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036 Charley Swayne: The Shark and the Fish

The book teaches business leaders how to apply the strategies of successful poker players to their decision-making processes.

Charley Swayne: The Shark and the Fish


The Shark and the Fish is a book that uses the game of poker as an analogy for business leadership. The author, Charley Swayne, draws on his experience as a poker player and a business leader to offer practical advice on how to make better decisions in the business world. The book is divided into chapters that cover various topics such as risk assessment, bluffing, game theory, and more. Each chapter includes real-life examples of successful poker players and how they applied their strategies to win big. Overall, the book offers a unique perspective on business leadership that is both engaging and informative.


Title: The Shark and the Fish: Applying Poker Strategies to Business Leadership

Author: Charley Swayne

Publishing year: 2012

Publisher: Morgan James Publishing

Length in hours: 6 hours and 37 minutes

5 main ideas

  1. Risk assessment: Successful poker players and business leaders understand the importance of assessing risk before making decisions.
  2. Bluffing: Knowing when to bluff and how to do it effectively can help business leaders achieve their goals.
  3. Game theory: Understanding game theory can help business leaders make better decisions in situations where there are multiple players with different interests.
  4. Emotional control: Keeping emotions in check is crucial for both successful poker players and business leaders.
  5. Continuous improvement: The most successful poker players and business leaders are always looking for ways to improve their skills and strategies.
Charley Swayne: The Shark and the Fish

5 funny quotes

  1. "Poker is a tough way to make an easy living."
  2. "In poker, you don't have to be a shark to beat the fish. Sometimes, you just need a little patience and a lot of luck."
  3. "In poker, as in life, it's important to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. But if you don't know how to play in the first place, you're screwed."
  4. "Poker is a game of skill...and luck. If you're not good at math, you can always try to pray for the right cards."
  5. "If you think poker is just a game of chance, you haven't played enough hands."

5 thought-provoking quotes​

  1. "In poker, and in life, we can never fully control the outcome. We can only control our actions and our responses."
  2. "The difference between a good player and a great player is not in the hands they play, but in how they play the hands they are dealt."
  3. "Poker is a microcosm of life, where the best decision isn't always the one that immediately pays off."
  4. "Poker is a game of incomplete information. The key to success is to make the most of the information you have."
  5. "The best way to win is to make your opponents think you're playing a different game than you actually are.

5 dilemmas

  1. Balancing risk and reward: How much should you bet when you're not sure if you have the best hand?
  2. Knowing when to fold: How do you recognize when you're beat and cut your losses?
  3. Bluffing: When is it appropriate to try to deceive your opponents and when is it better to play straightforwardly?
  4. Handling setbacks: How do you recover from a bad beat or a run of bad luck?
  5. Psychological warfare: How do you use body language and other cues to gain an advantage over your opponents?

5 examples

  1. Phil Ivey, one of the most successful poker players in the world, is known for his ability to read his opponents and make decisions based on limited information.
  2. Daniel Negreanu, another top player, is known for his ability to make accurate predictions about what his opponents are holding.
  3. Annie Duke, a former professional poker player, has used her skills to teach decision-making strategies to business leaders and professionals.
  4. Vanessa Selbst, a lawyer turned professional poker player, has won millions of dollars and multiple World Series of Poker bracelets with her aggressive playing style.
  5. Chris Moneymaker, a novice player who won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event, inspired a new generation of players to take up the game.

Referenced books

  1. Playing to win
  2. What they don't teach you at Harvard Business School
  3. The Private Equity Handbook

Share a quote

"Poker is a game of incomplete information. The key to success is to make the most of the information you have."

Charley Swayne: The Shark and the Fish
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