Poker face

Read ’em and weep—Dr Nauv Kashyap of Raceview Dental Surgery in Ipswich, QLD, likes nothing more than to win big at a poker tournament.

“Back when I was studying dentistry at the University of Queensland, I went to the casino with a couple of mates and came across a $100 buy-in poker game. I had been watching a bit of poker on TV and with the encouragement of my mates, I joined the game.

“I put down my $100—a huge amount for a student at that time—and five hours later, I cashed out with $1100. I returned to the casino the following weekend and played poker for 36 hours straight. That’s how long it took me to lose all my winnings.

“I’ve been playing poker ever since and have gradually increased my skills at the game. In 2010, I won the PokerStars Australia New Zealand Poker Tour on the Gold Coast and after four days of play, I walked away with over $180,000.

“The biggest tournament in the southern hemisphere is the Aussie Millions Poker Championship. It attracts the best players in the world and I attend every year. The ultimate tournament is the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. I’ve earmarked 2018 to be my first time there as a competitor.

“You need a few skills to be a really good poker player. An extremely good grounding in math is essential. It’s all about probability—you need to know the probability that you will hit your hand and the probability of your opponent having a certain hand. You also need to be quick at decision-making. When you’re playing, you have to put your ego aside and utilise a logical way of thinking.

“I love the competitiveness of poker. I am someone who loves to win but also a risk-taker. I like being in a high-pressure situation where you have to come up with the best decision in a short amount of time.

“I’m also attracted to the lifestyle that poker offers. My wife and I love to travel and eat at nice places. Thanks to poker, we’ve travelled the world and been to some of the best restaurants on the planet.

“A few years ago, I reached a point where I was one of Australia’s better players. I had to make a decision whether to pursue poker on a full-time basis or to just enjoy it recreationally. I decided to cut back on the poker and concentrate on dentistry. Even though my dental businesses are a risk-free way of making money, I still enjoy an occasional hand of poker. And it’s still nice to have a good win.”

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