I went to Vegas last week for a week, mainly for the poker tells seminar I was doing, but also to play some poker and do some promotional stuff for the book. (If you haven’t heard about the poker tells presentation I’m doing, here’s a PokerNews article talking about it: http://learn.pokernews.com/news/2014/06/poker-tells-seminar-at-wsop-makes-use-of-unique-behavioral-d-4355.htm.)
The seminar went very well. I was a little nervous because I’m not used to public speaking. Actually, I’ve had a long-time fear of public speaking and have suffered from pretty bad bouts of anxiety since high school. But some lorazepam (an anti-anxiety drug) definitely helped take the edge off. Plus I’d done about 6 practice run-throughs of the seminar so I felt well-prepared and comfortable with the material. I thought it would be really hard for me to go off-script but it actually went a lot easier than I thought it would and I was able to answer people’s questions easily throughout.
The attendees really seemed to like the material and be enthusiastic about it. (I’ll post some testimonials later.) The video footage was a big hit, I thought. It’s definitely easy to keep an audience engaged when you’ve got interesting poker footage to grab their attention. Plus it’s definitely just the best way to teach about poker tells: much better than books. Jonathan Little (the pro poker player and the first presenter in our seminar) said he found it really educational; it’s always nice to get positive feedback from skilled players. Going through the seminar, it was helpful to see what people found the most interesting and to see what questions they had.
I got interviewed by Sarah Grant, of PokerNews, about my new book Verbal Poker Tells and about the seminar. Here’s that clip (disregard the awkward microphone grab):
I also was interviewed by Mark Hoke’s poker radio show at his WSOP hallway set-up. He asked some great questions. It was fun talking about the book because I’ve had very few chances to talk in detail about my work on it. Here’s that interview—my part is at 1 hr 16 min:
I also did a pretty lengthy interview with Bart Hanson, who started the Crush Live Poker live poker training site. Bart asked some really insightful, in-depth questions and I really enjoyed the talk. Almost forgot I was being recorded. Here’s that interview.
Also interesting, I did an hour-long hypnotherapy session with Elliot Roe (the third presenter in our seminars.) Elliot is a Las Vegas hypnotherapist who works with a lot of poker players and athletes. That was an interesting experience that I’ll write another blog post about later.
Another cool situation: I randomly ran into Jennifer Tilly one evening in the halls of the WSOP. She was super-charming and she posed for several photos with me and my book. I signed the book to her and Phil Laak, and told her not to take it personally that some of her talking was featured in the book. She pointed out that she talks during hands on TV just for the entertainment value and that she doesn’t usually talk when she plays seriously. I told her that I understood that television doesn’t show players at their most serious and also that I included lots of skilled players in the book so it’s not an insult at all to be included. She also was kind enough to tweet one of the pictures (here’s the tweet), which got me quite a few new Twitter followers. Here’s one of the photos: