Golden State Warrior’s New Owner on Venture Capital and Poker

Joe Lacob, together with Peter Guber, has recently purchased NBA’s Golden State Warriors for $450 million, which is a record sum of its kind. Lacob has interests in Boston Celtics and venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as well and is admittedly a fan of poker.

Joe Lacob
Joe Lacob

In an interview with Tim Kawakami, published in the Talking Points column of the San Jose Mercury-News blog, Lacob finds a number of similarities between the skills needed in venture capital (including the way he plans to make a winner of his newly acquired franchise) and in poker. He says that you have to come to terms with a calculated risk that is always present as there are always unknown factors, no matter how well you “do your homework.”

“No matter how much analysis you do, there’s always going to be things you don’t know,” Lacob says. “And what makes somebody good at this business, vs. somebody not good, is the ability to take risk. Calculated risk. And to be OK with that. To be a gambler, to some extent.” Regarding poker itself, he adds: “I think that yes, I like poker. I like the idea… of calculated risk. Doing my homework, and then you have to take a shot. You learn a lot in poker about people. Phil Hellmuth is a good friend of mine and you learn a lot about people when you play that game.”

GS Warriors

He also states he has always wanted to play in the WSOP, and he even got close to finish ITM in one of last year’s WPT events at the Bellagio. Truly an interesting fellow if you ask me; you might want to read the full interview here.