Upping the ante

Upping the ante

Delhi-based Muskan Sethi is India’s first professional woman poker player to be awarded the President’s Medal in 2017 for achieving outstanding...

Delhi-based Muskan Sethi is India’s first professional woman poker player to be awarded the President’s Medal in 2017 for achieving outstanding success in a male-dominated field – Poker. The 28-year-old player is an alumnus of the prestigious Modern School, Barakhamba and is an English Honours graduate from Delhi University. She completed diploma in Brand Management and dabbled in a lot of career options before she discovered and finally fell in love with poker.

What was the idea behind choosing poker as a profession?
I was seriously drawn towards poker when I was watching a random video on YouTube of players like Phil Ivey play while I was just starting to learn to play with money. I was instantly in love. Poker is an excellent mind sport and tournaments give you an opportunity to change your life. In the long run, luck balances out and only skill prevails.

It was in 2014 that I won a competition to go to Barcelona. Second thing, in general too I have a lot of passion for this game. I do agree that no other woman was doing it from India, so it was not easy for me. Then I thought that it is a well-respected game in a lot of other countries and I am sure that one day our country will realise it.

You are the first woman professional poker player from India to win President’s Award, how does it feel?
It feels amazing and special. Everything changed after this President’s Award. I felt good that all my hard work and courage to do something new got recognised. Earlier, I couldn’t even win the argument of wheather poker is gambling or not, however, things are different now. This game requires just a few hours of practice and is good mental exercise. We have so many women in the country who are homemakers, who can just play for a few hours and make it a career.

Who is your inspiration?
My inspiration was International player Liv Boeree, she is the first women poker player from England. She is a social worker, has interest in science and she is a very amazing human being. I look up to her because she is unique. And my strength is my mother. She inspired me. She gives the strength by saying that what ever I do perfect.

Do you think younger generation especially girls should make a career in this field, If yes what would be your advice to them?
I would love to play with a lot more women and want the poker industry to seriously organise poker events only for women to encourage more and more women to take up the game and discover how much fun actually it is.

Whenever they take up anything, whatever it is, they must make sure they put in regular practice and be very passionate about it. I can guide women who want to play poker.

By: Rupesh Singh

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