A look at how author Maria Konnikova mastered poker.
We can learn a great deal from this description of how the author worked hard to become very skilled.
Konnikova reached out to different consultants and mentors to help her build her skill set.
She seems unaware of the kinds of expertise she was gaining, particularly her tacit knowledge.
I recently enjoyed the book The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention , Master Myself, and Win , by Maria Konnikova, a relatively new Ph.D. in cognitive psychology, who took on the challenge: to become a poker expert at Texas Hold ’em and play the main event in the World Series of Poker.
In one year.
Even more ridiculous, we learn that prior to this challenge Konnikova had never played poker. She claims she didn’t even know how many cards were in a deck.
[Spoiler alert—stop reading now if you don’t want to know how the story ends.]She does get to the World Series of Poker and in less than two years does successfully play the main event.Konnikova wants to learn how people develop decision-making expertise, to explore the boundaries between skill and luck, and to better understand the degree of control we can exercise.For me, the book is an opportunity to match Konnikova’s efforts with the Skill Portfolio account of expertise —and that’s the topic for this essay. I’ll start by recounting Konnikova’s journey. Konnikova’s Poker Journey As they might say at the gambling table, Konnikova goes all in. She enlists one of the top poker professionals in the world to be her mentor, especially on the tactics and strategies of the game. She consults with another poker professional about the lessons to be acquired from losing. She confronts issues of sexism —the ways that women are bullied and devalued at the poker tables. She does a lot of reading to grasp the fundamentals of the game. In the early stages of her preparation, she plays a lot of online poker. Later, she enters a lot of tournaments and plays in live events to gain experience. She uses […]
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