The past couple of decades have seen a rising interest in poker — from televised tournaments to online gaming; this classic has found its loyal audience. What’s more, playing poker has become a lucrative occupation, resulting in many professional gamblers becoming celebrities.
With dozens of amateur and professional poker players today, one question arises — is it all skill, or is there something in their genes?
This is a valid question since some players are more successful than others. We’ll do our best to answer this question and any others that may come up. The results might even help you decide whether this is something you would like to pursue.
So, let’s jump right in.
Can You Be a Genetically Predisposed Poker Player?
This is a common concern among passionate poker fans. Some genes have an effect on our ability to concentrate, while others determine our mood. Meanwhile, some personality traits also have a genetic link, making the whole thing much more confusing.
What we can say for sure is that we do not know whether genetics determines a person’s ability to play poker. However, certain scientists claim that some genes do affect our aptitude to play cards. Having this trait might make you a poker wiz. The prevalence of this predisposition is, however, only about 1% worldwide.
At the same time, some researchers believe that personality traits have a lot to do with your poker-playing skills. For example, being able to focus for longer periods, being patient, working hard, and so on.
As a result, we cannot say for sure that you can be genetically predisposed to be a poker pro, but there might be some factors that will contribute to your card-playing ability.
What Makes You Good at Poker?
Since genes have little to do with making someone a poker pro, there must be other factors in the equation. These things are not necessarily skills but important traits that make someone good at this casino classic.
We talked about personality traits that might influence whether poker is in your DNA, and good instincts are a part of that.
We all have gut feelings, but not all of us are confident about acting on them. This goes from being good at reading people to working the table and fully grasping your surroundings.
To be honest, you’d be hard-pressed to find a poker professional that isn’t good at math because this is a game of numbers.
If you have a talent for numbers, percentages, and graphs, then there’s a good chance poker will be your cup of tea.
You don’t have to be a math genius, but if you hate calculations, then poker might not be for you.
In the end, poker is a gambling game, presenting you with plenty of risks. You might be faced with decisions like doubling your stake or going all in — in that case; you might feel overwhelmed or even excited. Poker pros will tell you that excitement is natural, but you might not feel that way. And that’s okay because everyone is different.
Having a high-risk tolerance is not necessarily a must if you want to play poker. You don’t have to be the kind of player who goes all in or goes home. You can make calculated moves, take a systematic approach to the game, and still excel at poker.
Overall, it’s up to you, but we still suggest preparing yourself for occasional failure.
Many people still do not consider poker to be a demanding profession. There’s a lot of prejudice concerning this career, and some even have a negative attitude about taking it up as a hobby. With this in mind, you would have to become a person who does not take such opinions to heart.
You will need to maintain a neutral attitude to resist some of the negativity that will come your way. If poker appeals to you and becomes something you love, other people’s opinions shouldn’t bother you.
Hard Work vs. Natural Talent
We concluded that having natural talent at poker is not necessary to be good at the game. It does help and is a great starting advantage, but, like with most things in life, it doesn’t guarantee success.
So, being among the 1% of gifted poker players can come in handy, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be a good thing, either. Natural talent can take players to great heights at the early stages of their careers, which can sometimes lead to either great advancements or, sadly, great failures. For that reason, talent is not enough.
Players who realize that combining their potential with hard work are typically the ones who have the most success. Studying the game and continuously thriving is the perfect equation for experiencing long-term prosperity.
On the other hand, players that are not willing to try their best and put in the hours will probably fail or even abandon the game.
In many cases, hard work triumphs over natural talent, even in the gaming industry.
How Does Luck Play Into This?
Lastly, we must mention every player’s least favorite factor — luck. Whether it’s good or bad, luck is something every player has to live with. And whether it does you good or bad can hugely impact your game.
Let’s say that fortune is fairly even among players, so everyone should expect to have a bit of success come their way. The key is when luck appears. Its impact is far more important than just having the factor as part of your gaming experience.
When luck strikes at the wrong time can completely devastate a poker player. But it’s also more important to consider the consequences and how you would deal with them rather than focusing on chance. After all, good fortune is quite temporary, regardless of what someone might think.