She is smart, she is gorgeous, she is famous, she is a Poker Queen in the documentary movie that you can now watch on Amazon Prime. Meet Muskan Sethi, the young lady who was honoured by the President of India in 2018 with a ‘First Ladies’ award. She is India’s first female professional poker player and its Responsible Gaming Ambassador. If you want to follow her in her footsteps, start by educating yourself. A place like theedgepoker.com is a good start, Muskan did the same, she first learnt by playing online.
“You’re not going to be a successful doctor if you don’t study. Similarly as a poker player, you won’t necessarily get success immediately”, Muskan explains. “People should work for what they want. Success is not taken for granted.” She certainly does work hard. Sethi is a professional player today, signed with PokerStars Pro and the manager of Diehards in the Global Poker League India. The passion for the game runs in the family, she picked it up from her grandmother, who also used to play poker before she was born and was called ‘The Great Gambler’.
Little Muskan used to watch poker on tv with her father when she was 11 and that was her initiation as a player. Her family was supportive of her non-standard career, including her mother, with whom she shares the love for animals. “I want to do something for dogs… This was my mom’s dream and I want to be the one who makes it come true”, she said upon receiving the ‘First Ladies’ award. “Along with my poker dreams, it’s my life mission to do a lot of selfless social work. I want to build or work at an old age home”.
International recognition came in 2014, when Muskan, after winning on PokerStars, was selected to take part in the Shark Cage TV show in Barcelona. The tournament was telecast in the UK and she earned a big victory. “There, I basically blocked the biggest poker player in the world and word got out that there was a girl from India who plays poker. And the rest, as they say, is history”. Today the young champion has a mind coach to support her develop her mind power and strategic skills, a fitness coach because playing poker also requires perfect physical conditions, and obviously a poker coach. Because you can be a champion much as you want, but you have to keep training and learning all the time.
Muskan Sethi, as other successful Indian ladies playing poker, is a passionate advocate that this activity is not “gambling” but a sport. The mentality is changing in India too, especially with new generations, but there is still some social stigma attached to poker. A growing number of young women is breaking these barriers, encouraged by ambassadors like Sethi. Talent, dedication, skills and hard work matter here more than luck. The bonus is that a solid career is accessible to the ones really determined to put in the necessary effort and sacrifice.