Extras / Film: How Mastering the Game of Poker Can Help Actors, Directors, and Other Media Industry Professionals

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by Aveline MacQuoid on April 28, 2023

in Extras,Film

Poker is a card game of skill, strategy, and probability (and, of course, wits) that requires players to make fast, calculated decisions based on their hands, the community cards, and the behavior of their opponents. The “Sensei” of poker players have mastered the art by developing their skills and strategy over time.

It’s no wonder the Masters of Poker (with the most money in their pockets, of course!) will tell you there’s always something new to learn. There are also some psychological tricks and tactics to the game that makes it super engaging and interactive.

There is always something new to learn and discover about the game, and these lessons can be relevant to various aspects of our lives. If you want to join the legion of people who play this game, click here to learn more about becoming a professional poker player. Without wasting words, let’s discover how mastering the game of poker can particularly help actors, directors, and other media industry professionals.

Strategic Thinking and Decision Making

Poker involves calculating probabilities since players make decisions based on the likelihood of specific outcomes. This means players must constantly evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their opponents and adjust their strategy to stay in the game. Mastery enables players to develop a long-term strategy while adapting to short-term circumstances. This skill is crucial in many areas of business and life, as it enables individuals to navigate complex situations and make decisions that align with their long-term goals.

Professionals in the media industry, especially actors and directors, must constantly decide how to approach a scene or project. Thus, developing their strategic thinking skills through poker can help them make more informed choices. By developing strategic business skills, actors can create opportunities for themselves and maximize their earning potential, building successful careers that showcase their talent and create new opportunities for them.

Emotional Intelligence and Effective Communication

To be a pro at poker, you must learn to read your opponents and understand their emotional state by picking up on nonverbal cues to understand how others feel. The game is also highly emotional since players have to experience the highs and lows based on the outcome of each hand. So poker teaches players how to control emotions to make better decisions, stay focused, and communicate effectively.

An exciting part of poker is that it involves bluffing, which requires individuals to communicate effectively and persuasively to deceive their opponents. This skill is beneficial in the media industry, where professionals must work closely with other professionals, navigating complex relationships and improving their ability to communicate and collaborate effectively with others.

Risk Management

Poker players must constantly evaluate the risks and rewards of each decision. Factors such as their opponent’s hand strength, position at the table, and behavior help evaluate risk. Successful poker players must also learn to manage their finances by determining the amount of money to risk in each game and setting limits on their losses.

This process of evaluating risk vs. reward can be applied to many other areas of life, such as investing, starting a business, or making a significant purchase. Professionals in the media industry must also be able to manage risks effectively. In the entertainment industry, there is always an element of uncertainty. Poker can teach individuals how to make decisions in the face of uncertainty and develop a more calculated approach to their work.

Ability to Work Under Pressure

In the game of poker, you have to think super quick! It is a game of unexpected situations, such as a sudden change in the strength of players’ hands or the behavior of their opponents. It can help players develop the ability to work under pressure in uncertain or ambiguous situations. The players have to make quick decisions under time pressure without becoming overwhelmed.

As mentioned earlier, poker requires players to manage risk effectively. They must be able to make decisions under pressure while considering the potential risks and rewards, which can help players develop the ability to work under pressure while making rational and informed decisions. In the entertainment industry, there are often high stakes and intense pressure, and poker can help individuals develop the mental resilience and focus needed to perform at their best.

Media professionals must often work under tight deadlines to deliver content to their audience. This can include producing scripts, videos, or other forms of content on a tight timeline. Working under pressure can help individuals meet deadlines without sacrificing quality. The media industry can be unpredictable, and media professionals must be able to handle crises with composure and professionalism. Examples include breaking news, technical difficulties, or other unexpected events.


The poker game isn’t only interesting. It also builds you up with skills applicable to real-life issues. Actors, directors, and other media industry professionals, in particular, can improve their decision-making skills, emotional intelligence, risk management abilities, and ability to perform under pressure, all of which are important in the competitive and challenging entertainment world by playing the game. It is safe to say; mastering poker can transform your professional life.

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