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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Daytrader Stuns Pros At Asian Poker Finals






Wow, Singaporean Pang Leng Ang, has been making the headlines the past few days as a newcomer to the poker scene who stunned the pros to take home prize money of USD233,200 as 1st runners-up in the Betfair Asian Poker Tour.

Mr Ang, a self-taught poker player, is a currency daytrader. Hmm, which brings us to the topic as to whether good traders also make good poker players and chess players? I'm don't know much about poker game or chess, but I think its probably not surprising if this is true because trading, poker and chess essentially use the same skill set:

-It is a probability game. There is no sure-win. What are your odds of winning when you enter a trade or make the next move in poker /chess? In trading, we look at technical analysis and the use proper money management e.g. stop loss to improve our odds of winning. As I said, it's only to IMPROVE your odds, not GUARANTEE a win. Traders have to know there's no such thing as a holy grail. Don't ever believe that!

-Thinking on your feet. The market is dynamic and each day is a different day. You apply different strategies for a trending market vs a range-bound market. Also, different stocks behave differently and even the same stock will behave differently under various conditions. Same for poker and chess, you will face different opponents and even the same opponents you played with before may change their tactics to tackle your weakness

-Thinking ahead of your opponents. In the game of poker and chess, it is very much strategic. In the world of trading, I liken this to more of being prepared and knowing when to taking profits or cut losses ahead of entering a trade. All this steps are mapped out in your head before you take on your opponent. Read Art of War by Sun Tze.

-Manage your emotions.
We all know how getting emotional can ruin your trading. I think this is one area which Mr Ang can probably learn from the winner, Mr Guoga. It was reported that Mr Guoga (who by the way is a professional poker player) "sat calm and stony-faced" all through the competition. In contrast, Mr Ang "began pumping his fists in the air and calling for the cards he wanted to be dealt".

And I will leave you to ponder over Mr Ang's last remark "...poker is not about luck, it's about skill. If I keep trying, I will win in the long run"


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