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Nov 28, 2013

Poker - The Secret to Building Powerful Business Connections

By RTR Dennis

Andrew Bachman Rake The Rake

When most people sit down to the poker table, their mind is on winning money in the actual game. But for budding entrepreneurs, poker can also be the gateway to powerful business connections outside of the game.

Andrew Bachman RakeTheRake

Multi-millionaire Andrew Bachman is one person who found this out at a young age. After using poker as a networking tool, Bachman was able to start an internet marketing company called Tatoo Media. The company quickly reached astronomical revenue figures of $100 million a year.

Eventually, he sold Tatoo Media to Ozura World for $60 million in 2011. Now on his third start-up company, the 30-year-old recently told Boston.com about how he used poker to meet the right people:

"I graduated from Babson (near Boston) in '06, and you gotta remember that back in those days the World Series of Poker had just gotten on television and that was really hot," he said. "Everyone was playing poker. My friends and I were always playing hold ’em in our dorm room. I used to go downtown and play card games, and you’d play some games where you’d be hanging out with scummy, gross people, but then you’d meet someone there who could get you into a game where you’d be playing with hedge funders and lawyers and brain surgeons. I started going to those games and hanging out with those guys, and they helped me build my network. A lot of those guys became future investors in businesses of mine."

So can everybody use live poker as a means of establishing high-powered business connections like Bachman did? Maybe not, but if you're business-minded and go into poker games with the mindset that they're networking opportunities, there's a good possibility that it'll turn into something good.

In Bachman's case, he sought to get more out of poker than just entertainment and winnings. "It's really my belief in return on time," he said. "If I'm going to play card games, I'm going to make sure I get the most out of it."

So if you're somebody who's interested in starting a business and not sure where to find investors, the poker table isn't a bad place to start. But like Bachman did, make sure to avoid the "scummy, gross people" when networking.