Are You Willing to Gamble on Yourself?

Liv Boeree

Known as the Garden of England, Kent is a county known for its gentle hills and sea lined borders. It touches Greater London to the North as it is located in the South East of England. It is famous for the White Cliffs of Dover, Canterbury and Leeds Castle to name but a few points of interest.

It is where Olivia grew up – climbing trees, playing with her dog, racing birds – basically enjoying life in the country. Perhaps her greatest love was riding and competing in horse shows, an interest she inherited from her Mother. She participated in every sport while in school, but her primary focus was on learning. She was especially drawn to science, math and geography and it was those subjects which she chose to study at “A-Level” – think honors classes, courses which universities use to measure a student’s potential.

Having earned A’s in every one of those courses led to her being accepted at the University of Manchester. There, the tree-climbing, horse riding girl studied Physics – and Astrophysics. The girl was brilliant and driven. There was yet another side to Liv (as she had come to be known) – she discovered she loved metal. Music – not the elements. While continuing to perform at a high academic level, she also played electric guitar in a garage band known as Dissonance.

Graduating with a First Class degree (again, think honors level), Liv decided to take a gap year before entering the prestigious University College of London, one of the top schools in the world. A gap year is common in the UK. It is a year that students take to grow, mature, learn and experience life. Many take a year off, some work, while still others hike across South America. Liv worked a bit and modeled a little before deciding that her best path was to audition for game shows. Seriously.

After advancing through the entire casting process for a show, the concept of which was kept secret, she was selected to be one of five contestants. The show? Teaching five complete novices how to play and compete in the game of poker. Her math skills and her solid thinking prepared her well and her performance reflected that. Drawing pocket aces, the best start to a hand, she was certain she was on her way to winning the show. It was then that she discovered the difference between certainty and probability.

Losing, she was devastated. One of the professional poker players acting as a coach on the show was the world ranked poker star, Annie Duke. Duke consoled Liv and helped her to understand the concept of ’emotional control’. Liv was hooked on poker. In the face of a concerned mom and stepdad and a disappointed father, she chose to pursue professional poker rather than continue the path of a rocket scientist. She also wouldn’t become a rock star, but she could live the rock star life in the world of poker.

She became a hostess on a British poker television show. That introduced her more readily to the world of poker and many of its best players. As she played more and more, her skills improved. Her first significant win earned her $30,000. In April of 2010, she won the largest ever European Poker Tour event in San Remo. That pot was $1,700,000. To date, she has earned well over $3,000,000 playing poker and is one of the top players in the world. In so doing, she has met her love and soulmate (another poker player) while also meeting every one of her Metal music heroes. She has also started Raising For Effective Giving (REG), a movement to raise money within the poker industry which will support specific charities.

Accomplishing all of this, living such a full live – all by the age of 31, is the result of Liv Boeree gambling on herself and becoming a fearless brand.

Fearless Brands gamble on themselves

Liv “the Iron Maiden” Boeree is certainly a fearless brand. She has a broad range of talents, gifts and skills – smart, logical, fun-loving, courageous, caring and bold. She found her passion in many endeavors – horse riding, math and sciences, music and modeling. She’s found her purpose in Effective Altruism.

Poker requires one to be logical, to assess the odds, to read one’s opponents and to make the best decision possible based on a combination of intellect and ‘gut feel’. Liv realizes that the very best poker players lose, at a minimum, 95% of the time. That’s an awful lot of losing. One of the keys to success, learned early on from her mentor Annie Duke, is the art of detachment. The concept is simple – don’t get hung up on the thought of losing. Rather, evaluate your performance – take whatever lessons there are to be learned – move on.

She brings that same philosophy to her charitable efforts. Effective Altruism is simply the process of evaluating all charity options, determining which ones provide the greatest good based on performance and put your money there. This removes the emotional aspect of giving and, as in poker, focuses on the greatest percentage of winning.

There’s so much to learn from Liv Boeree – this 31 year old fearless brand.

Gamble on yourself – Liv Boeree isn’t a gambler because she is a poker player – she plays poker because she’s a gambler. She’s gambled on herself her entire life. She gambled by placing her scholastic endeavors in STEM courses (science, technology, engineering, math). Result? A First Class degree from Manchester. She gambled her gap year on pursuing a game show. Result? A career which incorporates her every interest. To become a fearless brand – you must gamble on yourself. Assess the odds, factor in the intangibles then make your play.

Diverse interests rock – Astrophysics, horse riding, gambling, heavy metal music and philanthropy may seem disparate. However, for Liv, embracing all of her interests make her the complete person that she is. It’s not mandatory to drop an interest or two in order to pursue your main profession. Quite the contrary, your diverse interests compile to make you who you are. Embrace your interests, your skills, your talents. Together, they make you a more complete and stronger person

Give with purpose – Liv’s belief in Effective Altruism reflects a very logical and reasoned approach to giving. There are independent groups which evaluate charities eliminating all emotion. Those charities are targeted by Liv’s REG program. Regardless of your method, be a giver. Give value – always. Give time and money to others in need – to others who are in position to extend help. Define the purpose which best suits your beliefs – just give.

Will you become a world-class poker player? The chances are very slim if you’re at a table with Liv Boeree. Will you become a fearless brand? The chances are excellent if you learn from Liv. Embrace your passions. Discover your purpose. Engage and improve your talents. Give. You’ll realize results which fulfill your very soul.


Friday's Fearless Brand Personal Branding

Coach, International Speaker and Thought Partner - Bill’s mission is to add value to the world – one brand at a time. Bill guides individuals and companies alike in building what he refers to as a ‘fearless brand’. This is the process of discovering, embracing and delivering their greatest value – which allows them to realize greater profit. Read More

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