Meet the Player - Muskan Sethi
Muskan Sethi, a highly accomplished professional poker player from India, is renowned as the country’s first successful female player in a predominantly male-dominated field. With a passion for poker nurtured from an early age, Muskan turned her hobby into a flourishing career after winning a competition in 2014. With 14 years of experience in online gaming, she possesses a remarkable skill set encompassing numeric reasoning, psychology, problem-solving, and resource management. In addition to her achievements, including receiving a national award from the President of India in 2018, Muskan has actively participated in stakeholder meetings with the government, representing players’ rights and contributing her expertise and insights to the development of the gaming industry.
- What is your name? How did you venture into the online gaming space?
Muskan Sethi, I found poker at an early age through my father, who greatly respected the mind sport. In 2014 I won a competition that allowed me to turn my hobby into my career. In 2018 I won a national award from the president of India, “First Ladies”, for being India’s first professional female poker player to excel in a male-dominated field.
- For how many years have you been playing online games?
I have been playing for the last 14 years.
- What are your educational qualifications?
Alumni 2006 Modern School Barakhamba Road, BA(H) Eng Delhi University, Diploma Brand Management – Pearl Academy, Diploma Fashion Journalism – LCF, UK.
- What skills do you think are required to play online games?
Numeric Reasoning, Spatial Reasoning, Psychology, Mathematical Analysis, Problem Solving, resource management, cognitive skills.
- Does playing online game form part of your daily life? Is it a part of your livelihood?
Yes, gaming skills can be transferred to real-life skills and situations that help us make the best decisions, promote problem-solving, and keep the mind sharp.
- What are your preferred kind of online games? What factors do you consider before putting money into any online game?
I enjoy poker, which is a real money game. Chess is another fascinating game, but the return on investment and the value for time are not there useless if you pursue it from a young age. Game selection is an important skill for gaming, I choose safe sites backed by trustworthy organisations and transparent operations. A safe environment ensures a safe experience, so that is mainly a concern before depositing into a site. After this, I choose games according to my skill levels and bankroll to get the maximum return.
- What skills are required to succeed in an online gaming tournament?
Poker requires a high IQ and EQ, which can be developed by playing this mind sport. Understanding people and mathematical concepts require great skills. Numeric Commands on probability, Odds, and Statistics are helpful. Psychology helps understand other players, Analytical skills play an important role, decision-making skills, patience and timed aggression, which come with experience, help a player succeed in an online gaming tournament. Game selection & resource management help us pick the right tournament for us.
- Do you think the government supports professional online gamers at any level?
Not as much as other countries considering the tax and grievance process. Taxes are brutal on Indian players, which don’t allow us to win as much as we should. Even if Responsible gaming is taught as a subject in schools, it would be a great way to ensure that the upcoming generation can navigate risk vs reward. Poker is a great way to learn these skills and is a mind sport, but in our country, it’s not yet recognised as a profession.
- What do you think about addiction and dependency on online gaming?
Responsible gaming awareness helps us understand how anything in life can be addictive and how to pace ourselves in order to avoid any traps such as addiction or dependency. I make my income as a brand ambassador for a poker site, which is a profession if you take a peek at my responsibilities, they are of a high-level position, so players have multiple ways to earn respect and create a source of income in the gaming space. A player does not stay a player. They advance to becoming a gaming operator one day.
- What are your biggest concerns while playing a game online?
No major concerns except for safety, as the government of India is strict about these things, so we feel safe.
- If there is one thing about the online gaming industry you could convey to the government, what would it be?
Please consider gaming as a profession, please make our taxes a bit easier so international players are attracted to India. We can host the world’s biggest poker events and put India on the map officially. All chess grandmasters also play poker, including Magnus Carlson. Please consider the state ban effects on players, as this is our profession. Gaming opens many doors of opportunities. A person will only grow in this industry.