PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree Impresses During Second Ted Talk

October 5th, 2018 | by Brian Corlisse

PokerStars pro Liv Boeree has given her second Ted Talk, using the six-minute speech to outline the three things poker has taught her about life.

PokerStars Liv Boeree Ted Talk

PokerStars pro Liv Boeree gives a Ted Talk about how thinking like a poker player can help you maker better life decisions. (Image:

Released on October 1, the presentation examines the interplay between skill and luck in various everyday situations. Using poker as the base, Boeree explains how our egos trick us into believing the everything successful we do is down to skill and anything negative is a result of luck.

Fall from Grace Forces Rational Mindset

In a candid moment, Boeree describes how her own experience winning a major poker tournament affected her own mindset. Recounting the months after she won the 2010 European Poker Tour (EPT) San Remo main event, the PokerStars ambassador admitted she overestimated her abilities.

For many poker players, the experience will be familiar either because of personal experience or through the stories of tournament winners like Jamie Gold who fell from grace. For those without any experience in poker, the story was a glimpse into the type of thought process a professional goes through.

After addressing some of the issues we have when it comes to evaluating how much luck and skill really impact our lives, Boeree offers a strategy. Picking up on the mathematical aspect of poker, the 2018 WCOOP finalist spoke about probability.

“Almost anything that could possibly happen here today, or at any point in the future, can also be expressed as a probability,” Boeree explained.

Use Probability Not Probably

She doubled down on this idea by showing the results of a Twitter poll she ran, asking her followers to assign a percentage of certainty to the word “probably.” From the distribution of results, she found that it can mean the people are anything from 10 percent to 100 percent likely to do something.

Based on the results and her experience in poker, she advised listeners to use numbers instead of vague phrases when dealing with any situation in life. In closing her speech, the REG Charity co-founder took a swipe at Instagram memes that offer mystical and inspirational quotes.

In essence, the talk is designed to encourage people to think rationally and logically about everyday situations, rather than feeling their way through something. Beyond the microcosm of the presentation, Boeree’s efforts are a way of dispelling the myth that poker is all about gambling.

By offering a clear, concise and measured overview of how modern poker players think, the PokerStars pro has moved the goalposts. Although the talk may not inspire anti-poker politicians to change their views, it’s certainly another step in the right direction.


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