Qi 'qihu00' Hu: 'if you had enough to jump into poker, keep your eye out and you'll eventually find an inspiration in business'

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Charles Hawk
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Joined: Mar 2 2012

Interview with Qi 'qihu00' Hu

 

You've made more than a million dollars from husng hypers (rb included), being one of top regs back in the days when I started working with husng.com High Stakes Rail :-) I had possibility to view some of your HH and it was def one of the reasons, why I've become successfull midstake husng hyper reg at euro sites. So first of all I want to endorse you and say – Thank You! :-)

Charles Hawk: You haven't played on Pokerstars for few years now. Please tell to my readers, where have you disappeared? What are you doing now as your main activity?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: Haha, I've far from disappeared but I did have my Supernova Elite year in 2012, and then by the middle of 2013, I made the decision to reduce my volume drastically and become a stay at home father. My first son Jeremy, was born in June 2012, and after the one year maternity leave for my wife, she was ready to go back to work, and I was ready to take on the next step in my life as a father. I did quickly find that as much as I love my kids, being a homemaker is a bit boring and my competitive fire needed some spark. I did however play a lot of board games online during that time and became a top player in Settlers of Catan, Dominion, and 7 Wonders.

I started my first forays into business by creating a stock market portfolio and learning about investing. I have since done a bit of everything...public companies, angel investing, real estate, cryptocurrency. In late 2013, I made my biggest bet by investing in Invenia, a machine learning and AI company in the energy field. They were founded by the smartest guys I knew from high school, and there was a large opportunity in a newly de-regulated market. Seeing as I have a reputation as fairly conservative ie. bumhunter/nit, a lot of my poker circle took notice and tailed me on that investment so all together, we raised over 1M for them.

In 2014, I made the jump from investor to entrepreneur, in part by inspiration from Rypac, the founder here at husng.com. I heard he was opening an escape room, which were very new at the time. There were only a handful in the biggest markets across North America, and none in my home city of Ottawa, Canada. I also had a connection of my my closest friends who made very successful 'Escape the Room' genre games for mobile (They have been in Top 5 lists for their multiple games in the iPhone App Store). So together with him and another co-founder who is an exceptionally talented carpenter and artist, we made Room Escape Ottawa (www.roomescapeottawa.com). We leased a huge 8,000 sq foot warehouse which was unheard of the in Escape Room industry at the time. Unfortunately, the challenges of building into a large space took us a lot of time and we ended up being only 6th to market for Escape Rooms in Ottawa rather than being close to first (Think of this as being the sixth 1k reg as opposed to the first). Thankfully, we were able to adjust and learned about the new sport of archery tag/combat archery so we founded Archery Games (www.archerygames.com) as we had the space to accommodate two brands under one roof. Since then, both have been a huge success. Our escape rooms were built to world-class standards and have vaulted us to near the top in market share in Ottawa, and our archery tag business is likely the highest grossing in the world in its field. Going forward, we are expanding into the USA/Global market with both concepts, and we have partner expansions as well (www.archerygamescalgary.com). At home, we are so busy with volume that we took over our neighbour and are launching a new concept bar/restaurant that we expect to make a huge splash in its own right.

This part year, I've also taken a huge interest in the emerging technology of Virtual Reality (VR). I found it to be a mind-blowing experience so after doing a lot of research on what's out there we produced our own game, which is a Multiplayer VR Escape Room, playable from 2-6 players. It's called “De-Composed” and we are quite proud of the result. Our company name is Breakscape Games (www.breakscapegames.com). It's launched at our home location of Room Escape Ottawa since June 9th, 2017 and we already have have sales commitments to offer the game in both Canada and USA. Feedback has been great so far and we are among the first of its kind of game across the world. It's my first time being in a largely sales role, and something I'm getting used to!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sbSOUXz3ds

Aside from that I enjoy time with my family and friends, and make sure to stay active in sports. I play in our Archery Games league, also softball, tennis and working out. I do end up travelling a bit due to work and it's great to be in the entertainment industry as everything fun is actually research too.

I have never lost sight of poker, I still play a bit online and, I've recently enjoyed playing some live cash at my local casino (2-5, 5-10) and live MTT's when I can take a few days away.

Charles Hawk: What are the similarities and differences between being successful as poker player and as investor? How about poker player and an entrepreneur?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: A lot of similarities to poker player/investor. There are too many to count off, but I'll take ranges for one analogy. In poker, you need to use all the information at your disposal to define a range on your opponent's holdings and make the appropriate bet/fold. In investments, you need all the research at your disposal to define a range on the outcome of your result (ie. Zero, breakeven, 10x) and make an investment based on your perceived risk and that range of outcomes.

As an entrepreneur, the main similarity is that you only make money if you make results. My biggest adjustments have been trying to be an effective leader as someone who needs to manage other directors, employees, and investors. There are a lot of bad habits you pick up as a poker player that you need to shed to be successful as a business leader. Poker is a very much solitary activity, while leading in business is not. This is something I try to work on and be cognitive of as I progress. Thankfully, I have a great team around me that makes it all tick.

