Delhi girl Muskan Sethi has always had an interest in card games and tricks. Curious since she was a kid, she would persuade her elders to teach her card games and play bluff with her friends, besides watching poker games with her dad. But it was only after college, while helping her mother with her NGO, that she found poker and started playing it for free on Facebook. That was the first step in her becoming the first Indian female professional poker player, she says.
There is so much information on social media about how to play the game. I started watching all the videos I could find on poker and was hooked more than ever before, says Muskan, who is now a female poker pro at the PokerStars India, an online poker room. I come from a simple, conservative family in New Delhi. I studied in Modern School Barakhamba Road and pursued English (Hons) from Delhi University, before attending summer school at London College of Fashion. But ever since I discovered poker, its been my dream to bring home glory and respect for the game, she says.
She started off as a recreational player and ended up qualifying for a TV show to play against some of the biggest names in poker. I obviously didnt win it but after that, I came back hungrier to play and more completely in love with the game. After that, I took up coaching and made this my profession. Now, Ive pledged my winnings to charity and havent looked back since. But, Im still learning the game. In poker, we are students for life. The learning never stops nor does the game, she adds.
SPEAKING about the risk factor of the game, she says, Just like any profession or business, poker gives us a return of investment based on how much risk we take. Similarly, it can turn out to be a loss if not managed properly. If we follow strict bankroll management, we give ourselves more chances to multiply and keep improving along the way. In poker you get to be your own boss with minimum risk and maximum reward. Most people stumble upon poker while already pursuing a different profession or a 9-5 job. Yes, poker is an unconventional way of making a living, but its now a reality in India, she says.
Muskan claims its a great time to be a poker player in India.
And its a great time to be a poker player in India, she claims, adding, There are so many opportunities for players to prove their mettle. The perception of She is soon going to leave for the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer, where she will represent India. She will also be the captain of the team participating in the Global Poker League (GPL) tournament. The tournament starts towards the end of June and will culminate in a huge multi-million-dollar event called the PokerStars Players Championship that will take place in January 2019 in Bahamas. I will be trying my best to promote mind sports in India. I am excited to work with PokerStars India on this journey, she concludes.
the game changes once you try it for yourself, she adds. Speaking about being a woman in the profession, she said, Women as poker players generally get a lot more respect for their play as they come across as unpredictable. Gender plays no role when we talk about a poker player, its all about your mindset and how you prove yourself with the help of your skills. Looks, age, gender and race has no significance on the field. We only play each others minds. But, I am sure this sport will attract more women than men in the future.