Guy Halford-Thompson is the head of IT at Tantalus labs, and a captain of nascent industries. I met up with Guy over lunch to discuss his grandmother, playing poker, and buying weed in London. Here are 7 things I learned about Guy Halford-Thompson:
1. He describes his grandmother as “a fantastic lady” who put him in touch with his business partner, Dan Sutton.
She kept harassing me to ring Dan’s dad when I moved to Vancouver from London because she knew he was into sailing. I eventually called Dan’s parents out of the blue, which was kind of weird to be like "My granny has given me your phone number and said I should call you and I have to call you just to tell her that I’ve done it."
2. He made money during University by playing poker games for professional players.
I was approached by a professional player who has done very well for himself, and he offered to stake me to play higher stakes games. He would float me the balance so I could play higher stakes games and we would split the profits. I was playing 20 or 30 hours a week grinding out cash games.
3. He’s a stunningly methodical learner, especially when he learned how to play poker.
I bought a few books, was reading a lot online, working out strategies. I used the stats I gathered about my opponents to gain an edge on them, going back and analyzing my hands, doing reviews of them, having other people review them, having hand discussions. I would talk to friends about hands I played and they would criticize my thought process and offer advice.
4. He has de-sensitized himself to money.
Poker teaches you a lot of psychological skills. You have to really desensitize yourself to money and daily losses and profits. Which can put you in a cool mindset by not worrying about small issues and seeing the big picture. If you lose a thousand bucks in a day you can’t think that I’ve had a bad day, and on the flip side if you win a thousand bucks you can’t go out and buy a new iPhone.
5. He operates a bit coin ATM in london, one of the first in the world.
There’s some guys in Vancouver who installed a bitcoin ATM in a Waves coffee shop, it allows you to buy and sell bitcoins with cash in a machine. It was the first one in the world. I approached them and partnered with them and now we have our own ATM in London which has been in operation for four months.
6. He’s never bought illegal drugs. But he’s heard about it.
If you want to buy Cannabis in England you have to go to a drug dealer and it’s either Cannabis, cocaine, heroine, or crack. It’s all on the same shelf. It’s a completely different atmosphere from a dispensary here where they exclusively sell Cannabis. They don’t sell anything else. What you associate with that product is totally different in England.
7. He is unflappably pragmatic.
There’s always gonna be people who dislike Cannabis for whatever reason and it’s not our job to convince them otherwise; we respect your opinion. We say "this is the info, these are the raw facts, make up your own mind."