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About Annie Duke
Annie Duke has leveraged her expertise in the science of smart decision making to excel at pursuits as varied as championship poker to public speaking. On February 6, 2018, Annie’s first book for general audiences, “Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts” will be released by Portfolio, an imprint of Penguin Random House. In this book, Annie reveals to readers the lessons she regularly shares with her corporate audiences, which have been cultivated by combining her academic studies in cognitive psychology with real-life decision making experiences at the poker table.
For two decades, Annie was one of the top poker players in the world. In 2004, she bested a field of 234 players to win her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet. The same year, she triumphed in the $2 million winner-take-all, invitation-only WSOP Tournament of Champions. In 2010, she won the prestigious NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Prior to becoming a professional poker player, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Annie now spends her time writing, coaching and speaking on a range of topics such as decision fitness, emotional control, productive decision groups and embracing uncertainty. She is a regularly sought-after public speaker, addressing thousands in keynote remarks at conferences for organizations ranging from the Investment Management Consultants Association to the Big Ten Conference. She has been brought in to speak to the executive teams or sales forces of organizations like Marriott and Gaylord Resorts, among others. She is a sought-after speaker in the financial sector, with clients such as Susqehanna International Group and CitiBank. Annie regularly shares her observations on decision making and critical thinking skills on her blog, Annie’s Analysis, and has shared her poker knowledge through a series of best-selling poker instruction and theory books, including Decide to Play Great Poker and The Middle Zone: Mastering the Most difficult Hands in Hold’em Poker (both co-authored with John Vorhaus).
Annie is a master storyteller, having performed three times for The Moth, an organization that preserves the art of spoken word storytelling. One of her stories was selected by The Moth as one of their top 50 stories and featured in the organization’s first-ever book. Her passion for making a difference has helped raise millions for charitable causes. In 2006, she founded Ante Up for Africa along with actor Don Cheadle and Norman Epstein, which has raised more than $4 million for Africans in need. She has also served on the board of The Decision Education Foundation. In 2009, she appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice, and raised $730,000 for Refugees International, a charity that advocates for refugees around the world. In October 2013, Annie became a national board member for After School All-Stars. In 2014, Annie co-founded How I Decide, a nonprofit with the goal of helping young people develop the essential life skills of critical thinking and decision making. In 2015, she became a member of the NationSwell Council. In 2016, she began serving on the board of directors of The Franklin Institute, one of America’s oldest and greatest science museums.
Annie currently resides in the Philadelphia area. You can visit her website at www.annieduke.com.
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Books By Annie Duke
Poker champion turned business consultant Annie Duke teaches you how to get comfortable with uncertainty and make better decisions as a result.
In Super Bowl XLIX, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll made one of the most controversial calls in football history: With 26 seconds remaining, and trailing by four at the Patriots' one-yard line, he called for a pass instead of a hand off to his star running back. The pass was intercepted and the Seahawks lost. Critics called it the dumbest play in history. But was the call really that bad? Or did Carroll actually make a great move that was ruined by bad luck?
Even the best decision doesn't yield the best outcome every time. There's always an element of luck that you can't control, and there is always information that is hidden from view. So the key to long-term success (and avoiding worrying yourself to death) is to think in bets: How sure am I? What are the possible ways things could turn out? What decision has the highest odds of success? Did I land in the unlucky 10% on the strategy that works 90% of the time? Or is my success attributable to dumb luck rather than great decision making?
Annie Duke, a former World Series of Poker champion turned business consultant, draws on examples from business, sports, politics, and (of course) poker to share tools anyone can use to embrace uncertainty and make better decisions. For most people, it's difficult to say "I'm not sure" in a world that values and, even, rewards the appearance of certainty. But professional poker players are comfortable with the fact that great decisions don't always lead to great outcomes and bad decisions don't always lead to bad outcomes.
