Shark Tank, the Emmy award-winning reality TV show in which entrepreneurs seek investments from a panel of wealthy investors (sharks), is currently in its 9th season on ABC.
The show’s popularity, success and appeal is in no small part attributed to the diverse make-up of the sharks, who all have their strengths – and perhaps weaknesses – when it comes to outbidding each other for the right to make deals with the contestants who are looking for backers for their respective businesses.
The sharks are all shrewd investors who have staked their claims in the business world, making fortunes in various endeavors that include clothing lines, a pro sports team, Internet security, real estate, and a ton of other products. Each shark seemingly brings something different to the table.
If that table happened to be a poker table, which shark would come out on top? In other words, which Shark Tank shark would make the best poker shark? Let’s find out.
“Mr. Wonderful” is without question the biggest nit of the bunch. He never, ever invests in businesses in which the valuation of the company doesn’t add up to the revenue numbers. Kevin would play only the best starting hands, perhaps even tossing a pair of Queens while he waits for something better.
A rock solid investor, O’Leary would likely make a terrible poker player, as his opponents would quickly fold to any hand that he decides to play. Always brutally honest and straightforward, Kevin would bust out of any tournament and leave the table with a parting shot to his tablemates, “You’re all dead to me.”
Barbara made her fortune in real estate, turning a $1,000 loan into $66 million. She has a tendency to invest in entrepreneurs based on their likeability factor, as well as their business models.
Fellow shark Kevin O’Leary often scoffs at Corcoran’s investment decisions and offers, as she sometimes follows her heart and hunches. Barbara would be the most likely shark to play to draws that have long odds of coming in. However, her ability to read tells and size up other players would undoubtedly be off the charts.
Owner of the NBA Dallas Mavericks, Cuban is aggressive when he needs to be, backs away from investments when he needs to, and shows a propensity to get what he wants. The outspoken 57-year-old has a tendency to wait until all the other sharks make their offers, acting last after carefully evaluating the situation.
We all know how important position is in poker. Cuban is seemingly always in a favorable position, and that would work wonders at the poker table. His style may be best suited for poker, however, Mark’s grandiosity and ego may cause him to perhaps bluff when he shouldn’t. Can Barbara or Robert call his bluffs?
Robert is perhaps the nicest guy among the male sharks, always polite, showing respect to the contestants, and sometimes admonishing O’Leary for being cruel. His fortune was made in Internet security, so if any of his poker opponents were prone to cheating, it’s likely that Herjavec would spot the illicit behavior.
In terms of his poker skills, it does not bode well that fellow shark Mark Cuban has a tendency to swoop in after Robert makes an offer to Shark Tank contestants, getting the deal done while Herjavec slowly shakes his head in disbelief. One has to wonder if the same situation would not happen on the poker table, Cuban and other players scooping pots while Robert shakes his head and his chip stack dwindles.
The sharpest dresser of the sharks, Daymond would bring an air of elegance and fashion to any poker table. The founder of the clothing brand FUBU, John’s investments on Shark Tank gravitate toward his specialty.
One gets the impression that Daymond would be the best short-stacked player among the sharks. Building up his pile of chips through sheer will and determination in the same way that he did with FUBU. A proponent of experiencing failure before finding success, it may take a few tournament busts for John to find his way at the poker table, but find it he will.
The “Queen of QVC” brings an entirely different element to the show than her fellow sharks. With dozens of patents to her name, Lori is an inventor as well as investor. But can she invent ways to win at the poker table?
Greiner often says that she can immediately tell if a new product being pitched will be “a hero or a zero.” If she can do the same both pre and post-flop, she may have what it takes to be a poker shark as well. Perhaps her experience in front of the camera on QVC can also lead to a poker following on Twitch.