Charles Hawk: How your standard week look like? What are your daily routines?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: The only thing consistent in my routine is one or both my kids jumping on my bed and waking me up around 8AM, and catching up on my industry and social newsfeeds before I go to sleep. Aside from that. I just try to do what I need to do. Of course I tend to have more meetings these days and keep a calendar for that ;)

Charles Hawk: Any inspiration and practical tips – from your own experience - for poker pros who wants to invest in start-ups successfully?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: As for inspiration, if you had enough to buck the norm and jump into poker, just keep your eye out and you'll eventually find an inspiration in business. My practical tip is to start small. Just because you have say a 200k per year market value or 1M bankroll as a poker player doesn't mean that you command anywhere near that for market value as an entrepreneur, or you should make a huge investment relative to your roll. You are always a fish before you can become a shark.

Charles Hawk: There is a saying, that successful brainstorming (which leads to best business ideas) or healthy organization must bring together (into one room) people of 3 key roles: innovator, critic and expert (usually know-how expert (also expert of knowledge of the past – I mean the academic knowledge of humanity and its achievements - human history and philosophy)). Which one are you?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: That's an interesting question because I have to be all three depending on my role, nor would I consider myself to be any by name. As an investor, the main thing you need to be is a critic. You need to look at all the ways it can fail, and if the path to profitability is strong enough, invest. As an entrepreneur, you need to be an innovator, and sometimes block yourself from all the ways it can fail and focus on your vision. As a CEO, you need to be an expert in your product, business and industry.

Charles Hawk: Let's talk abit about recent poker innovation – Power up. Pokerstars launched limited Access Alpha. Have you tried it? What are your thoughts?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: I did try it and thought it was just ok. I have a very “love at first sight” feeling towards games. I didn't feel it with this one and it felt in some ways like putting a square peg in a round hole (mixing a great skill based gambling game, with mediocre turn based strategy effects).

Charles Hawk: You invested in invenia.ca, the organization which brings AI into the power grid, and have already made an enormous impact in North America. Lets talk about AI into poker. Both AI and bots can beat spins (AI by learning it and bots by predestination (and determinism) of its creator). How about power up poker? Can AI learn it too? If yes, how fast AI learning process is?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: I'm bullish about AI and machine learning in general and think that it will eventually be better than humans at practically everything.

Charles Hawk: Even in sensing the emotions of other person? Even in decision making?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: Emotions feel like a late stage frontier for AI and not one to easily picture at this juncture. Decision making is entirely different and that's a broad question to ask. Sometimes you need to make a decision based mostly on logic, something AI by nature is very good at. Sometimes you need to make a decision based on the emotions of others, something very human in nature. In any case, being able to make that personal connection with someone is what humans happen to be very good at and also something I think will always be valuable in society.

Charles Hawk: If you would be excited about writing the science fiction called „2117“ - How the world would look like ?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: Probably not too much different if I had to be honest. Despite my bullishness for technology, I feel like cultural and societal change does take quite some time. We'll still be trending towards globalism but there will always be rollbacks such as the present time with Brexit, Trump, etc that require everyone's attention to balance out opinions and perspectives of the old and new.

Charles Hawk: Any poker-innovations or poker related business ideas you would suggest or brainstorm for the nearest future?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: I'm fairly bearish on poker, so you won't see me doing much business around that industry unfortunately. I still love and am a fan of the game, but in my opinion the life cycle of the industy is in the late stages. That being said I'm a fan of Pokershares, a project from my good friend Mike 'Timex' Mcdonald. Although its primary role serves as a gambling platform it has a good a chance at any at moving poker towards spectator based entertainment, something that is a goal of other poker-based startups.

Charles Hawk: Are you hiring or looking for partnerships around the world for your current businesses and future business ideas? How to contact you?

Qi 'qihu00' Hu: Yes, I am always receptive to quality pitches and typically have ears open to all kinds of new ideas. I am behind a product right now that is targeted towards the e-sports industry, which is my first time getting behind the invention and marketing of an actual physical 'gadget' so that has been a fun experience. At various times, I do raise money for different ventures either for my own or for those I'm also invested in.

Currently, my biggest advertised opportunity is with Archery Games. I'll be transparent in saying that expanding Archery Games is my biggest bet right now proportional to my bankroll. We have a thing that is incredibly fun which we happen to the best in the world at offering, that is not offered in most of the world. I'm happy to discuss licensing or franchising opportunities with anyone who is interested in being an owner/operator for in their local region.

Aside from that, our Virtual Reality game, 'De-Composed VR' can be a business on its own, but mostly it serves as a product differentiator and compliment to an existing entertainment business.

For those who wish to get in touch with me, my e-mail is qihu00 AT gmail.com.

 

I am always looking for new interview opportunities with HUSNG and Spin Reg's who play $30s and higher. Please PM me here or on 2p2 (Charles Hawk).