30 something Rupal Bansal is a supermom, an entrepreneur, a writer and a poker player all rolled into one.
Founder of the e-gifting website, IndiaGift, Rupal has been playing poker since 2010 and dove head-on into the online poker scene 5 years ago. She first learned poker at home while playing card games with her cousins. For her, Zynga reinforced the online variant of the game. What excited her the most about poker was that it let her use her skills and not merely gamble away. The learning is ongoing as every poker game she plays teaches her something daily.
Her husband is also a passionate poker player and the couple spends hours discussing hands and helping each other figure out their strengths and the chinks in each other’s armors. For Rupal, the post-game analysis is very important as it helps one understand what he/she did wrong and right. Learning from one's mistakes is the best part of the analysis and reinforcing one's faith in the positive points is a big morale booster.
Playing poker has helped her understand how to deal with the multiple hues of life. “I remember playing a tournament in Pride Poker Room, Goa while my 9-month-old was in the creche at the casino. I took breaks every 20 mins to check on her and never forget the experience. It taught me how to keep my composure despite so many interruptions," says Rupal.
Rupal believes that a woman’s strategy in poker is actually quite aggressive, contrary to popular belief. In fact, she feels some of the biggest moves and toughest calls come from women in tough situations. Men take calculated decisions while women tend to take aggressive ones at times.
If there is one thing that Rupal wants people to know about poker is that the biggest skill in poker is not merely how you play your game but how patient you are. For her, patience is the biggest skill in poker. She also believes that more and more people will take up the game when the industry becomes more professional and ethical.
Before a big game, Rupal loves using a card guard that was gifted to her by a friend when she was playing a game when expecting her child. The card that says ‘Poker Princess’, and is with her during all tense games.
She wishes that more women-centric tournaments are held to help more women take up the game and discover the game in a safe environment at their own pace.