After 5 Session

AF03 - One Minute Problem Solving Links Quality and Poker

Monday, April 30
5:30 PM - 6:45 PM
Location: WSCC Ballroom 6A

Introduction:
Basic quality tools and techniques can be used for achieving 'fame and fortune' in the world of high stakes poker. This After 5 session is designed to guide the participants through simple problem solving to make informed decisions using the game of Texas Hold Em Poker as the performance arena. During the presentation we will analyze several poker hands using some basic problem solving tools such as Tree Diagrams and The 5 Whys.

How Texas Hold 'Em is played:
Poker is sometimes compared to chess as a game of strategy, however there is a significant difference between the 2 games. In chess all the information is readily available to both players at all times (there are no hidden pieces). In poker, on the other hand, the only information a player has for making informed decisions is (1) the hole cards, (2) the community cards, (3) an ability to read the other players and (4) any prior experiences with the other players. Simply put: "Poker is a game of people played with cards and we use chips to keep score". A significant aspect of the skill associated with Poker is the ability to control or skew the pot through strategic betting decisions (i.e.: betting cautiously with a superior hand to lure opponents into betting and springing a trap with an aggressive bet on the River).


Texas Hold Em, sometimes referred to as the Cadillac of Poker, is the most commonly played poker game in the world today. Each player at a table receives 2 cards face down, known as hole cards. In each hand there are 2 forced wagers known as the small blind and big blind. These are paid by the 2 players to the immediate left of the player with the Dealer button, known as the Button. After each player receives 2 cards there is a round of betting in which each player, in turn chooses to place a wager or fold his cards (release the cards back to the dealer). In the No-Limit version (most often seen on TV), the wager may be equal to the big blind or any value from 2 times the big blind up to the maximum number of chips the player has on the table. Each successive player can fold their cards, call (match) the bet or raise the bet until all wagering is completed. Next the dealer presents 3 cards face-up on the table known as the Flop. These 3 cards are community cards which are used by all players still in the hand. After the flop, there is another round of betting in which the minimum bet equals the original big blind. Following the completion of the wagering on this round, one card is placed face up along with the Flop. This additional card is called the Turn. Another round of betting then the final community card, the River, is presented. Following the River there is one last round of betting. All players remaining in the hand show cards in turn until the ultimate winner of the hand is known. This player wins the pot (all the chips wagered in the hand). Next the button moves one player to the left and the whole process is repeated. A relatively simple process map will be presented to depict this process. Additionally we will present the order of hand ranking showing best hand (the Royal Flush) down to worst possible hand (High Card).

Problem Solving and Poker:
At each step in the process a player must make a decision based upon the limited information presented by the cards, the other players and the prior action. We will utilize a Tree Diagram to depict the decision process that is required throughout each hand. At every stage of the game players are making quick decisions based upon limited information. In most cases the problem solving is nearly spontaneous for the experienced player, however, sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where a difficult decision is required. One minute problem solving comes to our rescue. If we run through our decision tree based on the information available we should reach an appropriate decision in under a minute.

Courtesy and etiquette dictate that we must act in a timely manner during a tournament. One minute problem solving is especially critical when playing tournament poker because the clock is always running and the clock belongs to all the players. Poker is a proxy for life and life also demands rapid decisions on a regular basis.

At the end of the session we will have participants sit down for a 'friendly tournament' to use the skills they have learned. Typically a tournament is played until one player has all the chips. In this case we will play until the end of the session and the player with the most chips will win a token prize.

David B. Levy

Manager of Quality and Safety
Boyce Technologies, Inc.
Cortlandt Manor, New York

David B. Levy has been involved in the quality profession for over 30 years as a director, manager, engineer, auditor and independent consultant in a variety of industries including telecommunications, defense electronics, commercial electronics, distribution, food manufacturing, ceramics and reinforced plastics.

David is currently the Manager of Quality and Safety at Boyce Technologies, Inc. as well as a Quality Consultant and principal of Levy Quality Consulting, LLC, where he services a variety of clients in all aspects of Quality Assurance, including Quality Management, Quality System Implementation, and Quality Auditing. Throughout his career he has implemented ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems with 9 registrations covering all versions of the standard.

David has an MS in Operations Management from NYU Tandon School of Engineering Polytechnic Institute (formerly Polytechnic University) and a BS in Ceramic Engineering from the NYS College of Ceramics at Alfred University. David is an ASQ Fellow and holds four ASQ Certifications (CMQ/OE, CQE, CQA & CQIA).

David has twice served as a Member of ASQs Board of Directors (2003-2009 & 2014-2017) and as Region 3 Director (2003-2009 and 2012-2017). Additionally, he served as the Section Affairs Council (SAC) Chair for 4 terms (2008/2009 & 2014-2016). David has been a member of ASQ since 1990, and joined the ASQTZ Section Leadership Committee in 1994 serving in many positions including: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Newsletter Editor, NEQC Rep, and Webmaster. He has also served as an ASQ CQA Preparation Trainer. He is currenlty serving as the Chair of the Fellows Technical Group and is the immediate Past Chair of SAC.

David is married with 2 adult children and lives in Cortlandt Manor, NY. He enjoys skiing, swimming, traveling with the family, bicycling, reading, playing poker, telling a joke or two and spending quality time with his family.

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