Chamath Palihapitiya: 'Poker is a Microcosm of My Own Life'

Published on Jul 2014 by Pokerlistings

Chamath Palihapitiya is one of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley and he's been a regular at poker games around the US for years. Palihapitiya has held top positions at companies like Facebook and AOL and has raised hundreds of millions of dollars in venture capital. Palihapitiya is competing right now at the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event and took a few minutes on a break to tell why he loves poker. Palihapitiya began his life poor and after fighting his way to the extreme opposite end of the financial spectrum he now realizes how similar life and poker really are. In life and poker success takes skill, but it also needs luck and fortuitous timing. Listen to a brilliant mind compare life and poker and keep watching for the latest news and video from the 2014 World Series of Poker.

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Randy “nanonoko” Lew's Top 5 Tips for Multi-Tabling Online Poker 03:56

Randy “nanonoko” Lew's Top 5 Tips for Multi-Tabling Online Poker

Randy Lew regularly plays 24 tables of online poker simultaneously under the screen-name nanonoko on PokerStars and today he's here to teach you the top five things you need to know to successfully multi-table. Video Transcript: #5 – Tiling Tables is Better than Stacking Tiling is better because you can follow all the action. When you're stack the tables you really can't follow on a street by street basis. Like when you get an action while stacking a table just pops up and you're already on the river. Whereas when you're tiling you can follow the action preflop, flop and post-flop and it's much easier to make a good decision. #4 – Use Hot Keys Hotkeys are useful in poker because it allows you to make decisions really quickly. If you're playing a lot of tables you don't really have time to kind of click the very specific spot where the fold button is. With hotkeys you can hover over the whole table area and click the fold button. The most important hotkeys to have are the default actions. #3 – Minimize Distractions There are times I'm playing and I'm really in zone and I can really feel the flow of the action and play really well. Then all of a sudden my phone lights up and I'm wondering who messaged me or what's going on. It's important not to have any distractions so you can just focus on playing poker. #2 – Use a Heads-Up Display (HUD) I think it's really important to have a HUD when you're multi-tabling because you need to make decisions really quickly and you need to know who the tight and loose players are. If you're not paying attention you won't know this but a HUD can tell you really quickly. #1 – Add Tables Slowly Add tables slowly because if you try to do it overnight you're going to get flustered because you're probably not going to be winning as well. It might be demoralizing if now you're a break-even player or even losing but you're able to play a lot of tables.

Stop Making Huge Bluffs - How Not to Suck at Poker Episode 7 03:35

Stop Making Huge Bluffs - How Not to Suck at Poker Episode 7

In the latest episode of our beginner poker strategy video series How Not to Suck at Poker we show you why most of those huge bluffs you're attempting are costing you tons of money. Despite what a lot of people think, being good at poker isn't about pulling off huge bluffs every other hand. The way to win is by making less mistakes than your opponents, and a lot of the time when beginners are making big bluffs, it's a mistake. There are plenty of opportunities for betting and raising without a hand but most of these spots are about taking advantage of your position, or a big draw, opposed to putting lots of chips at risk with a huge stone-cold bluff. The important thing to remember is that it's better to make lots of simple bluffs that are likely to succeed, than to make one huge bluff for your whole stack where you're basically just praying for a fold. Quick bluffs refer to things like continuation bets and three-betting loose, late-position raisers. They're designed to take advantage of your position and what you know about your opponents, but they're not designed to lead to huge pots or all-ins. These are simple plays that stand a high chance of success. When you're betting and raising with a big draw that hasn't hit yet it's called a semi-bluff. Semi-bluffing is really important because it adds a lot of value to your draws by giving you two ways of winning the pot. Either your opponent folds to your semi-bluff and you win the pot uncontested, or you hit your hand and win a big pot at showdown. Stone-cold bluffs, or naked bluffs, are when you have no clear positional advantage and no hand value whatsoever. People seem to think that stone-cold bluffs are what poker's all about but the truth is, you'd be better off ignoring them completely. Until you're at a level where you can put your opponents on an exact hand and understand how to make them fold, you should focus on playing solid poker and not spewing chips by trying to get fancy.

