobs’ could you ever have where you can choose your own hours, place of work and make the buckaroos that you want?

Every amateur dream of winning the big tournament and raking in the prize money.  Interestingly, the opposite is true as has been quoted by Doyle Brunson aka the Babe Ruth of Poker “to be a successful player, you need to have a complete disregard for money”.

Money is just a method to exchange value and services but to poker players, it is a lot more.  It is a way of keeping track of your achievements and what you don’t measure, you can’t improve efficiency.

Fame is the name of the Game

Some people will do just about anything to get their faces on television.  If you’re not quite ready to eat 100 cockroaches in a minute you might want to consider playing poker instead.

There are plenty of tournaments covered live on television and streamed on the internet.  Winning at any of these tournaments also brings a worthy prize as well as exposure. You could be invited for interviews, to write articles in magazines or even be commissioned to write a book.  You may receive endorsements or be contracted to become an ambassador.  If you’re lucky you can also be invited to play poker games with celebrities.

Mental Muscle

Every hand, every session, and every tournament is a mental challenge.  It is this challenge that attracts so many intelligent people to the game.  Many poker stars hold advanced academic degrees and playing with stalwarts is a thrill in itself.

Not only are you reading and analyzing probabilities and mathematical expectations.  But you are also studying personalities and what they reveal to you about other players.  That’s hard science tightly sewn with soft skills and a thrilling challenge.

Emotional Intelligence

In the last few decades, academics and leaders alike have been espousing the importance of emotional intelligence over intellectual intelligence.

Nothing is more saddening than an underachieved genius.  Don’t be that guy.  Poker is about learning to play the odds and the players and not be played.  That means to be emotionally smart and not be stuck on the tilt, where emotions can cause your game to flounder.

Learn these skills and they will be useful in so many other areas of your life.

The Danger is my Business

Everyone loves a good thrill, that’s the nature of adrenalin.  Some people like bungee jumping and others (smarter folks) like playing poker!  This thrill comes from unpredictability, from the chase and not just the wins.

While daredevils may enjoy throwing their bankroll into the pot conservative players would prefer to keep their stack fluctuations to a minimum.  But mostly, players love the challenge of staring down an opponent and reading their expressions.

To Compete

People love to compete.  It’s in our DNA.  Since we were kids we would just get up and race for no rhyme or reason, except because it was fun!  Heck, even sperm race to reach the egg just because it’s the fun (wink wink) thing to do!

Thus poker being a game, attracts many athletes, businessmen (and yes perverts too) to the tables.


Irrespective of whether you are playing in a tournament or your kitchen in a back door game, poker, by nature, is a social game.  You will interact with other players and while you don’t need to be friends with everyone, you will build some relationships and learn from others.


The game is fun.  What else do I need to say!  Go on give it a try and go Play Poker!