Home >> International Women’s Day Special: Muskan Sethi In An Exclusive Interview With AIGF

International Women’s Day Special: Muskan Sethi In An Exclusive Interview With AIGF

08 MAR 2018

Woman Leads the Way in Poker

This Women’s Day, March 8 – the theme for which is gender equality, Ms. Sethi’s single-handed contribution to a game that is traditionally regarded as a male bastion, is highly noteworthy. She is the first Female Poker player in the country too.

The President of the Country, Shri Ram Nath Kovind, conferred the honor on Ms. Sethi at an event organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The event saw Ms. Sethi in an august gathering of about 100 Indian women, who have attained high levels of success in various realms that historically have been male dominated. Ms. Sethi’s accomplishment is even more noteworthy since her skills have been recognized and honoured at par with women who have accomplished great milestones in fields such as fire fighting and the military. The Ministry of WCD has handpicked all the women receiving the honour and include artists, entrepreneurs, scientists, athletes, and of course, our very first woman poker player Ms. Sethi. The Ministry of WCD describe the accomplishments of all these women as ‘transformational’ and beacons for enhancing the status of women towards promoting equality for them in all realms of society. This is in keeping with the theme of this Women’s Day for 2018.

On January 26 this year, the President of India for her ‘contribution’ to the field of skill games – namely Poker, honored Muskan Sethi. Ms. Sethi commented, “It means the world to me. I feel it’s my mom’s blessings and words of encouragement that have got me so far, at this prestigious ceremony while being seated and counted amongst all these strong beautiful women. I feel a sense of pride and responsibility”.

Her Impressive Journey:

Ms. Sethi’s achievements in the field of Poker, a game of skill, is an assertion of the fact that women can achieve whatever they set their mind to, even in areas that are seemingly dominated by their male counterparts. Ms. Sethi plans to continue playing poker, while also collaborating with the Ministry of WCD and helping the cause of gender equality.

Our Interview with the ‘First Lady of Poker’

How do you feel about the felicitation by the President of India? 

As a poker player in this country, I am so thrilled that this mind-sport is acknowledged. As a daughter, winning this award was the best moment of my life as I made my parents proud. They were a bit worried with this career choice as every normal Indian parent but they always had their poker face on and encouraged me to keep going. It is a big step by our government and the Ministry of Women and Child Development. It works towards empowering women who are taking unconventional paths and making us proud! I am so grateful and blessed to be included in that power packed league!

What do you think about Poker as a profession and as a game of skill? 

Poker is a skill game, which requires strong strategic acumen, dedication and discipline. I recommend poker as a hobby and as a stress reliever for sharp minds. If you want to take it up a profession then proper training and planning is required. One can teach themselves by studying online. However, it is important to stay balanced, as poker demands more hours than just 8 hours a day with no fixed timings, which is a bit more unhealthy and exhausting than a regular job. However, a professional poker player is his/her own boss. Just as with any profession, you have to master the art of patience and timed aggression and look for maximum return on investment with minimum risk!

Share your views about self-regulation in the game. What is responsible gaming?

Self-regulation is very important for every poker player in the world. “Bankroll Management” is the backbone of a poker career! Difficulties are all part of the journey but staying balanced and in control is the key to survival! Responsible gaming to me is staying within the means of your “roll”. If you find yourself addicted to the game, which is the case for all of us on different levels, then putting restrictions on your gameplay & buy-ins will help you stick to the stakes that suit you the best.

I’m happy to see that the All India Gaming Federation (AIGF) is working on Self-regulation Charters for Poker and other Skill games, which will involve Player Protection and Operator Audits.

How can a gamer be a responsible citizen? Do you think paying taxes plays a role here?

I strongly believe that we should never indulge in anything that is illegal or can bring a bad name to the game. Hence, as a responsible citizen we should stay away from unauthorised poker venues and activities. Paying taxes is compulsory but it is an unfair high percentage, which affects our return on investment. I hope that this percentage would drop, going forward, or at-least taxed on the net winnings considering the overall buy-ins. Let us hope for the best!

(End of interview)

Poker – A Game of Skill

The honouring of Ms. Sethi’s contribution to Poker makes it clear that it is the recognition of her skills. The fact is that it is not by chance that Ms. Sethi has been constantly winning over successive periods – it is clearly her skill and dexterity in the game that has led her to achieve what she has. Hardly anyone who has consistently lost in this game, has ever gone on to becoming a top achiever, proving that skill is the most important attribute, and any woman can achieve the heights of success if they use their inherent talents and skills.

We extend our sincerest congratulations to Ms. Sethi on her award. We hope to see her achieve even greater successes with her skills and determination.

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