Don’t Trade Crypto at the Poker Table!

There is a distinct overlap in the world of poker and crypto trading lately, which has caused a number of issues with my clients.

If you’re into cryptocurrency as an investor, trader, or speculator, you’ll know that most of crypto Twitter is expecting the bull market to last till end of the year. With the WSOP scheduled during October and November, the chances are high that you’ll be playing the tournaments of your life, in the midst of a bull market like never before.

Poker Player & Crypto Trader

Poker and Crypto seem to appeal to a similar set of people. My clients include numerous poker pros who switched to full time (crypto) trading, as well as those who both play and trade simultaneously. They don’t have their TradingView & Bybit open while they long or short Bitcoin and at the same time play poker. However, they will have relatively large investment portfolios in cryptocurrency, while they are still grinding poker for a living.

Numerous mental problems can arise from this, like the lack of motivation to play poker. If you see your portfolio going up by just clicking refresh, you’ll lose the feeling of necessity to grind that 3bb win rate or play in what now feels like a lower BI tournament.

Or some players even experience winner’s tilt. They start bluffing in spots where they are most likely facing the top range of their opponents, purely because the money isn’t relevant for them anymore, and their ego needs a small boost at the poker table.

It’s very possible to trade crypto while keeping poker as your main source of income. Many players already do. But keep in mind the downsides that it can cause while playing in a tournament series like the WSOP.

The Constant Need to Refresh

Do you constantly refresh your portfolio, without making an actual trade?

Why is that?

The crypto markets are exciting. The amount of money that many of you have made, or that you have on the line, makes you want to know what’s going on. It’s like you’re a fan watching a football game sweating the score go back and forth. Only with crypto and trading, the game doesn’t end!

Unless you’re making crypto trading or investment decisions on a daily basis, there is no need to constantly check on the value of your coins or portfolio. Having it constantly in the back of your mind is costing you more than you realize.


Like I said before, many poker players like to trade crypto. What they like even more is to talk about it.

Imagine you’re at the Main Event, and half of your table is talking about insane gains they’ve been making on the cryptocurrency market. They’re discussing the next hot alt coin. Or maybe some are even flipping NFT’s and just made 7 figures flipping a Crypto Punk. Are you going to FOMO buy something? Are you going to do your due diligence of a project, while you’re at the table?

I doubt it.

It’s all fun and games to talk about things you’re interested in, crypto included. But don’t let emotions take the best of you. You are there to play poker. So keep your eye on the ball, or in this case keep your eyes on the cards.

Portfolio is Green, But We’re Looking for Diamonds

Not only will you hear about tons of investment opportunities within the crypto landscape. If the theory of this bull cycle plays out. We might be mid bull cycle while you’re in Vegas!

Hypothetically, BTC can jump from 70k to 150k in a matter of days. If you’re heavily invested in Bitcoin, it will be difficult to remain at the top of your A-game at the poker table. Watch out for signs of mental flaws:

  • Refreshing blockfolio or other crypto trackers
  • Make overconfident plays
  • Rebuy quickly after busting, without taking a breather
  • Pushing your luck to win the tournament, instead of making the best long term decisions
  • Buying into events that are outside your poker bankroll
  • Playing too loose and aggressive

Obviously, it’s amazing if the cryptocurrency market will go up the remaining of the year. But don’t let it affect your poker abilities. We’re here to make some diamond flushes, not to see green candle sticks.

Do Not Trade Crypto at the Table

Create a few basic rules for yourself to protect you from mistakes. A WOSP / Crypto Bull framework of rules.

Some examples are:

  • Only look at portfolio during breaks
  • Do not bring up crypto yourself, only engage in conversations about it if you want to
  • Do not buy any project or NFT without doing your own research
  • Make any sell decisions before the series starts based on a analysis of your goals and portfolio – so you’re not influenced by random opinions

Come Best Prepared!

If you want to actually prep for the WSOP, check out my new video course “Mental Game Tune Up For Tournament Poker”, which will help you get ready to capitalize on the opportunities in the tourney. Good luck!

Best of luck in Vegas and let’s hope it will be an amazing bull run.

Photo credit: Executium on Unsplash

Written by Jared Tendler

October 19, 2021

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