Happy International Poker Day!

On April 19th International Poker Day is celebrated – it’s an excellent reason to congratulate enthusiasts of the game and invite them to gather around the poker table.

At several Godel locations poker tournaments are a good way to relax, communicate with colleagues and have a good time together. How often do the guys declare all-in? Who is Mr. or Mrs. Poker Face at Godel? What do you need to learn before starting to play poker? We sat down with the organisers of the tournaments and poker amateurs at Godel Vilnius and Godel Warsaw to discuss these questions.  

Carrying on the traditions

At each of the locations, about 6-10 players gather in the evenings monthly.

I do love playing poker – when I noticed that there was a group of poker amateurs at our office, I decided to unite them and see if we could organise tournaments. The guys showed interest in my suggestion to gather, and we broke the ice. The first tournament was great fun, and ever since then, we’ve been meeting at least once a month”, says Viktorija Hryshkavets, TA Manager at Godel Vilnius.

The Godel Warsaw poker club should be indebted to one of the Godel developers, who had been a professional player in the past. He helped the volunteers with organisation and trainings. When the event managers considered various activities they could do at the office, poker became one of the options.  

“When I started working at Godel as an Event Manager, the guys already had the tradition of gathering for poker nights. One day the guys invited our Marketing team to join the tournament – it was an exciting and funny experience. Now it is vitally important to keep traditions and create special interest squads. It appeared that there were professional poker players and even ex-dealers among the team. That’s why it was quite easy to carry on the tradition of poker tournaments at Godel”, explains Alina Mihun, Community Marketeer at Godel Warsaw.  

Some of the participants of the Godel poker tournaments started playing poker long before applying to Godel, and some of them learnt the game rules here.

I started playing poker when I was 12. My family and I loved to spend time around the poker table. The game could last till the dead of night, my little brother and I liked these evenings as everyone was very involved in the game and nobody made us go to sleep. Having been children, we didn’t know the rules and regulations of the game and drew the poker combinations on the sheets of paper. However, we enjoyed being a part of the adult world, – recalls Alina. – Time passed and our family tournaments happened rarely. Anyway, we will always remember our noisy poker nights – some years ago we even baked a cake with poker decorations for my father’s anniversary. I still don’t remember all combinations, and when we play poker with the colleagues, I always squint at my notes.”

Enjoying the process

 “In poker, I particularly enjoy the non-verbal communication between players, calculating risks, and combinations”, – says Katsiaryna Shytsyik, Sr. TA Manager at Godel Warsaw. Viktorija added that even though she is not a highly skilled poker player, she enjoys the process and finds great satisfaction in winning hands.

During the games at the offices, the guys discuss different topics, joke, and get to know each other better. There are no offences and quarrels – the players are always glad for the winners.  

I notice that the guys are better experts in poker than I am. They usually calculate leads, keep in mind suits, and work out strategies. Meanwhile, I go on a hunch, and it turns out to be fun when I manage to win. A month ago, I won for the first time and picked up all the chips. It was a great three-hour fight – I even took a photo for memory’s sake. It seemed that everyone was happy, even those who lost and left at the table to watch what was going on,” Alina laughs.

Katsiaryna says: “I would like to recall the last game at Godel Warsaw. There were 8 participants, and throughout the evening, the chip leader kept changing. Luck was shifting from one participant to another, and the game was very dynamic, with many rare combinations appearing. In the end, everyone decided to go all in and finish the game beautifully. It turned out positively, and everyone enjoyed the game immensely.” 

Controlling the emotions  

“To play poker, you don’t need anything specific. You can learn everything directly in the process. It’s important to know combinations, but we have special hints printed for new players at Godel Vilnius, which can be used when needed. However, combinations are quickly memorized, and the hints become unnecessary,” Viktorija explains.

The ladies share one view – to play poker for fun, you should just learn general rules. It’s much more important to guess when your opponents are bluffing and be able to bluff by yourself.  

“If you want to succeed in poker, think about attentiveness, observation, listening skills, and the ability to analyze participants’ behaviour patterns”, Katsiaryna says.  

However, fortune is also very important.   “I remember the game when I won because the cards were dealt perfectly. It’s much more enjoyable to play when you are lucky,” Viktorija smiles