Poker Career?

Friday, March 18th, 2011 - Poker Career

Poker Career?


There are many who might try their luck at online poker on an amateur level, or even try the odd hand when on holiday at the casino’s in Las Vegas. But how many who venture into a full time poker career actually survive into the professional leagues and tournaments?

The statistics would suggest relatively few make a long term successful career out of playing online or tournament poker, but there are always the regular plucky few who are willing to try.

However, with online poker an expanding business, there are a larger number of amateur poker players who have good to reasonable poker playing skills. However, accepting that poker is an amateur choice and leisure sport for them, when they go job seeking, they may think about whether these skills are actually have a positive or negative affect on their job seeking success.

Well, that is the key question: is a skill – be it poker or any other skill – likely to have a positive or negative affect on the employers perception on you?

For instance, lets take statistic graduate John…..

Would you mention online poker coaching in a job application?

Question: How would you mention online poker coaching on a CV? Since December, alongside my studies, I’ve been coaching students how to play and beat small-stakes online poker, via Skype. I feel this has given me some valuable skills (communication, planning, being flexible to a client’s needs) and I would like to mention it on my resume or in an interview, but I don’t know how potential employers would react. I graduate in June and I’m mainly applying to graduate positions either in commercial banking or management consulting

Poker as a skill

Any learnt skill and its application to a particular job application can be viewed as either positive or negative by the potential employer. Hence the answer is as always: depends!

For instance, would any company want to employ a professional thief with a track record and charge sheet as long as they are tall? Yes, insurance and car companies employ them regularly as testers, to check the security on their cars.

So how can poker been seen as a positive skill? I think you have to accept that in many job applications, the skills you see as being demonstrated (communication, planning, being flexible to clients), would not be seen above that of the headline of gained through poker. In these job applications, where the negative will outweigh the positive, I just wouldn’t mention it.

Hence, I would forget about job applications into traditional banking: in the past few years, we have seen enough gamblers send our economies into a downward spiral. They would see poker and risk taking as a highly negative trait. I also see the same problems in mentioning it in a job application into management consultancy.

However, investment banking, where the assessment of odds and the need to plan, communicate and build consensus, it should be seen as potentially ideal. Can you show and evidence a winning long term nature in your bets. Secondary questions could be what you did with the money that you won, showing motivation, ie: donating it to charity instead of your own pocket?

Employment and poker

Employers are primarily interested in you demonstrating the basic requirements to do that job: technical, social, magnetic, also known as competencies. I see too many candidates trying to turn what they see as positives into employer gains. Just read the job advert, and you’ll know exactly what you need to prove and evidence to get that job. Anything further after that has to build on your potential to do the job right, and not detract from it.

To get the job, you should always look at job application from the employers viewpoint – Good Luck!


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One Response to “Poker Career?”

  1. Jared Elmquist Says:

    You really do a wonderful job of identifying important elements of the discussion in this article. I am subscribing to your website

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