A Writer Who Learned How To Play Poker For A Book Wins £95,600 And Becomes A Professional

A Writer Who Learned How To Play Poker For A Book Wins £95,600 And Becomes A Professional

February 27, 2020 Off By Kristin Simmons

A Writer Who Learned How To Play Poker For A Book Wins £95,600 And Becomes A Professional


Just merely a year ago, Maria Konnikova was someone who had zero knowledge regarding poker. However, the author who had published best sellers and was also a writer at the New Yorker has just recently raked in over £95,600 by playing poker. This all came when the books she had written prior to this achieved significant success. She then decided that the following book will be dealing on the topic of luck. She said that she was contemplating on her next piece of work to be about luck and whether it was possible to differentiate between luck and skill and also how much humans are in control.


An acquaintance of her then gave her the idea of trying out a book called “Theory of Games and Economic Behavior”, written by John Von Neumann. The book was apparently written due to the author’s aspiration to find an answer to poker. Konnikova was intrigued by this theory about how the poker game is a metaphor regarding life. This spurred her on to try out poker hands on. She started on her path of becoming a professional after taking a one-year break from the New Yorker to take lessons from someone she considered as one of the best poker players in the world, Erik Seidel.


When she just started out, her performance went much as would be expected from a rookie. She said that she did really bad but put in a lot of effort. Being nervous was one of the factors affecting her as her had no prior experience in live poker. Slowly but surely, she started winning. She even said that poker was starting to become a part of her.


The first huge high-stakes game in which she participated in was the well-known PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo. She was able to win the first runner up prize. After this competition, she claimed that she had begun winning rather constantly. She credited her success as a professional poker player to her writing career, as she had honed her observation skills from being a writer. Observation is one of the major factors in a professional poker game, just like in Konnikova’s psychology background. She previously had experience analyzing the way people decide on things when dealing with high pressure and from this she is able to notice when a poker player’s choice is guided by stress or emotion.


She says that poker is a game where decisions are driven by emotions and it can be observed. The most logically inclined players are humans too at the end of the day. She says that she also knows when she is letting her emotions guide her decisions. This often happens when one has been playing for a long period of time and exhaustion is starting to take a toll. The fatigue causes the emotions to become more intense and it starts affecting the decision-making process and that can be exploited.


Being able to analyze rivals unerringly does not automatically guarantee a victory, though it is a great help. She says that everyone has different signs of lying, but she is able to spot miniscule changes which may be an indicator of deception. Although she might not have as much experience in poker as a lot of veterans in the game, her talent in seeing through the deception of other players have really made a huge impact in her poker skills.


She has said that it is not unlikely that in the near future she will have a career in poker as a professional player. The release of her book regarding the topic of poker, “The Biggest Bluff”, has been delayed as she is too caught up with winning in poker.


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