India is one of the fastest growing poker markets in the world and one poker player that has gained a reputation throughout the country is Muskan Sethi. This is in some ways surprising considering that poker has generally been a game dominated by male poker pros. Sethi defied that stereotype and was conferred with the Woman Achiever Award by the Ministry of Women & Child Development for her role in promoting poker in India.
The 28-year-old female poker pro from Delhi recently shared how she got into poker and talked about issues faced by women in the game and provided some key tips for new players looking to make a career out of playing professional poker.
Poker Journey Started Early
As a kid, Sethi remembers playing card games. She used to play with elders and friends and would watch poker games with her father. But her interest in poker started when she graduated from college. She played poker for free on Facebook while helping her mother with her NGO.
Her interest in the game grew since then. She watched videos, read books and gathered as much information on social media on how to play and master the game. She has put in so much hard work and passion for the game over the years. In 2014, she joined PokerStars.com and took part in TV show “Sharkcage”, granting her the opportunity to compete against some of the best poker players for $1 million in Barcelona. From there, she went on to bank huge cashes in different countries.
Sethi is now a member of Team PokerStars and has a little over $50,000 in career prize money. One of her goals going forward is to inspire and encourage more Indian women to start playing poker.
Gender Not a Factor in Poker Success
In a statement, Sethi said “It’s an unusual profession for women to aim towards, but I think that it’s as satisfying as being a sportsperson. Social stigma attached to cards can be a barrier. For anyone that may be curious about poker but has their doubts, my recommendation is to learn how to play and try the game out for yourself. This way you can form your own opinion and in the process, you may find a new interest that could change your life too.”
She encourages players to move past these setbacks and view poker not as a game of chance but as a game of skill.
Top Tips for Aspiring Poker Players
Sethi believes that in every endeavor, studying is the key. She encourages amateur poker pros and women in India who would like to have a crack at poker to invest the time in studying strategy and gameplay.
Tons of learning materials are available for free online, you just have to stay updated and watch out for new content. Being a PokerStars ambassador, she gave a plug to the brand stating that India’s first PokerSchool found at PokerStars.IN is set to launch this month and Sethi is creating some content for that along with fellow PokerStars India Ambassador Aditya Agarwal.
In playing poker, you need to familiarize yourself with the risk-reward concept, volume and variance. Playing regularly will also help improve your skills. Poker platforms such as PokerStars Twitch are a big help as well. Also take your time to meet with or talk to other enthusiasts, share tips and discuss hands.
Don’t Quit If Things Get Tough
The 28-year-old admits poker has its ups and downs, just like any other sport, business or profession. But hard work, patience and determination are the way to keep going. Sethi said poker enabled her to dream larger than life. She started from the bottom and did not quit when she encountered tough times. Today, she is recognized as one of the most prominent faces in India’s poker industry.
Ironically, Sethi’s push to get women playing poker in India is also likely to inspire young males in India’s IT industry who are looking to escape the corporate rat race and find a career that gives them the freedom to travel, work their own hours and be in charge of how much they get to earn each month!

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