Poker is a game that puts your analytical, mathematical and interpersonal skills to the test. Indirectly, it also teaches many life lessons that are applicable to other areas of your life.
A large part of poker is trying to figure out what your opponent has in his or her hand. Whether you are in a live game where you can observe your opponents physically or in an online game where you have to analyze their behavior, this aspect of the game teaches you how to read people and understand what they might be thinking. This is a useful skill in all aspects of life, as it helps you avoid making bad decisions.
Another thing that poker teaches is how to manage your emotions in pressure situations. This is particularly important in a high stakes game where there are often big bets and lots of money on the line. In order to be successful in a high stakes game, you must be able to control your emotions and remain calm even when things are not going well for you.
Poker also teaches you how to make good decisions at the table by studying graphs and understanding what hands beat what. For example, you should always raise if your hand is strong enough, and you should fold if you have a weak one. This is because you will be able to inflate the pot and get better odds for your strong hand, while at the same time limiting the amount of money that goes into the pot from players with mediocre or drawing hands.