Leadership Lessons from Poker and Blackjack

I have been playing poker seriously for the past eight years. I always considered it a part time job. As I age, it gets harder and harder to explain to people what I do.

I have a training company. I do employee and management development workshops. I co-created and market a suite of iPad and iPhone apps under the MyMeetingPro brand. I trade/invest in the stock market and trade options. I’m a landlord. I play poker when I get the chance. See what I mean, I can’t just say I’m a doctor or lawyer or veterinarian.

Leadership lessons from poker

Leadership lessons from poker

In poker, you are always looking to get your chips in the middle when you have the best hand or the mathematical odds are in your favor. In poker, as in business, you try to make good investments.

Perhaps you saw the movie 21. The movie is based upon a true story where an MIT team of card counters effectively beat Vegas out of a sizable chunk of change.

Click here here to read about the story in Wikipedia. The article claims that the team earned approximately $162.50 profits per hour played at the tables. How much of an edge can you really get against the house in blackjack?

According to one source

Most casinos will have a house edge of approximately 0.5% if you are playing perfect Blackjack strategy. With the use of card counting the player is able to swing that edge in their favor to about 1%, a change of 1.5%. This can depend on the skill of the card counter and other playing conditions, and often it can take hundreds of hours of play to achieve this level of profit.

Here is a movie clip from the movie 21.

Sexy….exciting….but that’s what sells tickets at the box office.

What if I were to show you much better odds where you could save lots of money that is literally getting wasted every day? Sound like a pitchman about to sell you some hype? What if I gave you some special glasses that allowed you to see this waste?

x ray glasses

Ad for X ray glasses

Do you remember this ad? The advertisements suggests that young teenage boys might be interested in this x ray vision in order to see the bones through the fingers. Yeah right! (Thought about making a joke about the word bone…..but decided against it.)

As you put on these new glasses, you begin to discover the hidden waste behind wasteful meetings. Click here to see my post about how the cost of wasteful meetings dwarfs any bailout.

In poker, a big part of the success of your game is table selection. I have chosen to play at the table of meeting effectiveness, because I think the odds are in my favor.

I’ll make you a deal. I’ll teach your company to run better meetings. I will arm your employees with technology that will help them practice the skills that I will teach them. We can either create a partnership where we will share in the cost savings or if you are afraid of measurement, you can just pay me my normal daily rate. If you believe that you didn’t have a Return on Investment higher than your companies normal profit margin, then don’t pay me. Deal?

If so, then shuffle up and deal.

Want to be a member of the MyMeetingPro card counting team?

  • Clint

    Great blog!  Just subscribed in google reader!

    • Thanks Clint Baker…you know I learned lots of good poker lessons from you!