Have a Poker Bankroll - How Not to Suck at Poker Episode 6 03:16

Have a Poker Bankroll - How Not to Suck at Poker Episode 6

Not sucking at poker is one of the most important things you have to do if you want to have fun playing poker. In the 6th installment of our landmark poker strategy video series How Not to Suck at Poker we explain one very crucial way you need to not suck, by having a poker bankroll and following proper bankroll management. Most people are extremely attached to money. They work most of their life to have enough of it and losing it can be pretty scary. That's why to be an effective poker player you must have a poker bankroll that's separate from the rest of your regular money. Even the best poker players in the world have losing weeks or even months. The best way to deal with that psychologically is to trust in your ability to win in the long run, and to structure your bankroll and the stakes you play so that you can make it through long stretches of bad luck without going broke. When you have a big enough bankroll you won't be stressed out about a couple losing sessions, and you won't be afraid to pull the trigger on a big bluff, or make a big call when the time is right. The most common guidelines say that in a cash-game you should never put more than 5% of your bankroll in play at a time. That means if you're playing $1/$2 No-Limit at your local casino and you buy in for two hundred dollars, your bankroll should be at least two grand. If you're multi-tabling online you should have even more. For tournaments you should have a bankroll of at least 100 buy-ins. So if you're playing the nightly $10 MTT at your favorite online poker room, you should have at least $1,000 in your account. That probably sounds way too high for recreational players but that just goes to show how much variance there is in tournament poker. These numbers are also designed to make sure you never bust your bankroll. If you're an amateur player who has no problem re-depositing if you go broke, it's definitely okay to take bigger risks with your bankroll.

BlackRain79's Top 5 Beginner Mistakes in Micro-Stakes Online Poker 04:04

BlackRain79's Top 5 Beginner Mistakes in Micro-Stakes Online Poker

Nathan “Blackrain79” Williams has played millions of hands of low-stakes online poker and he's here to explain the five most common mistakes he sees beginners making at the micro-stakes. Williams is the author of two very popular poker strategy books but you can get the benefit of his experience right here for free. From stacking off with overpairs against passive players to making poor pre-flop decisions before the flop that come back to haunt you, Williams goes through the most common beginner blunders and how to avoid them. If you play low-stakes online cash games chances are these mistakes are costing you money. Listen to Williams and learn how to plug these leaks and start winning more from your online poker sessions. For more information go to Nathan Williams' website and check out his books Crushing the Micro Stakes and Modern Small Stakes Poker.

Nathan Williams Explains How He Got First Poker Bankroll for Free 04:12

Nathan Williams Explains How He Got First Poker Bankroll for Free

Nathan "BlackRain79" Williams has been playing poker for almost a decade and now lives in Thailand supporting himself by playing low-stakes online poker professionally. Williams grew up near Vancouver, Canada, and in this interview explains how he got his start playing poker, and how he grinded up his first online poker bankroll by playing play-money poker on PokerStars. Williams is the author of two poker strategy books and is considered one of the foremost experts in the world on low-stakes online poker. Williams' teachings are very useful for beginner players since they focus on strong fundamentals and what kinds of practical strategies you need to know to win at the micro-stakes cash games on the internet. Check out the interview and head to to buy his books and take your game to the next level.

