Jose Mourinho has deservedly become widely known as the best manager in the world and among the very best managers of all time, earning the nickname ‘The Special One’ along the way. He has won a staggering 20 trophies in 14 years as a manager including the UEFA Champions League on two occasions and the highest league trophy in four different nations.
He has had successful spells at some of the biggest clubs in the world in Real Madrid, Inter Milan and FC Porto and of course is enjoying his second stint as manager of Chelsea.
This success has not just come from luck (far from it, in fact), as to be recognized as one of the best managers of all time requires both a natural talent, an excellent mind to out think opponents and the ambition to always be the best.
It is that skill set that marks him out as somebody who would no doubt be an excellent poker player should he ever hang up his managerial boots.
Why Would he Make a Great Poker Player?
You just have to look at what he has done in such a short space of time at Chelsea. He has come in and had a good first season back last year, finishing third in a close race for the title. It was always expected that his first year back would be a transitional one and that it would be this season where his plans click into place.
Like a poker professional would analyse particular poker hands that they have played in the past to discover their own weaknesses and to learn where they need to improve, Mourinho has shown the same ability to transform Chelsea into the unstoppable force they look like in the league so far this year.
He knew that defensively, Chelsea were among the most organised and most difficult to break down and realized that it was his attack that he needed to strengthen. He addressed that during the summer when he signed Diego Costa, the striker that has lit up the English Premier League this season. He has also backed that up by bringing back another Chelsea legend in Didier Drogba who has also had a good season so far.
Tactically Adept and Knows How to Bluff
Another primary reason as to why Mourinho would no doubt succeed at the poker tables is due to his tactics and strategies that he employs on the football field. He always seems to know his opponents’ weaknesses and adapts his strategies in order to exploit them.
A top poker player would always learn about their opposition in much the same way and learn how to counteract their strategy. A player will always know how to value poker hands against certain opponents and Mourinho is no different.
He is known to bluff too, which is a major part of poker as you probably know. He is great at the mind game aspect and has often outwitted opponent managers. They will expect his team to play a certain way and quickly become surprised when he has set them up to play a totally different way.
In short, most managers come second to Mourinho on just about all levels. He is always looking to improve, knows his own weaknesses and his opponents’ strengths, and is tactically sound enough to beat just about any team put out in front of him.
Mourinho will no doubt continue to be a successful manager for his entire career but if he ever does think about calling it a day, he should certainly think about playing some poker because he has all of the core abilities to do so extremely successfully.