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Unheard Stories: Candid Conversations With Maria Kirloskar And Her Better Half Poker

Unheard Stories: Candid Conversations With Maria Kirloskar And Her Better Half

by Manthra Koliyer Posted on 09 Jan, 2021

Hello poker players, in our ‘Unheard stories’ series, we get you excerpts from yet another poker players life. Maria Kirloskar is an accomplished poker pro, author, entrepreneur, and mindset coach for poker players. This week we had a conversation with Maria and her husband, Rajiv Kirloskar to know more about how they approach the game, family acceptance and more.

Have you faced issues from your family with regards to playing poker? If yes, please elaborate on any particular incident.

The experience was a bit different for me as I made the decision to play poker after being in the corporate world for over 25 years. I continued to run my business research consultancy during the first two years of playing poker on the live circuit and chose to play poker full time when PokerBaazi signed me to be part of their wonderful Pro team. My mother was not too happy when I told her about my decision but now because I also work as a mindset coach for poker players, she understands that I am helping people!


What do you think is the biggest hurdle of being a poker player in India especially with regards to acceptance from friends and family?

Although I have not faced any hurdles, I do know that some of my friends and students in the poker community face disapproval and disrespect from their family and friends. This is all because of an old-fashioned notion that poker is just another form of gambling. This affects their self-worth as well as their relationships. If we want people to understand that poker is a mind sport, then it is our responsibility to behave like elite athletes and not gamblers. Until that happens, I doubt that this entrenched impression will change any time sooner.

How did you first convey to your family the decision of playing poker as a full-time career option?

I discussed the possibility of playing poker full time with Rajiv, my husband and he was very enthusiastic as we started learning the game together in the days of Zynga! He knows how passionate I am about poker; he is my biggest supporter and my best mindset coach. I did not feel I had to announce that my career change to anyone. When I started telling family and friends, during conversations, they were very excited as well as envious that I was taking the path to become a professional poker player!

We asked Rajiv Kirloskar about Maria’s career choices, the perks of being in the poker industry, and much more. Here’s what Rajiv Kirloskar has to say:

I take great pride in telling everyone that my wife is a professional poker player. I love the reaction; at times, it is both, shock and amazement, but most often disbelief! Maria always looked for challenges in her career and has been fearless in the choices she has made. The commitment she has shown to learning something as complex as poker and finding ways to continuously improve every day has been inspiring to witness. As a spouse, you get to experience first-hand how difficult the game is, and that realization makes you truly respect the game and the poker fraternity. I think the biggest perk has been sharing this exciting journey with her and seeing the industry evolve from its early nascent days in India

We love the approach that Maria and Rajiv Kirloskar have towards the game of poker and the industry. We wish Maria a great year ahead and hope to see her win several trophies, crowns and titles. To know more about poker players and their other halves, keep reading GutshotMagazine.com. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram.

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