Missing from screen for some time now, Minissha Lamba is busy honing her skills in poker. Minissha, who has been appointed the professional poker player of Adda52.com, India’s largest poker website, started playing poker initially as a modest hobby during one of her vacations with friends. The game’s unpredictability pushed the actress to out-do the game and now she calls it a passion, which she luckily follows professionally. She has been playing poker for the last seven years and has made appearances in many tournaments in Goa, Indian Poker Championship and most recently the WPT 500 Aria Poker Tournament in Las Vegas.
Talking about her experience in the ‘Poker Capital’ of the world, Minissha says that the tournament saw a contingent of players from across the globe and was an overwhelming experience to play alongside professional poker players.
Minissha who moved from acting to poker, loves the game for its non-banality and need of mental agility. She says that the game requires constant strategising and analysing not only about the next move but also about the temperament of the contenders on the table. Poker, a game which requires one to be a step ahead always is challenging to say the least, and that is what excites Minissha. The actress, who has also appeared in the television reality show Bigg Boss, says that acting is not a full time profession and one needs to look beyond that and do something else when free without work. Her acting experience, says the actress, is of no help on the table because everyone playing poker is a master at bluff and her experience does not give her an edge over others. She like all other players, finds a style and strategy that suits her and exploits it to win the hand.
Lack of understanding
The game is largely seen as a taboo in India, and she feels that is due to a lack of understanding of the game and the common perception that sees it as gambling. She says that with more professional tournaments, hopefully, the taboo will lift, and poker will be rewarded its place as a sport and more avenues to play the sport will open up. Speaking about women poker players in India, Minissha said that they are too few in number and like in any male-dominated arena face the brunt of patriarchy in trying to break into the field. She says that while it is challenging to do that, women work harder and make it through with time.
The actress also harbours a deep passion for reading and writing, and wishes to follow them through. Minissha reads when she’s not playing and plans on writing a book with the stories she has penned down. The actress wants to take up a creative writing course to learn about the art’s technicalities and various genres. She says that following one’s passions when one has the opportunity and time to explore is a necessity to break through the monotony and do something that they truly love. According to her, a person’s development hinges on their ability to follow through their passions. Besides a poker tournament in Goa, the actress is also exploring avenues in television and will be more visible now as an actor and as a professional poker player.