MiB: Annie Duke, WSOP Champion

This week, we speak with Annie Duke, who won the World Series of Poker in 2004, and at one point, was the winningest female poker player in history. She is the author of Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts.

She discusses various strategies for making probabilistic decisions, employing process oriented methodologies, and understanding the role of luck in outcomes. Poker players call this “Resulting” — looking at a single outcome as opposed to considering the broader spectrum of probabilities.

Duke explains the challenges of human psychology when taking risks; some decisions are made not on the basis of likely probabilities, but in a defensive manner against a negative possible outcome that might bring criticism.

When a player wins, it is important to separate what was luck from what was process; if you can figure that out, you can improve future outcomes and understand what you did correctly and what was randomness. Similarly, when a player loses, understanding what was the best move relative to the probabilities, and that despite the loss, should be repeated in the future is just as significant.

She notes her studies in cognitive psychology and biases was incredibly helpful to her poker game.

Her favorite books are referenced here; our conversation transcript is will be available here.

You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on iTunesBloombergOvercast, and Soundcloud. Our earlier podcasts can all be found on iTunesSoundcloudOvercast and Bloomberg.

Next week, we chat with Patty McCord, the chief talent officer at Netflix for 14 years, and author of the new book, Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom and Responsibility:

 

 

Annie Duke’s Book

Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts by Annie Duke

 

Annie Duke’s Favorite Books

Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play by Dan Harrington

Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 2: Endgame by Dan Harrington

Harrington on Hold ’em: Expert Strategies for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. III–The Workbook by Dan Harrington

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