One of the most recognizable faces in professional poker, Liv Boeree empowers audiences to combine lessons from science, mathematics, game theory, algorithms and more to make better, more rational decisions in an uncertain world. A self-confessed “science nerd” with a degree in astrophysics, Liv utilized her math and science background to become the #1 ranked female player from 2014-2016. She holds both European and World Championship poker titles and has won more than $4 million on the international circuit. Liv shared her fascination with applying scientific thinking to everyday life in a breakthrough mainstage TED Talk that has received more than two million views. Wielding such maxims as “your gut is your friend and so is a cost-benefit analysis” and “the future is unknown, but you can damn well try and estimate it,” she received a rousing standing ovation. Liv also speaks on subjects ranging from effective altruism/philanthropy to artificial intelligence and games, being a woman in a man’s world, and space exploration and futurism. True to her championship fame, she also teaches the ultimate poker master class.
Liv’s unique story is captivating: After graduating university with a first-class degree in astrophysics (4.0 GPA), she started competing on TV game shows as a way to pay off her student loans. This included a reality show that taught beginners how to play poker. Her natural talent for the game quickly led her to become both a poker champion and a champion of philanthropy amongst players. Liv went on to become a science communicator, appearing on a number of programs on the BBC, as well as NBC, the Travel Channel and Discovery Channel. She has written articles for Vox and The Independent and blogs on an eclectic range of science-related topics. Now retired from professional poker, Liv is a co-founder of Raising for Effective Giving (REG), a nonprofit organization that has raised more than seven million dollars for nonprofits and charities that have a maximum impact on improving the world. REG advances the mission of the effective altruism movement, which uses evidence and reason to identify and mitigate the world’s most pressing problems. Liv speaks to both individuals and organizations on improving the effectiveness of their philanthropy. An in-demand speaker, she has spoken at both Oxford and Cambridge, the Cheltenham Science Festival, WebSummit Dublin and Effective Altruism Global, among others.
Combining a television presenter’s charisma, the knowledge of a science geek and invaluable insights on decision-making gained at high-stakes poker tournaments, Liv captivates audiences with her extensive scientific knowledge and unforgettable stories. Audiences leave with invigorated mindsets, fresh approaches and new strategies for success in their work and everyday life.
Poker Thinking Applied to Business & Life
Like poker, life is also a game of decision-making under uncertainty. Liv Boeree examines the thinking techniques and tricks used by top poker players both on and off the table, including cognitive bias reduction, emotional control, performance enhancement and the role of intuition in decision-making. She 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 & Games
Artificial Intelligence is poised to be the most impactful technological breakthrough of 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. Recently, the world’s best poker players were defeated by an AI—a feat long thought impossible. Liv 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. Given our limited resources, and the vast number of different ways we could spend them, shouldn’t we ensure they achieve the maximum good? Liv Boeree 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.
A Woman in a Man’s World
As a female professional poker player, heavy metal enthusiast and a former physics student, Liv Boeree is very accustomed to being the only girl in the room. Liv discusses the pros and cons of being a female in a heavily male-dominated industry. This talk is especially suited to female-only audiences (although it works well for mixed audiences, too).
Liv Boeree’s Ultimate Poker Master Class
Created for audiences looking to improve their poker game, Liv Boeree covers all the core strategies. She also explores the more psychological side of the game such as live tells, emotional control and bankroll management. This master class from one of the most famous women in professional poker can be tailored to all ability levels.