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Poker - Mention on Application?

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New post 18 Apr 2010, 20:46
I spend a good deal of my spare time playing poker. Should I emphasize this on one of my application essays / put it on my resume?

On the plus side, poker is in line with my post-MBA goals. I want to be a trader after I graduate from MBA school and I have heard that the math / probability / psychology skills, as well as the skills to think and reason quickly are great for the trading floor. For example, poker players make split-second decisions with imperfect information that affect vast amounts of money. Who else does that? Traders.

On the minus side, playing poker as an extracurricular activity doesn't show any leadership skills whatsoever. In addition, some people see poker as a game for "degenerates". (There is a reason why underground poker clubs are illegal). I don't see it this way, but the members of the admissions committee make the decision and they might.
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New post 19 Apr 2010, 18:40
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Don't emphasize it.

Poker may be more socially acceptable and mainstream now - however, when most people think of poker they don't think "split second decisions" - they think "gambling".

So if poker is like trading, then traders are like gamblers.

Not the kind of association you want to make in this kind of environment.
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New post 23 Apr 2010, 22:01
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I supported myself through poker during almost my entire undergraduate studies. However, I don't mention poker in any of my job interviews and didn't in any of my applications simply because it carries a negative connotation and the vast majority of people have no idea what it entails. Unfortunately, people don't realize it takes a great deal of skill and responsibility. Hell, most people don't even understand the concept that a winning player will never get unlucky and lose everything if they play responsibly. Forget about trying to explain multitabling and bankroll management.

I've been advised not to put poker on my resume but trading might be a rare exception. It might intrigue a prospective employer but I wouldn't emphasize it as Alex said.
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New post 29 Jan 2012, 12:37
Awesome bump -- thoughts on this one welcome:

Like everyone else in college (I'm '08) I learned how to play poker. I hate ALL forms of gambling EXCEPT poker, and I kind of hate poker too (namely the people/lifestyle/etc). As far as gambling, there have probably been 4 occasions in my whole life when I have put (very trivial amounts of) money on events that were completely beyond control and had no guarantee of a positive return. Lottery tickets, sports, casino games, etc -- I just hate gambling and I don't do it.

But.... whenever times with lean, I could always turn toward poker to make some money, primarily online. Probably earned (profited) somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 on the spare occasions that I played (probability/statistics/split-second decisions/large-sample-size=consistent ROI/gradually-learned-to-think-of-money-unemotionally/what-was-said-above/etc). Never had any effect on schoolwork or job, I declared it and paid taxes on it, etc. I have NO INTENTION of making ANY SORT of bragging case about this on MBA applications or essays, especially since I was never a professional, had no desire to be one, it still has very bad connotations (because a lot of poker players DO have gambling problems), and since online poker sites just got booted from America altogether and some very sleazy stuff is coming out about them.

So just forget about it? That's what I'm leaning towards, but if anyone has any other thoughts, I'm all ears.
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New post 28 Feb 2019, 00:53
Poker is not as bad as it seems. I am now creating my own gambling business, and for that I needed, of course, the same high-quality platform and software. Please tell me you have never worked with the company Metinvest - https://www.betinvest.com/online-platform? I'm looking for a company that can provide me with good software . Website BETINVEST found in the network , now looking for real reviews about them.
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New post 07 Mar 2019, 06:05
BartholomewCubbins wrote:
Awesome bump -- thoughts on this one welcome:

Like everyone else in college (I'm '08) I learned how to play poker. I hate ALL forms of gambling EXCEPT poker, and I kind of hate poker too (namely the people/lifestyle/etc). As far as gambling, there have probably been 4 occasions in my whole life when I have put (very trivial amounts of) money on events that were completely beyond control and had no guarantee of a positive return. Lottery tickets, sports, casino games, etc -- I just hate gambling and I don't do it.

But.... whenever times with lean, I could always turn toward poker to make some money, primarily online. Probably earned (profited) somewhere between $60,000 and $70,000 on the spare occasions that I played (probability/statistics/split-second decisions/large-sample-size=consistent ROI/gradually-learned-to-think-of-money-unemotionally/what-was-said-above/etc). Never had any effect on schoolwork or job, I declared it and paid taxes on it, etc. I have NO INTENTION of making ANY SORT of bragging case about this on MBA applications or essays, especially since I was never a professional, had no desire to be one, it still has very bad connotations (because a lot of poker players DO have gambling problems), and since online poker sites just got booted from America altogether and some very sleazy stuff is coming out about them.

So just forget about it? That's what I'm leaning towards, but if anyone has any other thoughts, I'm all ears.


I've worked with a number of applicants who spent a considerable amount of time playing poker, both as a hobby and a second source of income. Most of them have told me that it was something they talked about extensively during interviews and got very positive reactions from the interviewer. This also carried over into job interviews once they were accepted into their respective schools.

Excelling at a game like poker shows an aptitude towards attention to detail, pattern recognition, and mathematical acumen. It also shows an immense amount of discipline and patience, skills that are desired by every company looking to hire MBAs.

If framed correctly, including poker can be an important part of a candidate's resume. But there is a difference between being a casual casino-goer and someone who takes the game seriously and can relate it to skills necessary to excel in an MBA program.

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Re: Poker - Mention on Application?   [#permalink] 07 Mar 2019, 06:05
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