Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • So I'm a professional poker player,

  • and today, I want to talk about three things that the game has taught me

  • around decision-making that I find apply to everyday life.

  • Now the first of these things is about luck.

  • Now, like poker, life is also a game of skill and luck,

  • and when it comes to the biggest things we care about --

  • health, wealth and relationships --

  • these outcomes don't only depend on the quality of our decision-making,

  • but also the roll of life's dice.

  • For example, we can be perfectly health-conscious

  • and still get unlucky with something like cancer.

  • Or we can smoke 20 a day and live to a ripe old age,

  • and this kind of ambiguity can make it hard for us to know

  • how good our strategies are, sometimes,

  • especially when we're experiencing a lot of success.

  • For example, back in 2010,

  • I won a really big poker tournament known as the European Poker Tour.

  • And because I'd only been playing full-time for about a year,

  • when I won, I assumed I must be rather brilliant.

  • In fact, I thought I was so brilliant

  • that I not only got rather lazy with studying the game,

  • but I also got more risky,

  • started playing in the biggest tournaments I could

  • against the very best in the world.

  • And then my profit graph went from a thing of beauty

  • to something kind of sad,

  • with this worrying downhill trend for a long time,

  • until I finally realized that I was overestimating my skill level,

  • and got my act together.

  • And this kind of reminds me of what we've been seeing

  • in the cryptocurrency space, at least in 2017,

  • where the only thing that's been going up faster than the markets themselves

  • is the number of "senior investment specialists"

  • who have been appearing out of nowhere.

  • Now I'm not saying it's not possible to have a strategic edge,

  • but at the same time, it's very easy to feel like a genius

  • when you're in a market that's going up so fast

  • that even the worst strategies are making a profit.

  • So when we're experiencing success,

  • it's important to take a moment to really ask ourselves

  • how much of it is truly down to us,

  • because our egos love to downplay the luck factor when we're winning.

  • Now, a second thing poker taught me

  • is the importance of quantifying my thinking.

  • When you're playing, you can't just get away with going,

  • "Eh, they're probably bluffing."

  • That's just going to lose you a bunch of money,

  • because poker is a game of probabilities and precision,

  • and so you have to train yourself to think in numbers.

  • So now, whenever I catch myself

  • thinking vaguely about something really important, like,

  • "It's unlikely I'll forget what I want to say in my TED Talk,"

  • I now try to estimate it numerically.

  • (Laughter)

  • Trust me, it helps a lot with the planning process.

  • And the thing is, almost anything that could possibly happen here today,

  • or at any point in the future,

  • can also be expressed as a probability, too.

  • (Laughter)

  • So now I also try to speak in numbers as well.

  • So if someone asks me,

  • "Hey, Liv, do you think you're going to come along to that thing tonight?"

  • instead of just saying to them, "Yeah, probably,"

  • I actually give them my best estimate --

  • say, 60 percent.

  • Because -- I know that sounds a little odd --

  • but the thing is, I ran a poll on Twitter

  • of what people understand the word "probably" to mean,

  • and this was the spread of answers.

  • Enormous!

  • So apparently, it's absolutely useless

  • at actually conveying any real information.

  • So if you guys catch yourselves using these vague words,

  • like "probably" or "sometimes,"

  • try, instead, using numbers, because when we speak in numbers,

  • we know what lands in the other person's brain.

  • Now, the third thing I want to touch on today is intuition.

  • How often have you seen these kinds of inspirational memes

  • in your Facebook feed?

  • [Always trust your gut feeling and never second-guess.]

  • They're nice, right?

  • It's lovely. Yes. "Trust your soul."

  • Well, they're terrible advice.

  • These are some of the best poker players in the world right now.

  • Do they look like people who live purely off feelings and intuitions?

  • (Laughter)

  • Look at them!

  • Obviously, these guys are about slow, careful analysis,

  • and that's because the game has outgrown the days

  • where pure street smarts and people-reading

  • can get you to the top.

  • And that's because our intuitions aren't nearly as perfect

  • as we'd like to believe.

  • I mean, it'd be great, whenever we're in a tough spot,

  • to just have an answer appear to us from some magical source of inspiration.

  • But in reality, our gut is extremely vulnerable

  • to all kinds of wishful thinking and biases.

  • So then, what is our gut good for?

  • Well, all the studies I've read

  • conclude that it's best-suited for everyday things

  • that we have lots and lots of experience in,

  • like how we just know that our friend is mad at us

  • before we've even said anything to them,

  • or whether we can fit our car into a tight parking spot.

  • But when it comes to the really big stuff,

  • like what's our career path going to be

  • or who should we marry,

  • why should we assume that our intuitions

  • are better calibrated for these than slow, proper analysis?

  • I mean, they don't have any data to be based off.

  • So my third lesson is, while we shouldn't ignore our intuitions,

  • we shouldn't overprivilege them either.

  • And I'd like to summarize these three lessons today

  • with my own set of memes,

  • with more of a poker-player twist.

  • "Success is sweetest when you achieve it across a large sample size."

  • (Laughter)

  • "Your gut is your friend and so is a cost-benefit analysis."

  • (Laughter)

  • "The future is unknown, but you can damn well try and estimate it."

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

So I'm a professional poker player,

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 US TED poker gut laughter decision making estimate

【TED】Liv Boeree: 3 lessons on decision-making from a poker champion (3 lessons on decision-making from a poker champion | Liv Boeree)

  • 8423 480
    林宜悉 posted on 2018/10/22
Video vocabulary