MS Dhoni’s International Cricket career may have come to an end, but his journey with online poker is just beginning
After all, there is more in common between cricket and poker than you realize.
Many may say the Indian cricket team saw a new lease of life after Sourav Ganguly took over the reins. After all along with him, Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, and Sehwag are still what many consider to be the ideal Indian team. While that might be true, there was another event that shaped Indian cricket into what it is today. That was when Mahendra Singh Dhoni took on the captaincy of a young Indian team in 2007. Anyone who has followed the Indian cricket team’s trajectory will know what a huge and impactful change Mahendra Singh Dhoni ushered in. His journey as a captain began in 2007 with the T20 World Cup victory, and in 2013 he became the first captain in the world to win all ICC Trophies. His journey, his captaincy, his ‘Captain Cool’ persona as well as his natural gift to make the right decisions amidst immense pressure has made him a living legend. While the country is still recovering from the latest news of his retirement from all forms of cricket, there is no doubt that Mahendra Singh Dhoni will go down in history as one of the most revered cricket players this gentleman’s game has seen.
That brings us to his second innings. We can all agree that when Captain Cool sets his eyes on something, there must definitely be merit to it. And it comes as no surprise when MS Dhoni chose to be the face of Pokerstars India. After all, his skills and techniques that have made him a global phenomenon and a fantastic cricketer, are pitch-perfect for the game of poker as well. Believe it or not, a game of cricket on the field and a game of poker on the felt, are not too different after all. Here are some similarities between cricket and poker and how has Dhoni aced at both:
Poker and cricket are both games that may look simple to a layman, but the ones who play it know how complicated they can get. Every second, every move, needs to be strategically placed forward. One needs to have total awareness of where the game is at, pre-empt what’s going to happen, and plan one step forward. A little slip and you can lose the match, in both!
Taking Calls Right Off the Bat:
Along with a steely focus, both games also demand that the player trusts their intuition. Sometimes, when calculations go awry or the situation requires a leap of faith or a blind run, the player needs to know enough to trust their gut and choose the right move. Remember Dhoni picking Joginder Sharma to bowl the final over in the T20 World Cup final? Now that’s a winning call!
MS Dhoni has earned loads of respect from the world for how he conducts himself on the field. However dire the situation, you really cannot faze him. His mind might be working in an overdrive, but his face and his demeanor gives nothing away! The same goes for poker. However high the stakes, the need for a poker face is inevitable if you want a chance at winning.
Everyone is at the table to win. Be it a one day international, or an ICC trophy final, be it a friendly poker game, or a high stakes poker tournament, the competition is always tight. In both games, the opponents are just waiting for one wrong move from you to snatch the game away. Slip once and see them pounce on that opportunity!
No, we are not talking about the Duckworth Lewis method! Dhoni himself said he doesn’t understand it! We are talking about managing your resources and putting them to optimum use. Be it calculating cards and knowing which to throw, which to keep, or managing a roster of bowlers and batsmen and using them to their fullest strengths, both games require a stealthy, calculative approach.
Poker may be a game where there might not be an entire country cheering you yet, but at national and international online poker tournaments, the stakes are huge. And with high stakes and big player pools comes immense pressure. MS Dhoni knows very well what pressure means, as every time he made his way from the dressing room to the field, millions of Indians wanted him to win. The pressure might be unimaginable. But then it is fire that forges steel!
You might be a fan of cricket and not so familiar with poker. But if you have all the above qualities, you can earn your place as one of the best poker players! After all, there’s a reason why someone like MS Dhoni is endorsing online poker and Pokerstars India. And the ‘I’m In’ philosophy of Pokerstars India fits like a glove with Dhoni’s, as he has displayed the same in the game of cricket.
Think you got what it takes? Go on and try your hand at online poker. All you need to do is log on to PokerStars, India’s home of online poker, sign-up and join MS Dhoni and others like you in a fun game of skills and thrills.
This is a partnered post.
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