From Texas Poker Genius to Witch Killer, How Did the Founder of LayerZero Become a Master of Human Nature?

1 months ago
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I have been a bohemian all my life and I only love challenges.

Original | Odaily Planet Daily

Author | Azuma

From Texas Poker Genius to Witch Killer, How Did the Founder of LayerZero Become a Master of Human Nature?

LayerZeros witch purge is underway.

Due to the flexibility of the cleaning mechanism (using multiple designs such as self-exposure, screening, and reporting), the strength of the cleaning (it is expected that only 6.67% - 13.33% of the addresses will be retained), and the precision of the cleaning strategy (more witches can be deduced based on the behavioral patterns of the self-exposed addresses), Bryan Pellegrino, the founder of LayerZero, who is nicknamed Stinky Penguin in the community, has also been dubbed the Master of Human Nature.

From Texas Poker Genius to Witch Killer, How Did the Founder of LayerZero Become a Master of Human Nature?

What is less known is that Bryan had already demonstrated his amazing talent in human nature games long before he founded LayerZero - between 2009 and 2013, Bryan, who used the pseudonym PrimordialAA, was once considered one of the most noteworthy new stars in the field of professional Texas Holdem.

In 2009, Bryan won the 8th place in the $10,000 Buy-In heads-up tournament at the 40th World Series of Poker (WSOP) for the first time, earning a profit of $92,580. In 2012, Bryan won the 2nd place in the $1,500 Buy-In level event at the 43rd WSOP , earning a profit of $117,199.

From Texas Poker Genius to Witch Killer, How Did the Founder of LayerZero Become a Master of Human Nature?

Although he retired from the professional poker world early in search of some interesting challenges, we can still find Bryans brilliant record in professional poker player databases such as Poker Hendon Mob - the total profit from offline official competitions is US$569,647 , the highest ranking in history is 1859, and the current ranking is 5097.

From Texas Poker Genius to Witch Killer, How Did the Founder of LayerZero Become a Master of Human Nature?

In 2013, Card Player, a poker media , conducted an exclusive interview with Bryan . In that interview, Bryan talked in detail about his best heads-up strategy and explained what kind of decisions he would make under different opponent conditions, hand ranges, chip depths, and call pressure. Bryan can still cope with the ever-changing poker table with ease, so it is not difficult to understand why Bryan can complete precise strikes in the current situation of the witch is in the light and I am in the dark.

The gaming genius in a small town

Bryan was born in a small town called Danbury in New Hampshire, USA. When he was born, the total population of Danbury was less than 1,000. When he was a child, Bryan felt that he was surrounded by only his relatives, so when he was 4 years old, he told his mother that he hoped to go to a place with more different interpersonal relationships in the future.

Bryan showed a certain talent for mathematics when he was about 6 years old. The Bryan family has four children, from youngest to oldest, namely Deanna, Manie, Bryan and Angela. Friday and Saturday nights are game nights for the Bryan family. The children will play games such as Monopoly and Western Army Chess together. Bryan enjoys it very much and almost always wins.

Bryan first came into contact with Texas Holdem in high school. At the invitation of a friend, Bryan used $20 of his pocket money to make his first bet. The gaming experience when he was a child gave him a keen sense of risk and strategy. That night, $20 turned into $60. Bryan used some of the money to buy himself a Georgetown University sweatshirt, and gave the rest of the money to his father to help Bryan open an online account.

Although he was addicted to playing cards in high school, Bryan still did well in his studies. When he graduated from high school, he ranked third in his class. For economic reasons, Bryan finally chose the University of New Hampshire in his home state, where he met two friends, Zarick and Banister, who later became the two co-founders of LayerZero.

At the age of 19, at the insistence of his brother-in-law, Bryan applied for an overseas study program in Budapest, Hungary, where he not only met his future life partner Melanie, but also saved some money by playing Texas Holdem online, so Bryan decided to drop out of school.

Bryan then communicated with his family and said that he hoped to give himself six months to either become a professional gamer or go back to study computer science. Bryans mother Audrey responded: As long as you dont do anything bad and can ensure your own safety, you can do anything. If you go bankrupt, you can always go home.

From then on, until 2011, when online poker was banned in the U.S., Bryan would sit in front of his computer and play poker 70 hours a week, even when traveling abroad with Melanie, Bryan would carry his full-size console with him. During that time, Bryan became obsessed with Texas Holdem and his skills continued to improve. He began to be able to make quick decisions about risk and reward based on different situations within 0.3 seconds.

