I’ve been studying for 7 years and it’s highly likely that I’ll come back sooner or later, in another position of course. In retrospective I have to admit that there was something that helped me a lot during my studies. It’s not some soft skill I learned and also nothing you can buy. It’s about skills with games especially poker. This game doesn’t have the best reputation because most people think it’s about tricks and lying and exploiting weaker players. This may be true to some extent but the beauty of this game is that everybody knows what one is doing. You know that when you sit down at a table and don’t have solid skills chances are that you will go broke sooner or later. But more important than winning is what you can learn from it. Most people don’t even recognize these opportunities but they are for real.
This game taught me to see everything from another perspective. In poker you can make a good move and still lose and vice versa. Most people see results as a consequence of their decisions but that’s not what they are. If you have this approach you won’t succeed because you will make it differently next time just because the results are not what you were looking for. So you learn how to make bad decisions over and over again and nobody will stop you. That’s the most important lesson from poker.
You will also learn how to manage risk and accept it. If you’re up against an opponent that is really playing badly but he’s incredibly lucky and beats you every single time this night there’s nothing you can do. You should just play like you think it’s best and in the long run you will succeed. Ironically corporations, especially banks, hedge fonds, etc. are looking for graduates with experience in playing poker. Because they know that when one is a good poker player he already lots of the skills that are needed. And since I’ve been working as asset manager I can guarantee that I need these skills all the time.
Overall, I can only recommend learning how to play. Usually you have some leisure during your studies. Use them wisely. Learning how to play poker is something you won’t regret.
Btw, I’m talking about poker with real players especially Texas Hold’em. That’s a huge difference to games like Blackjack or Casino Hold’em or any other card game like that. Only with Texas Hold’em Poker you can learn these skills, don’t play casino games where you can’t win in the long run (except you know it and just want to have some fun…)