2 Million Hands of Poker: Chris Sparks on Consciousness, Games, A.I, Life (#58)

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There’s always another dimension to growth. The score, the dollars in our bank account, a lot of that takes care of itself if we can bring that presence to everything we do.


A Poker Pro and a Smash Bros Melee. Player Walk Into a Bar…

Today I’m joined by Chris Sparks (@SparksRemarks). Chris Sparks is a professional poker player with over 2 million hands of poker under his belt. He is also the founder of Forcing Function, a consulting company which teaches clients how to make better decisions. Together we discuss decision making, intuition, strategy, adaptation, eastern philosophy, determinism, consciousness and video games (of all things), artificial intelligence and art, and more.

Say hi to Chris on Twitter

Forcing Function


0:00 – Intro

1:30 – “Poker is an incomplete information game”

7:00 – Chris Sparks psychoanalyzes himself

10:00 – Predicting with incomplete information

12:00 – Consciousness and video games

15:00 – Poker and A.I

22:00 – Poker and Smash Bros. Melee

32:00 – Adaptation

35:00 – Does studying games atrophy intuition?

38:00 – Player archetypes

45:00 – Games imitate life

54:00 – Improvement

57:00 – Pressure

1:01:00 – Common mistakes of poker players

1:04:00 – Philosophy: Eastern and Western (and PPMD)

1:14:00 – Free will

1:17:00 – Man vs machine, creativity and the divine

1:27:00 – Robots, the future, WWIII

1:33:00 – Death, failure, inconvenient truths

1:36:00 – Skill > self-esteem

1:38:00 – Peter Senge and Robert Fritz

1:41:00 – What does Chris Sparks enjoy most about being alive?


Kevin Nanney (PPMD)



Peter Senge

Robert Fritz

Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Inner Game of Tennis

The Art of Learning

The Art of War

The Master and His Emissary

Tao Te Ching

John Boyd’s OODA Loop

Please enjoy!

Cheers to your good health,


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