Poker players who cross over to cryptocurrency trading are seeing astounding success out of the gate — for example, a trading team comprised of poker players and captained by poker star Mike McDonald placed in the top three in the recently concluded World Series of Trading (WSOT). A total overlay prize pool of $1.27 million in cryptocurrency was paid out to the winners of the inaugural edition of the global crypto trading competition powered by Bybit, in which 135 teams and 12,368 participants joined from around the world.
Poker star McDonald commented, “A lot of poker players are good at making financial decisions while limiting the role that emotion plays — that would be one of the skills that transfers particularly well to trading. There will be times when crypto prices will hit the roof or post massive dips. Do you follow the herd or stick to your own strategy? Just like in poker, the choice is yours. Jump tables or stick to yours and play the game skillfully.”
Poker is a game that tends to reward strategic thinking, mental endurance and emotional resilience — traits that happen to work equally well for crypto trading. Practiced with discipline, these traits can very well generate desirable results in both fields. Here are some of the common traits of winning poker players and profitable crypto traders:
- Make +EV Decisions: Trading strategy deals with risk/reward ratio, similar to how poker players make expected value calculations for each hand when they consider whether to bet, check, call, raise or fold.
- Don’t Go on Tilt: The calm and imperturbable demeanor synonymous with poker players tends to help them during volatility, when they are able to think and trade without giving in to impulses.
- Hand Selection: In poker, just like in crypto trading, you can’t play your cards randomly. You have to understand the situation, process the chances of winning, and decide whether you want to fold or play further. Read the charts like you would interpret the body language of your opponent, and plan your next steps based on what is favorable to you.
- Bankroll Management: Even the best poker player or crypto trader can go through a lean spell. Knowing how to manage the money in your account is essential, to ensure that you always have funds available to trade effectively.
Bybit CEO Ben Zhou noted, “If you’re a beginner in crypto trading, the gurus will advise you to research thoroughly about the types of crypto assets, not putting all your eggs in one basket, and trading per your risk appetite and bankroll management needs. It’s similar to how a beginner in poker would typically study the game: up skill, start with low-level stakes and take calculated risks while devising strategies that suit them best. Similarly, we have been putting a lot of our energy into educational content where we show our clients how to properly manage risks and perform technical analysis.”
The WSOT is a major global trading competition powered by Bybit, one of the fastest growing cryptocurrency derivatives exchanges, with more than a million registered users. The global event is open to traders worldwide where Bybit’s platform is available. The ranking system of WSOT is based on the profit/loss ratio, regardless of trading volume, thus paving a level playing field for all participants. The next edition of WSOT is expected in 2021.
About Mike McDonald:
Mike McDonald (born Sep 11, 1989) is a star poker player. McDonald is the youngest person to win an event on the European Poker Tour (EPT) and the youngest person to win an event on the Epic Poker League (EPL).
Mike is now involved with Betshares/PokerShares, facilitating novelty bets on many niche products including WSOT. He has been involved in Bitcoin since 2014.