top of page
  • Writer's picturePatrick Van Negri

7 Skills Poker Taught Me For Life Success

Updated: Oct 10, 2019

poker face outfit men Scotch whisky learn poker negotiation empathy life skills
My poker face

I love, poker and I started playing at a very early age, even for real money. It thought me many valuable skills and lessons that I use on an everyday basis to get further in life.

#1 The ability to read people

Reading the body language and knowing what your opponent's next move, or even next five moves, is a crucial skill you need to have to be on the top of the game, and I am not talking just about poker. People always give you signals, and they don't even know it. It is up to you to pick it up and decode it. You like to read books; I like to read people.

#2 The ability to predict what others are going to do before they actually do it

This is very similar to #1, but there is some difference! You need to know what is your opponent going to do before he/she even thinks of it. Intuition is a key component here, and experience as well. It takes time to master this one, but if you lack strong intuition, you might never get to the top - just react to present quickly and adjust your strategy.

#3 The ability to keep composure under any circumstance

Losers are going to show emotion, complain, and show you their weaknesses. You don't make excuses while the other side is playing the game. I know it is hard to take it all in and not show your vulnerabilities and emotions in your hardest moment, but ​that is what separates winners and losers. Instead, focus on getting things done and keep your eyes on the horizon and don't worry about temporary ups and downs.

#4 Winning even when all the odds were against me

This is the foundation of my life. My biggest life achievements were from situations where it was all said and done, and it was impossible to achieve it. The scary part is once you overturn a couple of those you know that nothing is impossible. Keep composure under any circumstance and believe in yourself and make it happen no matter if the entire world is against you!

#5 Learned that I don't get "lucky", I make my own luck

Working hard and being patient is essential. I've heard it a million times people telling celebrities/athletes/entrepreneurs, and even me, that they got "lucky" and became an "overnight success". The truth is you were not with them for the past 10-20 years when they were working hard by themselves, every single day, for 16-20hrs a day. I don't believe in luck; I make it!

#6 Playing the man, not the odds

You can't change the odds, but you can change you. Emotional intelligence and some of the points already mentioned here can help you get there. Pattern recognition is something you need to master as well. It helped me get much further in life than I would go so far. Don't fall in love with the strategy that got you there, be ready to change and adapt quickly and rapidly - especially in this day and age.

#7 Becoming a risk taker

You already know this, without risk, there is no reward. If you are under 50 years old, you should take as much risk as you can; you still have time to recover and try something new and better. There is no single successful person on this planet who made it there without an enormous amount of risk. Play it safe, and you will never get anywhere in life.

poker winning meswear leather tie
This is what happens when you play the man!

And I know I will get asked this a lot because I do all over social media; the tie I am wearing is indeed a leather tie, and it is from Moo Moo Ties.

Let me know what you learned from poker and what are your thoughts of those seven lessons and skills!


Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page