2014 Battle of Malta Features Parties, Pros and €500k in Prizes 02:01

2014 Battle of Malta Features Parties, Pros and €500k in Prizes

We spoke to poker pros Maria Ho, Kara Scott, Andreas Hoivold, Sofia Lovgren and Gaelle Baumann about what makes the PokerListings Battle of Malta so special. With a €500,000 guaranteed Main Event, new celebrity host and a packed schedule of side events and parties, the Battle of Malta will have tons to offer both on and off the felt. This November the Battle of Malta will set the record for the biggest poker tournament every held in Malta and poker pros from all over the world will be competing. Listen to five hugely successful poker pros explain why you should consider adding the Battle of Malta to your poker vacation schedule. Whether you qualify online or buy in directly for the affordable price of €550, you'll have the chance to play in one of the best-value poker events on the planets. Playing out November 6-9 at the beautiful Portomaso Casino, the 2014 Battle of Malta will be held in a new, bigger tournament room and will feature a brand-new High Roller Event. Go to for more information and to find out how to qualify!

Annette Obrestad's Best Poker Moment: The No-Look Tournament Win 02:06
Annette Obrestad

Annette Obrestad's Best Poker Moment: The No-Look Tournament Win

In 2007 Annette Obrestad won a 180-person online poker tournament without looking at her cards a single time. Obrestad, then just 18 years old, covered the portion of her computer screen that showed her hole cards with a piece of paper and proceeded to crush her way to victory playing aggressive, position-based poker. Obrestad has since won the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event for £1 million but says more people know her from winning a $4 online tournament blind than being a WSOP champion. In the latest episode of's new series “Best Poker Moments”, Obrestad reflects on what it was like winning that tournament blind and the reaction she got from poker players and fans. In addition to being an amazing feat, her accomplishment also stands as compelling evidence for poker being a predominantly skill-based game. Listen to Annette Obrestad talk about her best poker moment and keep your eye out for new episodes coming to soon.

Brad Booth's Best Poker Moment: Bluffing Phil Ivey with 4-High 05:09
Best Moments

Brad Booth's Best Poker Moment: Bluffing Phil Ivey with 4-High

In the third season of GSN's High Stakes Poker, Canadian high-stakes phenom “Yukon” Brad Booth pulled off one of the most iconic bluffs in televised poker history against poker legend Phil Ivey. Now, almost six years later, Booth tells us what it was like bluffing hundreds of thousands of dollars against the best poker player in the world. In the first installment of's new poker video series Best Poker Moments, Brad Booth tells the story of traveling to Las Vegas, picking up $1 million in cash and how Phil Ivey reacted when Booth told him what he had after the hand was over and the TV cameras were turned off. Check out the story behind one of the greatest poker hands in history directly from the person who played it and keep an eye out for more Best Poker Moments short documentaries on

Will Tonking Makes 2014 WSOP Main Event November Nine 03:24
November Nine

Will Tonking Makes 2014 WSOP Main Event November Nine

Will Tonking is a professional poker player but he's never had an opportunity like this before. Tonking has made the biggest final table in poker, the WSOP Main Event November Nine, and has a chance at the $10 million first-place prize and the title of world champion of poker when he returns to Las Vegas in a few months. Tonking is from New Jersey and before this event had just $93,000 in live tournament earnings. He's already guaranteed more than $730,000 for making this table and has a chance at much more. Check out this November Nine video interview to get to know Tonking better and keep watching this November to find out who will become the next world champion of poker.

Felix Stephensen is First WSOP November Niner from Norway 03:27
WSOP 2014

Felix Stephensen is First WSOP November Niner from Norway

Felix Stephensen is a 23-year-old poker pro from Oslo, Norway, who now lives in London playing online Pot-Limit Omaha. Stephensen admits that he has very little experience playing Texas Hold'em or live poker tournaments but that didn't stop him from making it to the final table of the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event. Stephensen is guaranteed at least $730k for making the 2014 November Nine but has a chance at the $10 million first-place prize and the title of world champion. Stephensen enters the final table second in chips and with nearly three months to study up on his opponents and Hold'em strategy he's got a great shot at becoming the first-ever Norwegian poker world champion. Check out the full video interview with 2014 WSOP November Niner Felix Stephensen and check back in November to see if Stephensen will come out on top.