Whether in leading a team or negotiating, risk plays a role in all our lives. The former professional poker player (and advisor on Casino Royale) shows how to distinguish between a calculated risk and a reckless gamble. He believes there’s a long way between the edge of our comfort zone and the acceptable limits of risk in almost any organisation. Offering practical insights into the science of decision-making, Caspar helps combat the fear of short term failure. Poker School: Even if one or two guests start off not recognising a flush or a full house, the former actor and Las Vegas poker pro will soon acquaint them with all the whys and wherefores you need to outwit your opponents at Texas Hold ‘Em. With each player given the same value of chips, Caspar and his London casino-trained croupiers make sure everyone has a chance to take the pot. Some become more risk-averse as the ante increases; others bluff their way to untold riches.
After starring in Byker Grove and studying Economics and Anthropology at Cambridge, Caspar began his adult career a screenwriter. Then at the age of 25 he made a life-changing decision and became a professional poker player in Las Vegas.
Caspar has long since retired from poker, but he retains many of the lessons learned and applies them directly to business. He identifies risk as the single most important though least understood factor in turning potentially innovative managers into dynamic leaders. As testament to this, Bill Gates claims to have discovered everything he knows about business from the poker he played at college.
After the the financial crisis (caused in large part by the failure to manage risk), Caspar argues that the priority is not to avoid risk altogether, but to better understand and calculate it. Whether you are leading a team, making savings, planning budgets or negotiating with suppliers and customers, risk plays a central role in your life; yet when challenged, few can define the difference between a calculated risk and a reckless gamble. He also reflects on the risk of telling the truth at work, as well as recognising the truth and how to create a more honest environment.
In his workshops Caspar uses game playing to provide practical insights into risk, uncertainty and the science of decision-making. Offering tools (not rules), he demonstrates the difference between a calculated risk and a gamble, how to balance short and long-term goals and how to make the most of opportunities. Participants discover that when given enough information and the ability to measure probability, risk-embracing behaviour pays substantial dividends.
Away from the serious side of risk, Caspar also hosts poker schools, taking even beginners through the steps of flushes and full houses and getting participants to play in a Texas Hold ‘Em competition.
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In his conference speech Caspar teaches you about probability and risk. After dinner he gives you a taste of the nerve tingling thrills of poker – complete with steely expressions, fingers tapping on chips and eyes darting around to detect a hint of weakness in others. It’s fabulous to see him generate so much excitement without anyone risking a bean of their own money! JLA Agent Tom Mclaughlin
Conference Speaker Caspar Berry on Risk
JLA Speakers Breakfast