Kiplinger’s Gets the Poker Bug

by , Jan 12, 2010 | 2:11 am

Kiplinger’s, the DC-based publisher of business forecasts and personal finance advice, appears to have “gotten” poker. A senior editor there attended a WPT boot camp (for a compilation story on adult camps), and before long he started seeing the world of investing and finance as a poker player … and that spawned a three-part series relating poker to all things economic.

Check it out … they’re all good reads:

How Poker Can Make You a Better Investor
Learn to avoid emotional traps by playing a little Texas hold ’em.

How Texas Hold ‘Em Simulates Investing
Both are based on incomplete and unfolding information.

How Deepak Chopra Helped Me Play Poker Better
A device featuring the wellness guru taught me to keep my emotions under control.

And then, to top it all off, in yet another article in the January issue, they quote Barry Greenstein about investment risk:

Barry Greenstein, for instance, is a poker player by profession, so you might think he’d be prone to gambling with his portfolio. Instead, Greenstein buys utility stocks and municipal bonds, and says he follows his father’s advice: “You can play poker, but don’t trade commodities.”

So in conclusion, if I am surmising this right, the key to personal financial success in 2010 is play more poker. OK, got it.

(This, btw, is probably a good-for-poker message to go out to Kiplinger’s subscribers.)

4 Comments to “Kiplinger’s Gets the Poker Bug”

  1. Spaceman

    Pretty good articles for the most part, but this part from “How Texas Hold’em Simulates Investing” made me pause:

    “Playing in no-money-involved tournaments, in which players are inclined to make more-thoughtful decisions, is a better way to hone your skills that doesn’t risk your cash.”

    Am I reading this correctly – i.e., is the author really saying that people are inclined to make more thoughtful decisions in freerolls than they do when their own money is on the line? My years at the tables suggest otherwise.

  2. danm

    I think he’s implying that you can learn/practice said skills even when playing for free — not that free is better than real-money play. But yeah, funny, that graf caught my eye as well.

  3. John aka The Masked Financier

    Good points Spaceman and danm, which I have addressed in my posting about the article at my Texas Holdem Investing blog –
    There is no substitute for playing poker with real cash.
    Playing freerolls is of limited use, and is similar to “paper trading” to learn how to invest.
    All the “free” training you go through will not prepare you for when your cold hard capital is at risk.

  4. Bob Frick


    What I’m saying is you can get the same emotional reactions even when you’re not playing for money — lots of academic studies, including those with brain scans — prove the competition alone is enough to work.

    But does it magnify the reactions to have actual skin in the game? We all know it does.

    – Bob