Two cards face down and a Queen sitting on the river in a dimly lit, smoky room. Two men face off even though neither of them looks the other in the eye. They are intently focused on the dealer as the last card is casually flipped out of his hand and dealt. Who will win? Who will earn the coveted pot? And more importantly, what has separated these two men from the rest of the people who were once seated at the same table?
Poker is arguably the most popular game of chance in modern gambling. Its popularity has seen unprecedented heights over the last decade with tournaments frequently broadcast on major cable channels such as ESPN. Many people have become familiar with the famous poker stars of today, who have become household names.
What makes these well known poker players great? Would these talents translate to other ventures? We think so. In fact we think that we’ve found the perfect alternative occupation for skilled poker players. The answer is Forex trading.
Forex is the trading of different countries’ currencies in order to gain profits. Poker players possess many of the same attributes of a good Forex Trader. Don’t believe us? Well, we’ve created a list of the top 11 Reasons why poker players make great Forex traders:
- Quick and Accurate Decision Making Skills: A good poker player will be able to think quickly and apply the decisions made at the proper time. Forex traders also need to make quick decisions as bid/ask prices change quickly and the smallest hesitation can cause a loss of potential profit.
- Dedication to Discipline: Poker is not a game often enjoyed by the impulsive or those with ADD. To succeed at poker, one must be methodical in their approach and grind out each hand while cultivating enough discipline to stick to good poker principles. They must not get caught up in hysteria or become bored with a long hand. Forex traders practice the same discipline and must adhere to their technical analysis strategies, while avoiding panic when a curveball is thrown at them in the market. They cannot lose interest when pouring through Fibonacci Retracement charts.
- Embraces Change: Every card dealt in a poker game changes the circumstances and parameters instantaneously. Skilled poker players can adapt to these changes without breaking a sweat. Currency traders must possess this talent as well, since an adjustment in the interest rate by the Fed or new employment data can alter a currency’s exchange rate just as quickly as a one-eyed Jack.
- Capable of Handling Large Losses: Here’s a little secret – professional poker players don’t win every hand and can sometimes go weeks or months without breaking even. Often they incur huge losses when a calculated bet backfires. Currency traders can also be subject to large hits to their bank accounts when a currency pair defies reason and slides far in the wrong direction. Both professions require the individual to have the capability to bounce back and still take chances, knowing their logic is sound and they will eventually reap what they’ve sown.
- Borderline Genius-Level Math Skills: Poker and Forex both require participants to be very skilled in mathematics. Poker players must be able to calculate odds and potential cards in a split second (not to mention the infamous "card counters"). Currency investors must be adept at crunching large amounts of financial data in order to predict trends and assist in technical analysis, along with forecasting potential profits based on the movements of the ever elusive pip.
- Extreme Confidence: Do you have the guts to stare down your opponent and convince them that you may have pocket aces, when really the only cards you’re holding are a lonely seven of hearts and a two of clubs? To do so requires a large amount of confidence. Currency trading is not for the faint of heart. It requires quite a bit of intestinal fortitude to leverage your to buy worth of currency (with the knowledge you might lose significant money) in order to make big bucks when your currency pair rises by a few percentage points.
- Knows the Rules: If you’ve ever played cards with your drunk uncle who plops down 5 black cards (all of different suits) and challenges you in his inebriated excitement to beat his Royal Flush then you know that a skilled poker player can only win if he thoroughly knows the rules of the game. Similarly a successful Forex trader will know the different trading options available to help him turn a profit such as short selling or going long on a currency pair.
- Ability to Manage a Bankroll: An essential trait of poker players is to know how to fund and manage their bankroll – in other words the amount of money which they have to gamble with. Similarly, a smart Forex trader must know how to deftly manage the amount of money to trade currency with. Both the poker player and currency trader know that any given time with the right circumstances they could lose all of their money. The top professionals in each venture know how to leverage the working capital at their disposal in order to reap a big pot.
- Goes With the Flow – Control Freaks Need Not Apply: Poker is a game of chance with many variables affecting the ultimate outcome of a hand or tournament. Currency values are subject to change due to a myriad of factors. Poker players and Forex traders cannot completely control their environment. They must be able to accept and enjoy the inherit randomness of their vocations. Many people are afraid of the unknown and will drive themselves crazy with the knowledge they cannot control everything they are engaged in. These people may be great accountants, but will not make good poker players or Forex traders.
- Strong Mental Health and Emotional Stability: Eventually all poker players and Forex traders have to walk away from the table or peel themselves away from the computer. Why? For the simple reason that these are stressful professions which take their toll and require you to keep a keen pulse on your emotions. Are you becoming paranoid, feel like you’re tilting or aren’t as sharp as you were yesterday? Then it may be time to take a break. Go for a run or play with your kids. Triumphant poker players and Forex traders must be able to keep emotions stable and their own mental health strong.
- Focused on the Long Term: Despite the many misleading ads on the internet, most people will not get rich quick playing poker or trading Forex. Sorry to break it to you. But, if you are focused on the long term goals of making a profession out of either then you can succeed. Small, consistent victories add up to progressively more chips and pips.
So, there you have it! If you’re known on the block as the local card shark and clean up at your office poker parties, then you may want to consider trying out Forex trading. The chance to make money by using your natural abilities is great in the world of currency exchange.
Instead of pulling out your favorite cigar and heading to your weekly game, maybe you could pull up to your computer and research the world of Forex. Or if you’re already logged in on Party Poker then try sitting out the next hand and look into opening your first Forex demo account. Either way make sure to put your supernatural poker abilities to good use and start learning what exactly a pip is.