Who Am I?
I train poker players to make better decisions, both at and away from the poker table. I am a poker researcher and coach specializing in Pot-Limit Omaha games. I continue to compete at a high level at the poker table, and use online poker games as a testing ground for my research into poker strategy.
This is my personal blog. It is focused on “How to make better decisions.” My mission is to empower individuals to determine their own destiny. To that end, I write on decision making in games of incomplete information, on metacognition and on quantified self-optimization. I regularly incorporate my own life experiences into my writing, as a way of sharing how ‘Metric-based living’ makes you happier and more effective.
My goal is to create original, engaging content that informs and inspires my readers. If you want to make better decisions, in poker or in life, then this blog is for you.
The majority of my work to date addresses Pot-Limit Omaha (PLO) poker theory. Poker is a game of incomplete information, with much greater complexity than perfect information games such as Chess or Go. The insights I have gained from my work analyzing poker help me address challenges in the (much) more complex game of life. I have learned not only how to build a strong decision-making framework, but also the importance of being aware of my own thought processes. The great advantage of playing poker is that one’s cognitive biases and a lack of emotional balance are punished in a direct manner. My latest work discusses thinking and deciding in a broader, practical context.
I am an active participant in the Quantified Self movement: I create routines to make my life more effective and then track the results. Many of the challenges for self-tracking have already been addressed by the poker community: data collection with live-updating databases, data visualization with Heads-up displays, ‘soft’ tracking of emotional states. I am excited about The Quantified Self because it is an inclusive movement that intrinsically acknowledges the value of the individual. As long as you have goals in your life, self-quantification has something to offer you. In the ensuing weeks I will share some of my experiments in soft ‘bio-hacking’.
Disclaimer: I only experiment with life routines, diet, exercise and legal supplements. Those looking for ‘edgier’ bio-hacking will need to explore elsewhere.
More about Phil
- Studying the History and Philosophy of Science at Oxford, where I first developed an interest in epistemology and empiricism, courtesy of Karl Popper.
- Conducting research into the work of the Bacterial Flagellar Motor at Oxford, where I was introduced to some of the workings of nanometre-scale living machines.
- Studying Engineering Entrepreneurship at Penn, a joint program with the Wharton school. My team and I explored the Vehicle-to-Grid business idea we incubated in this program over the Summer of 2010, including a brief flirtation with the U.S. Department of Energy.