Erik Seidel Explains Parallels Between Poker and Startup Businesses

Erik Seidel RakeTheRake

Have you ever thought of starting a business? Many of us, at some point or another, have had a great business idea. And the good news is that if you’re a decent poker player, you may already have some of the necessary skills to make your startup idea a success.

Erik Seidel, a famed player and businessman, recently explained the parallels between poker and running a startup company with Entrepreneur.com. Most of the questions that the 8-time WSOP champ answered are pretty standard, like where he got started in poker (New York’s Mayfair Club) and where he was working before becoming a pro (Wall Street). But below, you can see some of his excellent advice on how poker skills translate to the business world.

Staying ahead of the curve

Anybody who’s been played poker for a significant portion of time knows that the game doesn’t stay stagnant. Strategy techniques are always being refined and the average player has become better. The same reigns true of business, where entrepreneurs must adapt to trends and the changing environment to remain profitable. And for Seidel, he’s invested in a new co-working space in Manhattan called AlleyNYC because the thinks they’ve done well at adapting.

“To be successful at poker you need to be adaptable to constantly changing conditions. That’s also true of business,” Seidel explains. “I think AlleyNYC is a very good example of a company that is constantly evolving, and staying ahead of the curve. That’s typical of the successful Internet companies, adapt or die, and definitely true in poker.”

Success in business and poker require the same ingredients

While the business and poker worlds can be very lucrative, most fail who get into both pursuits. So what exactly does it take to overcome the odds and succeed? “Hard work and passion are the key ingredients,” says Seidel. “People need to be open-minded and realistic about what changes need to be made to the business model every day, and not get caught up in closed mindsets. Every day you have to be better and different than you were the day before.”

Given the fact that he’s earned over $20 million in live poker tournaments and was previously a successful options trader in Wall Street, Seidel definitely has the hard work and passion that he speaks of. And anybody who’s looking to succeed in poker and/or business would do well to work on developing these traits.

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