Chris Sparks on The Art of Poker: Meta Skills for Learning Anything

Chris Sparks on The Art of Poker: Meta Skills for Learning Anything

Chris is one of the 20 best poker players in the world. He’s the CEO and founder of Forcing Function, a consultancy and coaching business for high performers. Chris’ approach to mastering the art and the meta-skills required for poker is incredibly deliberate and rigorous and he has taken those lessons and applies them in his business.

In our conversation, we go through how Chris intentionally built his skills to become one of the best poker players in the world. We talk about the importance of paying attention and staying present.

We discover how to increase the power of the feedback loop – taking on the feedback you’re getting from the actions you put out into the world, being assertive in your decision making based on that feedback, and then taking action.

Please enjoy!



Full Episode

Guest Links

Show Notes

  • Chris’ systematic approach. (2:24-4:19)
  • What got Chris into poker? (4:20-11:39)
  • Moments of conscious and unconscious incompetence. (11:40-14:36)
  • What makes a good poker player. (14:37-18:18)
  • Introducing the concept of a range. (18:28-22:04)
  • Game theory optimization. (22:05-28:41)
  • What does it take to be in your prime for poker. (28:42-31:35)
  • How to stay competitive. (31:36-34:00)
  • The blue oceans theory applied to business. (34:06-38:29)
  • Learning by coaching others. (38:30-43:45)
  • What coaching sessions look like that are more about decision making within the hand instead of the outcome. (43:46-49:32)
  • How Chris uses the beginner’s mind to play the devil’s advocate role. (49:35-51:44)
  • How to generate the willpower to follow a process and dedicate yourself to learning. (52:08-55:27)
  • It is possible to make something feel like play in an instant? Like turning on a switch. (55:28-56:40)
  • Gaging our curiosity. Chris Sparks: “The only thing that is limiting is our ability to go deep” (56:41-57:33)
  • The power of the ‘why’ questions. (57:34-59:47)
  • Why do we struggle so much with slowing down to be able to speed up? (59:48-1:02:38)
  • The criticality of feedback. (1:02:40-1:04:26)
  • Lessons learned. (1:04:34-1:06:17)
  • The OODA loop. (1:06:20-1:08:35)
  • O – Observe. (1:08:35-1:09:49)
  • O – Orienting. (1:09:50-1:11:34)
  • DA – Decide and Act. (1:11:35-1:13:44)
  • Chris: “Learning how to learn is the meta-skill”. We can accomplish anything that we want. (1:14:35-1:16:05)

Selected Links from the Episode

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