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Poker and Business Part 3

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By Full Tilt Poker

Check out Part One and Part Two.

In negotiations you have to keep in mind what it is that sets you apart from the competition. This factor is known as leverage and it gives you the opportunity to influence others to obtain a desired outcome.

Knowing what leverage you indeed have is crucial, for example, if your company offers the same product as a competitor at a cheaper price – this will be your leverage in the boardroom. Similarly in poker, if you are holding pocket aces preflop, you have leverage over everyone else at the table.

Once you have leverage it is important that you use it to your advantage. As it is often based on perceptions, Greg tells us that, “When you have a strong hand in poker, business, or life, there’s no need for aggression. It’s when you are weak (bad cards, no leverage, and no respect) that you overcompensate. The more I hear someone brag, the more convinced I become that they believe, deep down, that they’re not enough.”

At the poker table this is something that will occur a lot. Those who show aggression towards their opponents are often the ones with weak hands. In the boardroom this tactic is mirrored and is often used to overcompensate for a company’s deficiencies.

Furthermore, it is imperative whether in business, poker, or life to understand that as new information becomes available your leverage may be affected.

In business this could be represented by a competitor offering your customer a better deal by decreasing its prices or offering a better quality product at the same price. In poker this is represented by the flop, turn and river. Pocket aces may seem like an unbeatable hand; however, after the river you could have just that, pocket aces. Whereas your opponent may not have had the best hole cards but the board has turned them into a winning hand.

Conclusion

As Greg states, “I learned more about business from playing poker professionally than from business school.” This statement highlights the potential of poker. Whether it is the teaching of human nature, the gift of acting calmly under pressure, or the ability to think four steps ahead, playing poker has the capability to improve your business acumen allowing you to become more adept and successful in life.