While success is the goal for every poker player, it’s no secret that the game can also get you well acquainted with losing as well. Take for instance when High Stakes Poker legend Sammy Farha lost to Chris Moneymaker at the final table. Moneymaker was unheard of in world poker at the time, when he qualified for the 2003 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event, and then went on to win it.
Unexpected circumstances will always arise. But in business, just as it is in poker, your success is ultimately determined not by how flawless your record is, but by how well you deal with adversity. After all, successful business leaders have an ability to look at the bigger picture. That said, here are some tips from the world’s most successful poker players on overcoming failure — and how you can apply them to your own business endeavours.
Move Past Your Mistakes
Although you can still make mistakes regardless of how thoroughly you prepare, what’s important is how you move on from them. Dan Smith is one of the best poker players of all time, nabbing his first ever tournament win during the Heartland Poker Tour back in 2008. However, he has won many high-stake tournaments since that time and has experienced many failures as well. According to Smith, in the poker world, players who are thrown off by their mistakes suffer from a state of mental confusion called ‘tilt’. This makes them vulnerable to making more errors.
But Smith says that feeling bad about something that you can’t control is counterproductive. Those who reach for success are usually the ones most likely to encounter bumps in the road, yet the most important thing is moving past your mistakes so that you can avoid tilt and remain clear-headed with your next challenge.
Turning Flop Hands Into Potential Assets
Chris Sparks was a professional poker player listed among the top 20 online cash players in the world. Today, he is the founder of Forcing Function, where he provides practical applications for elite poker techniques in business. Even though making mistakes can cause doubt moving forward, Sparks emphasises that you should overcome doubt by setting up ‘experiments’.
These experiments involve going with a decision, and acting as though it’s the correct one. As time goes by, keep track of how these decisions have fared against your initial expectations. Sparks states that often, what happens is that you find that your vision will begin to align with your reality. Similar to making a semi-bluff in poker, which can turn a flop hand into a potential asset by getting your opponents to fold, expelling your doubt can bring about the results that you desire.
Seek Continuous Learning
Chris Moneymaker’s historical win in the 2003 WSOP Main Event changed the landscape of poker forever. At age 27, the amateur poker player from Tennessee bested 838 players and took home millions of dollars as his prize. He went on to become the figure behind the term “Moneymaker effect”, after sparking the poker craze of 2003.
Despite his legendary win, Moneymaker placed second in the next tournament he played. He attributes this to having been too complacent and sparing his efforts in the game. Big success in business can be followed by failures, especially when you grow complacent. But Moneymaker says that in learning his lesson, he now seeks continuous improvement and hopes the results will follow. Similarly, when it comes to entrepreneurship, the best way to move forward from mistakes is to double down on your efforts to become better.
Business and poker both hold significant risks. But for the entrepreneur playing the long game, mistakes are only minor bumps in the road. Just as these legendary poker players have shown, finding success is all about leveraging failures to become better.
Author - Chris
Author, Editor, Creator of Learn Develop Live