Entrepreneur Poker, a rewarding passion for doing business

Poker, a rewarding passion for doing business

“You’re not going to lose your house playing poker in a tournament! This card game lover, representative of twelve companies, declares from the outset that he prefers to remain anonymous. He considers himself one of the dinosaurs of poker in France: he entered the game in 2008. However, none of his tournament victories are mentioned on the Live Poker site, which lists the successes of players in France. Why hide his game like this? To preserve its reputation.

In the public sphere, poker-playing entrepreneurs remain modest about their passion. But among amateurs, the relationships forged are no less strong. They play the gathering card and get together in players’ clubs, such as Les Entram’s, founded by Massou Cohen. This group brings together 170 amateurs from different professions: doctors, lawyers and business leaders. “We respond when one of us needs something,” says the founder, who is also director of the Clinique du Rond-Point in Paris.

The bluff, useful in business as in poker

Often, the business mixes with the game. “Playing poker is investing in your own business, analyzes François Nicolle, a poker enthusiast teacher-researcher at the ICD, a business school. These entrepreneurs will be willing to invest in another’s business if they believe they have the expectation of long-term gain. This synergy is explained, because the qualities to be a good poker player are also necessary in entrepreneurship.

Massou Cohen is bluffing, it’s in his character. This technique inherent in poker, also helps in business. The entrepreneur shows his cards: “How often you have to make decisions that involve not telling the people you work with everything so as not to undermine their morale! Because you know it’s a momentary crisis, but you’re going to do everything to overcome it. »

Decipher the emotions

Players therefore focus a lot on their behavior, but also that of others. “Every sign from the opponent counts”, confirms François Nicolle, himself a player. “We look, for example, at the carotid artery of other players, because a change in heart rate can mean that the person is stressed, either because they have a very good game, or because they are bluffing”, explains the researcher in influence strategies. Another amateur, representative of about fifty companies, spreads his game: “Since I play poker, I observe more. I analyze the behavior of my employees and my customers. It allows me to know if they are satisfied. »

“You should not rely solely on the signs of other players and the bluff is useful in the short term, but not in the long term”, tempers François Nicolle. These behavioral cues need to be contextualized. Then, it is necessary to gather information to be able to anticipate. This is what professionals call “profiling”. “In negotiation, it is very important to profile the adversary or the partner to understand their thought patterns and anticipate its future actions”, summarizes the teacher.

Self control

Some speak of patience, others of self-control. The agent player of about fifty companies concedes: “I became less impulsive since I started playing poker. » Unlike the cash game, series of games centered around a starting bet, the objective of the players in the tournament is not to be eliminated and to win the competition, more than to win money. But poker remains an addictive game. In order not to squander his money, Massou Cohen, who has 48 years of play behind him, demonstrates “real work on himself, mastery”. A gamble for those who concede that “some players manage badly and don’t have this survival instinct “. The 69-year-old entrepreneur lays the cards on the table: “Bankers don’t like gamblers at all, but I don’t care! »

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