Episode #264: Liv Boeree – The Three Life Lessons From The Poker Table

Liv Boeree is a poker player, television presenter and speaker. She is a World Series of Poker and 2010 European Poker Tour champion, and is the only female player in history to hold both titles. Born in Kent, Boeree studied at Ashford School before going on to earn a First Class Honours degree in Physics with Astrophysics at the University of Manchester. Liv is a three time winner of the Global Poker Index European Female Player of the year and currently sits at #5 on the female all-time live poker winnings list.

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“Our instincts are built off our life experiences.”

Show Notes:

  • Sustaining excellence:
    • Humility to continue question themselves
    • Growth mindset
    • Confidence
    • Curiosity to try new things
  • “My hyper competitive mindset propelled me to do well in school… Even though I wasn’t as naturally smart as others.  I had to work at it.”
  • There are two people that exist in the world: Those who are humble and those who are about to be humbled.
  • Why poker?
    • “I wanted to be a musician and a rock star, but I wasn’t good enough.  Poker was even better.  I’m able to play a great game and travel the world.”
  • The mental framework of Poker: The foundation:
    • Rational decision making
    • Communication skill
    • Read LessWrong.com
  • How does poker thinking apply to life?
    • “Our instincts are built off our life experiences” — The Jesse Itzler model for decision making (trust your gut) vs the analytical approach… They are more similar than you think
  • How can you tell when someone is bluffing? (lying)
    • “It’s rare that people have physical tells
    • Most of the time it’s based on the math and your knowledge of how that person has played in the past (you see what they have played)
  • How poker relates to the interview process… How can you spot when someone isn’t telling the truth in a job interview?
    • “Ask them to re-tell their career story… But this time do it backwards” — It’s hard to do this unless you are telling the truth
    • Look for baseline behaviors when you meet someone and they don’t feel like they are in the “interview process” yet
      • Walking in from their car, checking in, going to happy hour, dinner
    • Thoughtfulness — Are they willing to admit a mistake
  • Three life lessons from the poker table:
    • Quantifying – Increase granularity in thinking. Willingness to work in uncertainty. What action will achieve the best response?
    • Intuition can be great with lots of data, but it’s not magic
    • Don’t let a run of good luck make you think you’re good
      • But how can you know the difference? — Find a great set of peers who will tell you the truth
  • Advice to an amateur player in the World Series main event of poker
    • Recognize the other players at the table. Who is great? Who isn’t? Watch closely when you are not in the hands to see the showdown value and gain information.  Balance your play based on who is in the hand with you
  • Read WaitButWhy.com from Tim Urban
  • Use the “Get To Know You Document

“If you don’t keep growing, you will become irrelevant.”

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Episode 179: How To Sustain Excellence – The Best Answers From 178 Questions

Episode 234: Jocko Willink — Why Discipline Equals Freedom