A Journalist’s Narrative: Why Everyone Should Play Poker

Most of what I know about reporting I learned from playing poker. The game of poker requires you to be observant, think critically, make quick decisions, and analyze human behavior. These basic skills are crucial not only for successful poker players, but also for journalists. In this article, we’ll look at the reasons why everyone should learn to play poker and how it can improve their lives.

Poker is more than just a card game; It is a mental exercise that improves strategic thinking and decision-making skills. When playing poker, you are constantly analyzing your opponent’s moves, trying to decipher their thought process and predict their next move. This level of critical thinking is extremely valuable in any aspect of life, but especially in the world of reporting. As a journalist, the ability to analyze and interpret information is crucial. Poker teaches you how to weigh the odds, assess risks, and make thoughtful decisions—skills that translate directly to researching and reporting unbiased news.


Additionally, poker teaches you to read people and understand their intentions through body language and behavior. This skill is critical for journalists who need to interview and interact with people from diverse backgrounds. By playing poker, you can learn to pay attention to the subtle cues and gestures people may display, which can help you better understand and connect with them on a personal level. These observation skills are particularly useful in investigative journalism, where uncovering the truth often requires identifying inconsistencies or hidden motives.

Additionally, the ability to stay calm and control your emotions is crucial in both poker and reporting. Poker is a game full of highs and lows, and keeping a poker face and not giving away your emotions is the key to success. Likewise, journalists often face challenging situations and they need to remain calm and collected, even in the face of adversity. By playing poker, individuals can develop mental resilience and learn to handle stressful situations with grace and calm, which are valuable assets for any journalist.

Poker also fosters a sense of humility because it is a constant reminder of the unpredictability of life. No matter how skilled a player is, luck will always affect the outcome of a hand. This understanding of luck and chance translates into reporting, reminding reporters to keep an open mind and consider all perspectives when covering a story. It encourages journalists to accept that they may not always have all the answers, and just like poker, players may make the best decision based on the information at hand and still lose. It teaches journalists to embrace curiosity and continually seek the truth.

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All in all, poker is more than just a card game; It is a valuable tool for honing the essential skills required for successful reporting. The game teaches critical thinking, decision-making, observation, calmness and humility – essential characteristics of all journalism. By immersing themselves in the world of poker, individuals can improve their abilities as journalists and tackle the complexities of reporting with greater confidence. So why not give poker a try and see how it changes your worldview?

Post time: Nov-09-2023
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