Bryan was living in Austin, Texas at the time, but due to the ban on online Texas Holdem, Bryan was nominally unemployed. Bryan then joined the sports betting website BuzzDraft and became the CEO when the company was acquired by another sports betting company shortly afterwards. At the same time, Bryan also went to Las Vegas and gradually made some reputation in the official offline Texas Holdem competitions and earned considerable profits.

A small incident happened at this time. Around 2013, as Bryan became richer and richer, he came into contact with Bitcoin for the first time . Then Bryan and his brothers bought computers specifically for Bitcoin mining. However, as the price of the currency plummeted in 2014 and the exchange used by Bryan collapsed (unnamed, but estimated to be Mt. Gox), the result of this investment was not ideal.

Bryan then moved to Canada, where online poker was still legal, and he could continue to play online, but he slowly found himself getting more and more depressed and less interested in competition , and that year should have been a key point in Bryans career to continue to climb. Bryan wavered, and he once recalled: Unlike many other professional players, I am not driven by money, but I hope to seek more competitive challenges.

Finding a more interesting challenge

Around 2015, Bryan, who had made enough money, considered retiring. To this end, he and Melanie visited 12 countries in 12 months with their infant son, hoping to find a suitable retirement place, but in the process Bryan realized that he did not want to settle down.

One day, Bryan saw a video on YouTube of a DeepMind AI named Agent 57 playing various Atari games. Agent 57 learned various game contents from scratch and gradually achieved gaming skills that surpassed humans. Bryan was very excited about this, and combined with his previous exposure to baseball when he worked at BuzzDraft, Bryan decided to use AI to make a baseball data analysis tool.

Bryan ended his travels and returned to Vancouver, where he settled down . Although it had been years since he began writing code, he eventually created an AI tool that used data to predict how a pitcher would perform against different batters. In 2016, Billy Beane, a well-known executive of the Oakland Athletics of the Major League Baseball, called Bryan and bought his AI tool to help his team better perform statistical analysis.

During the same period, Bryans interest in cryptocurrency grew. In late 2016, Bryan personally invested in Bitcoin again ; later, Bryan and Daniel Chen, a developer who had worked at a16z, jointly built OpenToken, a coding platform for launching democratized cryptocurrency in 2018, which has now been acquired by other projects.

In the field of AI, Bryan made another huge breakthrough in 2020. He co-authored a research paper with Zarick and Banister (the two co-founders of LayerZero mentioned above) and Noam Brown of the Facebook AI team, describing a Texas Holdem AI Supremus that can beat some top professional players. The paper was later cited in a game theory research paper by the Google DeepMind team.

Bryan said at the time: “I’ve always loved solving problems all my life, and nothing appeals to me more than this.”

The LayerZero Story

In the fall of 2020, the popularity of BSC also attracted Bryans attention.

After seeing BSCs extremely high processing speed and low transaction costs, Bryan brought in Zarick and Banister, hoping to build an NFT-based gladiatorial game that would store NFTs on the more secure and liquid Ethereum network, but place transaction processing on BSC.

However, Bryan and others found in the subsequent game development process that they had to more or less manually transfer NFTs, but the existing cross-chain bridges at the time either did not support NFTs or were easily attacked by hackers.

At this point, Bryan and others realized that what they needed was far more than just a cross-chain bridge. Instead, they needed a basic code layer on which on-chain information could run on each blockchain, and on which cross-chain bridges could be built and secured. However, such a thing does not yet exist in the cryptocurrency field.

It was a tough job, but Bryan was getting more and more excited about it - because he had finally found a challenge big enough to bring a level of excitement that no poker game could ever match.

Everyone is familiar with the story that followed.

In May 2021, the first version of LayerZeros white paper was officially released.

In September 2021, LayerZero completed a $6 million Series A financing round.

In April 2023, LayerZero completed a $120 million Series B financing round at a valuation of $3 billion.

In May 2024, LayerZero officially announced that the first season snapshot had been completed and raised the slaughter knife to the witches before the official issuance of the currency.

According to the timeline disclosed by LayerZero, the largest witch-purge in the history of cryptocurrency will end the “self-exposure” phase tomorrow. Bryan, who is well versed in human nature, has “fired the first shot” in this game. Let us wait and see what will happen next.

Original article, author:Azuma。Reprint/Content Collaboration/For Reporting, Please Contact;Illegal reprinting must be punished by law.

ODAILY reminds readers to establish correct monetary and investment concepts, rationally view blockchain, and effectively improve risk awareness; We can actively report and report any illegal or criminal clues discovered to relevant departments.

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