28 years old Muskan Sethi is India’s first professional woman poker player to be awarded the President’s Award for achieving outstanding success in a male-dominated field in 2017. Born and brought up in Delhi, Muskan is an alumnus of the prestigious Modern School Barakhamba and an English Honors graduate from Delhi University. She completed a diploma in Brand Management and dabbled in a lot of career options before she discovered and finally fell in love with poker.
Well known in the poker circles as 'The White Swan', Muskan was seriously drawn to poker when she was watching a random video on YouTube of players like Phil Ivey play while she was just starting to learn with play money. She was instantly in love! She says, “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!”
Answering a question about happy memories from this game, Muskan says that “That is a healthy brain exercise since we poker players have selective memory and only remember the bad beats & hardship! Sharkcage is my best memory.Other countless fond memories are from Las Vegas. Also, this one time I made the final table of GUKPT main event in February 2017 in London. After days of surviving, the final day was on my birthday and that was one unforgettable moment because of how special the tournament staff made it. I also had some birthday luck on my side. To be honest each day as a poker player is memorable! We learn something new every day!", states Muskan.
While playing online she usually sticks to regular hand history reviews and also takes extra help like reading recommended study material, watching videos and following up with her mind coach. She believes staying regular and sticking to a routine is challenging, but rewarding!
She loves to swim before her big tournaments. While she is playing online she needs her dogs around as they are very therapeutic and loving. Bad beats don’t matter when they are around. However, when playing LIVE she needs chocolates, music and Elliot roe’s audio files with her. She should at least have one of them with her to happily survive the long sessions.
Muskan does not think men and women approach the game differently. She does feel that this mind sport has no barriers and that’s what makes it so beautiful. Age or gender has very little to do with how one approaches the game.
She has met a lot of poker players on this journey. To name a few known ones Liv Beoree, the poker legend Phil Laak who also said “He loves the Indian culture”, Jen Shahade, Fatima De Melo & Anna Marquis, Sofia Lövgren she met in Vegas.
She has also had had long discussions with Venessa Selbts, Venessa Rousso, Maria Ho, Faraz Jaka, Mike McDonald and many others about the game and how they manage everything. She observes that the one thing that is common about all the sharks out there is regular HARD WORK!
She loves playing online as compared to playing live as while playing online everyone wears a mask over their online monikers and then the game begins. Online is always a great experience for Muskan.
One thing that she would like to tell the world about poker is just to accept that it is a mind sport and not gamble. She thinks women should try all the formats and start really small! “Find your forte, watch videos as there is enough information out there online for one to get started, stick to a routine and trust the journey.” She would love to play with a lot more women and wants the poker industry to seriously organizing more women only poker events to encourage more and more women to take up the game and dicover how much fun it actually is.
If there is a book that was written on her poker journey, it would be called “If you can’t beat them, Bluff them!”