Liv Boeree, Poker and Life — Core Strategies, Turning $500 into $1.7M, Cage Dancing, Game Theory, and Metaphysical Curiosities (#611)

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“Poker is about maximizing deceptiveness while extracting information out of your opponent.”

— Liv Boeree

Liv Boeree (@Liv_Boeree) is one of the UK’s most successful poker players, winning both European Poker Tour and World Series of Poker championship titles during her professional career. Before poker she studied astrophysics and now focuses her time as a TV host and YouTuber specializing in game theory, futurism, and rationality. She also gives seminars on high-stakes decision-making, and recently spoke at the annual TED conference about the application of poker thinking to everyday life. In 2014, she co-founded Raising for Effective Giving (REG), a nonprofit based upon the philosophies of effective altruism that has raised over $14,000,000 for its carefully selected list of maximally cost-effective charities.

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Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Podcast Addict, Pocket Casts, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Musicor on your favorite podcast platform. You can watch the interview on YouTube here.

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The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#611: Liv Boeree, Poker and Life — Core Strategies, Turning $500 into $1.7M, Cage Dancing, Game Theory, and Metaphysical Curiosities

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Want to hear another episode that ponders the nature of reality? Have a listen to my conversation with Professor Donald Hoffman here, in which we discuss the science of consciousness, how perception may influence the physical world, the holographic model of the universe, panpsychism (and influential panpsychists), cosmological polytope, the use of hallucinogenic drugs to tap into deeper reality and interact with conscious agents, QBism, the probability of zero that humans evolved to see reality in full, and much more wild stuff.

#585: Professor Donald Hoffman — The Case Against Reality, Beyond Spacetime, Rethinking Death, Panpsychism, QBism, and More

What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.



  • Connect with Liv Boeree:

Website | Newsletter | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube


  • [06:41] Youthful obsessions.
  • [11:14] How poker entered the picture.
  • [18:55] The qualities that made Liv excel at poker from the start.
  • [27:22] Liv’s advice to a newcomer wanting to learn poker.
  • [34:04] What Liv’s eight-week poker education curriculum might look like.
  • [42:11] Failure points that might discourage someone during this curriculum.
  • [44:07] Red mist, white noise, and fast math.
  • [50:18] Volcano-induced tournament participation and self-regulation.
  • [59:07] A skeptic’s experiences with the unexplainable.
  • [1:14:59] How does Liv rationally coexist with these experiences?
  • [1:18:49] How to become a better skeptic.
  • [1:24:59] Inadequate Equilibria and Moloch.
  • [1:29:49] Parting thoughts.


“The beautiful thing about poker, in fact, is that if you’re talking about one night, you can have the literal best player in the world, a medium player, complete beginners, and provided everyone knows the basic rules, then technically, anyone can win. It’s only over the long run does anything actually meaningful start happening.”
— Liv Boeree

“I still absolutely recommend that people go and learn the game because it is probably the best way to— it’s the best mini analog for the type of complex decision-making that you need to do in life that you can do.”
— Liv Boeree

“[Poker is] about maximizing deceptiveness while extracting information out of your opponent.”
— Liv Boeree

“A true scientist is maximally curious, and you do your best to devise experiments in order to get reliable, robust results that you can use to predict the world, and you try and minimize all the biases and things that could mess up your experiment and give you a faulty result.”
— Liv Boeree

“Extraordinary beliefs require extraordinary evidence. In order for me to give up everything that I know about our current understanding of the world, I would need significantly more data points.”
— Liv Boeree


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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5 Replies to “Liv Boeree, Poker and Life — Core Strategies, Turning $500 into $1.7M, Cage Dancing, Game Theory, and Metaphysical Curiosities (#611)”

  1. I am trying to reach Liv Boeree after failing to reach her through the form on her site.

    I’ve had an interesting life. I quit working in 2001 because the poker bot that I wrote in my spare time with my AI background was making too much money (and was too fun). Started playing poker full time in 2006 when the US shut down online poker. Up seven figures in cash games lifetime.

    I heard you on the Tim Ferriss podcast, and I believe I think like you do. I don’t want any money or publicity at all. I had a metaphysical experience like yours, and now believe I may (1% likely?) be able to control my fate by directing my consciousness through the multitude of universes predicted by the Everett many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics. I wish to speak to you because I believe I may be able to learn from or teach you (or find a mundane explanation).

  2. Hello, I’m Roberto Weitz. I was born and live in Mexico City. I follow Tim on subjects that seem interesting to me. I would like to know if there’s a way you can guide me to contact the person that got rid of your tinnitus or Mernier symptoms. I actually for many years have dealt with it and my hearing loss is like 50%. I know hearing loss is not measured by percentages but just wanted you to understand how severe my problem is.
    Well thanks, and Tim great job on your podcast!!