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Cryptocurrencies and poker might not seem very similar at first glance; after all, the former is a type of electronic cash (or even the basis for a full programmable decentralized network), while the latter is a game that relies on luck (but much more often on brains, psychology, and keeping your cool). There are, however, some striking similarities between the profiles of professional players in both niches. The main one is seemingly obvious: skill, with a sprinkle of luck, maximizes your chances of profit, but never guarantees them. After all, where is the fun in that?
Their shared qualities go beyond this one. Let’s take a look at some of them — regardless of whether you’re already experienced in either industry, looking to improve your skills, or simply seeing if you can incorporate anything into your day-to-day philosophy, there is (as always) something for everyone.
Performing Under Pressure
When your hard-earned money is on the line, some pressure is to be expected. The exact amount will depend on the type of person you are, but the fact is, knowing how to perform in such conditions — regardless of how you usually deal with it—can make a world of difference. Keeping a cool head while having to make a decision, often in a split second, and still have it turn out favorably for you is a skill shared by both the best poker players and cryptocurrency traders, as well as one many other people could also benefit from.
Generally speaking, there is no way to evade risks in life. They tend to crop up with pretty much everything — but people who prefer their comfort to the excitement will often go to great lengths to evade them. Both poker players and crypto traders are at the opposite end of the spectrum, seeking out new opportunities. This, however, also takes a lot of skill: knowing when to fold is as important as any specific, highly curated strategy.
Both of our previous skills tie into this one: to not crack under pressure and to be able to manage your risks while remaining comfortable with them takes serious self-discipline. Risk-taking is inherently emotional and hotheadedness can land you in trouble more often than not. Reining yourself in before you do damage to your funds without a basis, in reality, can definitely be hard, which is why this is such a valuable skill.
Knowing Your Opponents
At first glance, this might seem like more of a poker-specific skill, in which it is very important to know how to read your opponents. After all, in cryptocurrency, you never know who you’re up against — alternatively, you are against the market in its entirety. But you can simply see the market or your asset of choice as a sort of opponent: by keeping yourself informed of any relevant changes, as well as knowledgeable about what makes the market move, you can stay abreast of all the volatile changes.
Playing the Odds
This one is pretty obvious: thanks to the unpredictability of both, poker players and cryptocurrency traders constantly have to be on the lookout for ways to increase their odds. This can be done to increase your skill, make some easy wins, but it is admittedly not nearly as exhilarating as winning at high stakes (or investing in an obscure asset that ends up taking off beyond anyone’s expectations). Striking the balance between the two is not a one-time event, and to be successful in poker and/or trading, you have to be prepared to make choices like these all the time.
Once the hand has been dealt, there is very little you can do about it. The same is true when you have invested in a certain crypto asset. The only thing you can control at every moment is your own reaction—and if it is bad, you’re the only one being actively harmed. Professionals understand this: knowing that you can’t change anything about your circumstances at a certain point frees up your mind to make informed choices, which can again lead you to make the best of your situation, no matter what it is like. Best of all, this skill is definitely applicable everywhere in life!
Knowing How Much They Can Lose
If you have been in the cryptocurrency space for longer than a fortnight, someone has probably already told you the old, oft-repeated adage: “Never invest more than you can afford to lose.” This is true when it comes to trading any high volatility asset (and surprisingly, holds true even if you’re trading forex or other low volatility assets, just in case). Sometimes there’s just no winning, and when you’re down on your luck, it is important to know where and when to stop.
Past Performance Is Not Indicative of Future Results
This can be a tough pill to swallow in both niches, but for different reasons. In gambling, if you have maintained a long losing streak, you may believe that you must win at some point. This is, of course, blatantly untrue: the universe isn’t fair, contrary to popular belief, and nobody can guarantee that you will win if you keep playing long enough, let alone make up for your losses.
On the other hand, cryptocurrency traders often study graphs and charts to see how an asset has behaved in certain circumstances—but here, too, it may not be playing by the same rules when the same thing occurs again due to a myriad of other, less obvious reasons. In short, pros don’t put their faith in the past and what they believe should happen.
There is a pattern in these shared qualities: professional poker players and crypto traders both have to be cool, calculating, discerning, but also willing to go off on a limb and seize an opportunity when it shows itself. The latter means that not everything is simply due to skill (which can be learned!), but that luck plays a part, bringing the unpredictability aspect into the fold. But these skills can make all the difference between relying on luck alone and having it be the final, small nudge towards victory.
If you want to give it a try at crypto poker, check out CoinPoker – a cryptocurrency poker platform that lets you play poker with bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), or CoinPoker coin (CHP).