Science Communicator & Professional Poker Player
Liv Boeree is a science communicator and professional poker player. With over $4 million in tournament winnings and both European and World Championship poker titles under her belt, Liv was the #1 ranked female player from 2014-2016 and is one of the game's most recognizable faces. Her unique story is captivating: after graduating university at age 21 with a first-class degree in astrophysics (4.0 GPA), she started competing on TV gameshows as a way to pay off her student loans. One of those shows turned out to be a reality show that taught beginners how to play poker, and her natural talent for the game quickly lead her to become one of the UK's best. Today, Liv is a leading expert in rational decision-making, and her October 2018 TED talk on "3 lessons in decision-making from a poker player" is on course to being the fastest growing talk of the year. Read More >
TED: 3 Lessons on Decision-Making from a Poker Champion
TEDx: A Number Speaks a Thousand Words
This Poker-Playing AI Could Change the World
Like poker, life is also a game of decision-making under uncertainty. This topic examines the thinking techniques and tricks used by top poker players both on and off the table, including cognitive bias reduction, emotional control and performance enhancement and the role of intuition in decision-making. It also covers game theory and statistical analysis techniques such as Bayesian reasoning, "expected value" thinking and forecasting, all extremely useful tools for both our business and personal lives.
Artificial Intelligence is poised to be the most impactful technological breakthrough on the 21st Century, and games are a great way of measuring its progress. In just a few decades, algorithms have advanced from rudimentary Tic Tac Toe solvers of the 1950s to defeating world champions in notoriously complex games such as chess and Go. And just last year, even the world's best poker players were defeated by an AI - a feat long thought impossible. This topic explores what sets these algorithms apart from the human mind, and what their implications are for our future.
The philanthropic space is undergoing a scientific revolution. Previously, charity and the act of "doing good" was a fuzzy, unmeasurable concept that most people felt couldn't - or maybe even shouldn't - be evaluated or compared. But nowadays, improved data and evidence allows us to better measure the impact of our philanthropic actions. And given our limited resources, and the vast number of different ways we could spend them, shouldn't we ensure they achieve the maximum good? This talk discusses how, and why, we should prioritize between cause areas, and how we can use science to maximize the positive impact we want to achieve on the world.
As a female professional poker player, heavy metal enthusiast and a former physics student, I'm very used to being the only girl in the room. I discuss the pros and cons of being a female in a heavily male-dominated industry, and this topic is especially suited to female-only audiences (although it works well for mixed audiences too).
This talk is aimed for an audience who seek to improve their poker game. It covers all the core strategies as well as exploring the more psychological side of the game such as live tells, emotional control and bankroll management. It would be tailored closely depending on the audience's ability levels.