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Mind Over Poker - Negotiating Chips

by David Apostolico |  Published: Apr 15, 2011

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Longtime readers know that I frequently make analogies between the business world and poker. More specifically, I find a lot of similarities between negotiating and poker. Many of the skills — such as reading your opponent, exercising leverage, using position, and exploiting weakness — are applicable to both. There are fundamental differences between the two, as well. Most obviously, poker is a zero-sum game. If you are playing heads up, your wins will equal your opponent’s losses. In negotiating a deal, both parties can benefit. In fact, it is extremely difficult to consummate a transaction if both parties can’t see some benefit in doing so. It is in that light that I came across the following quote from John F. Kennedy: “We cannot negotiate with those who say what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable.” Kennedy is articulating that if one person is viewing negotiations as a zero-sum ...


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