1. We gamblers

    We gamblers are a rather rare breed of people. We bear the genes and instincts that led the tribe down from the canopies while predators were skulking around. We hungered for better hunting grounds. Our noses were the ones to discover the shortcut to the stream and with calculated risk we confronted the dangers of the past world. We dare. Risk sets us aflame. We can smell the fear of our foes. Even women love us, knowing subconsciously that armed with our genes the offspring will face any flop that their tournament of life may bring. Our thirst for danger raises its head during puberty and is at its peak during the age of 15-26 – the time when reproduction is topmost in our minds. We take risks and we drag the world into the future with us – just like the gambler of gamblers, Elon Musk, who’s taking humanity to Mars and revolutionizing our energy production.

    As capitalism concentrates capital on individual minds, the principal philosophy affecting the world of skill games is emphasized even more at the High Stakes tables. The stakes of the game are growing; while natural resources diminish, consumption is growing and carbon dioxide is filling up the atmosphere. The physical size of the world, however, doesn’t increase.

    We have to be able to see further. Is there a bigger benefit than a bank statement swelling with zeroes, the net value of a company and a market share in the traditional system? Do you have to sometimes risk your well earned position, act as the judge of the metagame, exert your powers at the game table or change the boundaries of the entire game of skill?

    As I mentioned earlier: coming up with the rules is also a game of skill.

    If you combine a gambler’s fearlessness and the ability to take risks with an insightful outlook, a sense of responsibility and a scientific worldview – curiosity and understanding – you might witness the birth of something incredible.

    At the world’s biggest game tables, there are some minds that will create old, archaic beliefs and traditions anew. These are the people who will be remembered after a thousand years as the wayfinders of humanity, the ones who took us from the narrow beliefs that used to uphold the structures of our society.

    Elon Musk’s vision in several fields of science and technology that seek to advance the world, along with his personal boldness and, as a practical example, his decision to release Tesla patents to the competition all the while endangering his own company and self, showcase the most respectable philosophy and deeper understanding of games of skill.

    We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform.
    Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.


    Simultaneously, they have to convince the stock holders, their blind followers, that the strategical leap will only work to strengthen Tesla’s position and its value measured by the wealth of its investors – the most easily comprehended unit of measurement for the human mind.


    Being a visionary is far from easy. It’s hard to believe in anything that can’t be seen, let alone some complex new metagame that breaks all the norms, procedures and indisputable facts instilled in us since birth, a metagame consisting of innumerable linked, as of yet nonexistent pieces.

    The capitalist culture has a new, glorious leader – a gambler that leads with sustainable values. His policies will create a culture that allows humanity to prosper and creates hope for the future.

    The desire to do what the people we admire are doing is the glue that keeps our society together…
    Seth Godin

    Piilaaksoon iski maailmanparannuksen polte, Kauppalehti

    Throughout history, our societies have been built with the help of role models. Few are aware of the kind of influence the right leader can have on the future of the world.


    Should I have played my hands differently?

    Every tournament can hold several hands that all have an effect on the finals. The decision I made nine years ago and sticking to that decision are perhaps the most important factors defining my life. I’m endlessly grateful and happy over the choice I made, and I would never trade the worldview and understanding the past ten years or so have allowed me to forge.

    I’m secretly indebted to poker. I hate and love the imp still, even if the feelings have mellowed a lot.

    There was, naturally, many a moment over the years when I was without a goal and many a time when, having spent the past eight hours at the library, I counted how much the know-how of the day actually ended up costing. I often questioned the logic of my choice, back then.

    Paradoxically, had I played the most important hand of my life tournament differently, I might be thinking the very same thing, if with different arguments.

    As I noted before, the impulses given to the brain have a large effect on the brain’s development and worldview. In the end, maybe values are just collisions of molecules and strengthened synapses that – via amygdala and insula – we get to experience as various moods.

    Perhaps I could be doing well in a tournament, headed for the finals and hefty earnings. Perhaps I wouldn’t know to miss my current worldview and mission. I’d be enjoying different things in life.

    Perhaps I would be retired at the Galápagos Islands, playing Chinese poker with a couple of fishermen.

    The tournament of your life

    I wish, from the bottom of my heart, that all the readers have luck and success on their sides, whatever the path they’ve chosen. When you’re honest to yourself and your values, explore your feelings, physiology and psyche, put aside some time for your own thoughts and don’t forget to ask whether you’re happy or not often enough, you can’t go too wrong. One of the best piece of advice I can give is to look for an answer to the following question (start at the end): Where do you see yourself in 30 years?

    Perhaps you should ask yourself more of the right questions: why do I act the way I do? What are the core values of my life? Why do I feel this way? Sometimes you might also want to ask those close to you how they see you living your life. The right questions can lead you to the right answers. It’s good to take some time off the known path, now and then, and to have some time for yourself. Your brain will gain some distance from its usual chemical balance, which may even allow for some new synapses and amazing new mental worlds.

    I’m sure you remember the old best friend I mentioned, my poker partner and the juvenile adventures we had. As you might recall, he became a successful professional poker player. Now, some eleven years later, we’re still the best of friends. Sometimes, thinking back to the start of our poker careers over a glass of beer, the memories will bring a smile to our lips, even if we truly regret our actions back then.

    A little under two years of professional poker, he also decided he’d like to do something else with his life. He quit his successful poker career, bought an apartment with his earnings and will be graduating from medical school this year. He became an investor and a partner in my scientific entertainment company and we’re currently building our vision together. We’re attempting to have an impact via games and entertainment, using them to help people better understand the world and themselves.


    I still remember it like yesterday, that first post that I wrote nine years ago while lying on my bed and thinking about the future. While I was pouring out my heart on these forums, I felt that if my story inspired even one teen to think more about their life, I’d be happy with the impact.

    I still feel the same. If this text inspires new, positive thoughts in just one youth or senior or provides them with some happiness or satisfaction with their lives, I’ll feel like I’ve succeeded.

    Every life is like a long tournament. There might be some small or even big errors along the way. It’s best to learn from them and to focus on the next hand to be played.

    Life is awesome. Good luck with the tournament, everyone.

    P.S. If someone feels like challenging me with heads up over poker, science or life philosophy, I can be reached e.g. on Twitter: Olli Mikael Rundgren @playing4science

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Olli Mikael Rundgren

Olli Rundgren


  • Has always loved games.
  • Played 4 years in the Finnish Football League First Division.
  • Profits as a part time poker player; €400.000.
  • Co-founder & CEO at Psyon Games
  • Believes that nonscientific claims of the world leaders should be shot down: Trump Vs Science


  • Studied chemistry, physics, cell- and molecular biology and physiology in the University of Jyväskylä.
  • Wrote his Bachelor's Thesis about the medical treatment of gambling addiction.
  • Writing his Master's Thesis about How to make impact with games.
  • Studied for a science teacher in order to positively effect on youth thinking.
  • Loves philosophy and psychology.
  • Reads one non-fiction book in a week.


Mission is to combine two his passions; science and games in order to make a huge positive impact in the world.


  • Loves and hates politics.
  • Enjoys working under a pressure.
  • Believes that good triumphs over bad...