Online poker has become increasingly popular in recent years, allowing players from all over the world to compete against each other in virtual poker rooms. And, just like in live poker games, poker online games offer opportunities for networking and making valuable connections. In fact, one notable example of this is Molly Bloom, an American entrepreneur and speaker who gained notoriety for hosting high-stakes private poker games that were later immortalized in the movie “Molly’s Game.”
Despite the intense competition and focus on winning in Bloom’s games, the players in attendance also managed to establish meaningful connections and build their poker networks. This goes to show that online poker, like its brick-and-mortar counterpart, can be a powerful tool for networking and making valuable professional connections. This blog will explore some practical strategies for networking in poker games and how you can use this popular pastime to advance your career and expand your network.
Why Poker Offers a Good Networking Opportunity
Networking is an essential tool for advancing your career, expanding your professional network and making new friends. In fact, if you’re looking to get ahead in business, poker is an ideal activity. Why? Quite simply, because the skills required in poker and business are similar: learning to read people, weighing up appropriate strategies for every scenario, handling high-pressure situations and managing money responsibly.
It’s clear that poker requires a combination of skills, whether you’re playing online or live. However, it’s also an excellent game for increasing your network. Like other popular networking activities such as golf, squash or tennis, poker is accessible to professionals of all ages. This means that playing poker online offers the opportunity for younger players to receive mentorship from older players and for intergenerational networking opportunities. Basically, you’re making contact with people you wouldn’t have met in other circumstances.
Poker players also share common interests in the game, which can lead to easy and natural conversations and a shared sense of camaraderie. In professional settings, it’s often challenging to find common ground with people, but online poker games already offer players an opportunity to discuss something they love: poker.
Seven Ways To Network During Poker Games
Here are some strategies for networking when you play poker online:
- Take time to introduce yourself to the other players at the table. This can help break the ice and open up opportunities for conversation.
- Some poker players really get enthusiastic about strategy and news of the poker world. To make someone feel more comfortable and increase your poker network, assess the degree to which a player is a novice or advanced. If your desired connection is misusing terminology, avoiding strategy discussions and not playing very well, you may wish to tone down your poker insights and discussions of the complexities of the game.
- Organize an online poker game with friends, but ask each friend to invite someone new. In this way, you already have some pre-formed connections, but you are adding new people to the mix.
- Participate in the chat. Many poker online games have a chat feature where players can communicate with each other. Participating in the chat can help build relationships with other players and create a more social atmosphere. Don’t forget to play at different tables. Switching between tables during gameplay can introduce you to new players and offer more networking opportunities.
- Participate in tournaments. Participating in online poker tournaments can bring together a group of players over a longer period, providing more opportunities for networking and building relationships.
- If you’ve made a new contact, be casual about how you take it forward. You could, for example, write a short, engaging email saying how pleasant it was to “meet” them virtually. It’s probably a good idea to wait a little time, such as a few days, before sending that follow-up message.
- Don’t forget about poker communities. Join online forums or social media groups that can provide additional opportunities to connect with other players and build relationships.
Remember, a mutual interest and love of poker is a great way to initiate a relationship, but ultimately, you want to take it further. Over time, you can find out about other shared interests and hobbies. You never know where your new contact will take you. For example, Andrew Bachman, the co-founder of an online marketing company that sold for $60 million and is now on his third start-up, claims that poker was the reason he met business people who later invested in his companies. His advice is to always look for networking opportunities, even in unexpected places.
Play Poker and Network With BetMGM
As we’ve seen, poker is a great way to grow your networks, whether for business or other reasons. At BetMGM, you can play poker online with a wide range of people of differing skill levels. Register with BetMGM today to enjoy a stimulating variety of poker and other casino favorites.