How To Invest Like A World-Class Poker Player

From Poker Tables to Real Estate Deals

I’ve always had a hunch that really good poker players know something I don’t. Not that I play a lot of poker! Still, if poker were just a game of luck, how come some people consistently win and others lose big? Invest Like A World-Class Poker Player

Where there’s a hidden skill or talent to be hacked, I just have to start sniffing around!

I couldn’t resist speaking with Pasha Esfendiary, ex-professional poker player-turned-Real-Estate-Investor. Our conversation confirmed my suspicions! 

The Power of Long-Term Thinking

Pasha told me that winning poker players are actually great long-term thinkers. In poker, as in real estate, immediate wins might feel good, but the real success comes from strategic decisions that benefit you in the long run. This approach helps navigate through short-term market fluctuations and uncertainties (and even sometimes losses), which are common in both fields.

Embracing Aggression and Strategic Risks

In both poker and real estate, being too conservative can lead to missed opportunities. Pasha gives the example of players who simply don’t dare to place bets, thereby folding hand after hand. This type of risk-aversion amounts to sitting on the sidelines—a bad habit that slowly eats away at your resources. (Can anyone say inflation?!) This rule applies in poker and in Real Estate.

Pasha suggests investors need to harness calculated aggression—or a readiness to take strategic risks when the odds are in your favor. This doesn’t mean being reckless; rather, it’s about being bold in your decision-making, ensuring you’re not left behind in fast-paced markets.

It all boils down to making a move knowing you may lose a hand. You lose some and you win some, but, over time, you will likely win more hands than you lose, provided you read the situation carefully. 

Sitting out can be the most expensive “unrisky” decision you ever make!

Delayed Gratification: A Key to Wealth

There is another parallel between effective poker and Real Estate. Can you guess what it is? Have you heard of the Marshmallow test?

Scientists decided to measure children’s ability to delay gratification by offering them one marshmallow immediately, or the opportunity to wait some minutes to get two marshmallows.

You guessed it! The ability to delay eating the marshmallow in the hand predicted success later in life.

It turns out this rule—the principle of being able to delay gratification—is key to success in Real Estate and poker. Success in real estate isn’t about quick flips or instant gains; it’s about building wealth slowly and steadily, thinking decades ahead rather than focusing on immediate profits. This mindset allows investors to endure less favorable times and emerge more robust when conditions improve.

It’s a little like how you have to play poker successfully. No point placing silly bets or sitting on the sidelines watching the buy-in (or inflation in the Real Estate field) eat up your hard-earned gains!

Practical Advice for Real Estate Investors

If you’re considering an investment, especially in real estate, think long term. Are you prepared to hold onto a property for 10 years or more? If not, you might want to reconsider. Long-term investment reduces risks associated with short-term market changes and increases the likelihood of substantial returns.

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