Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quality and Poker

I am a Quality Professional.
I am also an avid Poker Player.
I've been asking myself several questions lately related to each...

1. What makes me a Quality Professional?
2. What constitutes a Professional Poker Player?
3. Are their similarities between my vocation and avocation?
4. How can I use my knowledge of Quality to continually improve my poker game?

Let's take them one at a time...

1. What makes me a Quality professional is:

  • I've achieved ASQ Certification as a Certified Manager of Quality / Organizational Excellence (CMQ/OE)
  • I've achieved ASQ Certification as a Certified Quality Engineer (CQE)
  • I've achieved ASQ Certification as a Certified Quality Auditor (CQA)
  • I've achieved ASQ Certification as a Certified Quality Improvement Associate (CQIA)
  • I've achived RABQSA Certification as a Provisional Auditor to ISO 9001
  • I've studied and applied the tools and concepts of the trade
  • I've guided several organizations to ISO 9000 registration (to each revision of the standard (1987, 1994, 2000, 2008)
  • I've implemented numerous business improvements resulting in bottom line and top line savings for countless organizations.
  • Need I go on?

Many of these accomplishments were individual (my certifications) however the most significant accomplishments (the organizational improvements) were with the people of those organizations. To me Quality is all about People and how they interact with Processes.

2. What constitutes a professional (of any kind) is one that makes money through plying the trade. In Poker it might be defined a bit differently. Most professional poker players state that they earn their entire income through playing the game. If you truly examine their lifestyles you'll see that they bet on more that the card game. They also earn money (or lose it) through 'Prop' bets, sports betting, etc. They can win or lose any day of the week, however, they pay their bills and expenses through these games they play. I say if you are making money playing poker then you are a Professional Poker Player. Yes, we all have winning days and losing days however if your net bankroll at the end of a defined period (one year for instance) is positive, then you are a Pro.

3. The similarities between my vocation and avocation are numerous:

  • Both are all about people and how they interact
  • In both I am looking for continual improvement opportunities
  • Statistics play a big part in determine acceptance vs. rejection
  • The Quality of the Product speaks for itself
  • I learn more about continual improvement from defects/losses than from acceptable product/wins
  • I am always the enemy
  • A positive attitude can help in keeping me moving forward

4. How can I use Quality tools and techniques to improve my poker game is a question that has been gnawing at me for some time. I've read dozens of books on the game, watched countless training videos available through my on line training business opportunty (visit to learn more - be sure to fill in the first time visitor form and look for the video on 'the product') and I've played hundress of thousands of hands both face-to-face and on line. This is not enough. I keep statistics on my wins/losses in order to track my success (or failure). This too is not enough. I need to find a means to apply my trade tools to my passion. Any suggestions?