Podcast: From High Stakes Poker To Assessing Behavior, Reading Tells, & Running a Business with Blake Eastman (EP003)

After watching Rounders when he was 17, Blake Eastman knew that poker was what he wanted to do with his life. More accurately, he wanted to live the story of Rounders, making enough money with poker to pay for law school. He did so well with poker, though, that he stuck with it instead. After a couple years of playing, he shifted from playing poker to coaching and creating a poker business.


Blake is an interesting guest since his transition out of playing poker hasn’t taken him out of the poker world. As he explains, now that he’s a business owner, he’s starting to embody the skills and lessons that he learned from playing poker. He’ll also dig into his challenges now as he transitions from a business focusing specifically on poker to a more general business.


Because Blake is a psychology expert, we’ll spend a good amount of time talking about various aspects of psychology in poker. This ranges from everything including the anxiety that people feel while playing poker to reading others’ body language to the tendency to obsess over their own leaks (and why that’s a problem). Don’t miss this episode to learn about everything from behavioral research to applying poker-based skills in a business outside the industry.


In This Episode:

[00:08] - Blake gives listeners a little bit of information about who he is, and his background in poker and inspiration for starting to play.

[02:17] - How did Blake decide to start teaching poker instead of focusing on playing?

[03:56] - We hear about something that Wayne sees a lot with his students, as well as what Blake tells people who ask what he does.

[05:52] - Blake talks about some of the biggest similarities and differences he found as he transitioned from a poker player to a poker business owner.

[07:53] - What are some of Blake’s biggest challenges as he transitions from a poker business to a general business? Does he feel impostor syndrome?

[11:23] - Blake shares three things that he would tell someone who is considering making a similar transition.

[13:18] - One of the big problems with poker players is that they obsess over their leaks, Blake points out.

[14:36] - What would Blake say to someone who thinks that after they make money on poker, one brilliant business idea will come to them?

[18:09] - Blake addresses Wayne’s question about what he should capitalize on while making a transition from poker.

[21:40] - We hear more about Wayne’s perception of body language and the unraveling that tends to happen.

[25:04] - What’s the science behind the anxiety that a lot of people tend to experience at the poker table?

[31:30] - You have to be paying attention from the beginning of the hand, Blake points out.

[33:10] - How do reading people and behavioral stuff in poker translate into coaching business executives?

[38:23] - We hear more about the three levels of behavioral stuff that Blake mentioned, and how someone can improve these levels.

[43:24] - Blake talks about how precise his behavioral research is.

[45:30] - What books would Blake recommend for someone who wants to learn more about nonverbal behavior?

[49:14] - How important does Blake think that tells are in the game of live poker?

[54:02] - Blake shares what he suggests that new poker players should focus on: the hands.

[58:13] - We learn about the orientation reflex, which means that we orient toward things we’re interested in.

[60:18] - What’s something that Blake believes in that other people might consider to be insane?

[62:35] - Where can guests learn more about Blake?


Links and Resources:

Blake Eastman on LinkedIn

Blake Eastman on Twitter

Blake Eastman on Instagram

School of Cards

School of Cards on Facebook

Beyond Tells


Nonverbal Communication: Science and Application by David Matsumoto, Mark G. Frank, and Hyi Sung Hwang

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