By shifting your thinking from a need for certainty to a goal of accurately assessing what you know and what you don't, you'll be less vulnerable to reactive emotions, knee-jerk biases, and destructive habits in your decision making. You'll become more confident, calm, compassionate and successful in the long run.
What do you do when you're faced with a big decision? If you're like most people, you probably make a pro and con list, spend a lot of time obsessing about decisions that didn't work out, get caught in analysis paralysis, endlessly seek other people's opinions to find just that little bit of extra information that might make you sure, and finally go with your gut.
What if there was a better way to make quality decisions so you can think clearly, feel more confident, second-guess yourself less, and ultimately be more decisive and be more productive?
Making good decisions doesn't have to be a series of endless guesswork. Rather, it's a teachable skill that anyone can sharpen. In How to Decide, bestselling author Annie Duke and former professional poker player lays out a series of tools anyone can use to make better decisions. You'll learn:
• To identify and dismantle hidden biases.
• To extract the highest quality feedback from those whose advice you seek.
• To more accurately identify the influence of luck in the outcome of your decisions.
• When to decide fast, when to decide slow, and when to decide in advance.
• To make decisions that more effectively help you to realize your goals and live your values.
Through interactive exercises and engaging thought experiments, this book helps you analyze key decisions you've made in the past and troubleshoot those you're making in the future. Whether you're picking investments, evaluating a job offer, or trying to figure out your romantic life, How to Decide is the key to happier outcomes and fewer regrets.
Business leaders, with millions of dollars down the drain, struggle to abandon a new app or product that just isn’t working. Governments, caught in a hopeless conflict, believe that the next tactic will finally be the one that wins the war. And in our own lives, we persist in relationships or careers that no longer serve us. Why? According to Annie Duke, in the face of tough decisions, we’re terrible quitters. And that is significantly holding us back.
In Quit, Duke teaches you how to get good at quitting. Drawing on stories from elite athletes like Mount Everest climbers, founders of leading companies like Stewart Butterfield, the CEO of Slack, and top entertainers like Dave Chappelle, Duke explains why quitting is integral to success, as well as strategies for determining when to hold em, and when to fold em, that will save you time, energy, and money. You’ll learn:
• How the paradox of quitting influences decision making: If you quit on time, you will feel you quit early
• What forces work against good quitting behavior, such as escalation commitment, desire for certainty, and status quo bias
• How to think in expected value in order to make better decisions, as well as other best practices, such as increasing flexibility in goal-setting, establishing “quitting contracts,” anticipating optionality, and conducting premortems and backcasts
Whether you’re facing a make-or-break business decision or life-altering personal choice, mastering the skill of quitting will help you make the best next move.
Poker is a game of so many variables: table position, flop texture, the number of players in a hand, the personalities of your opponents, and so much more. Decide to Play Great Poker teaches you how to identify and analyze those variables, interchange them within basic game-situation templates, and become knowledgeable, comfortable, and confident in any poker situation. Instead of just dictating a bunch of rules that work only some of the time, this book teaches you to become a great poker thinker and strategist so that you can expertly navigate any poker challenge you encounter.
Most players think the goal of poker is to make money. They're wrong! The goal of poker is to make good decisions. Money is simply the way you measure how well you're meeting that objective. So if you're ready to start making world-class decisions at the poker table -- and to reap the substantial rewards those decisions will yield -- all you have to do is decide: Decide to Play Great Poker now. You'll never be vexed by 'it depends' again.
Anche la decisione migliore non produce sempre il miglior risultato. C’è sempre un elemento di fortuna che non puoi controllare, e ci sono sempre informazioni importanti di cui non disponiamo. Quindi la chiave del successo è quella di pensare alle decisioni come fossero delle scommesse: quanto ne sono sicuro? Quali sono i modi possibili in cui le cose potrebbero andare? Quale decisione ha le più alte probabilità di successo? Sono incappato in quel 10% di probabilità che le cose potessero andare male? Oppure il mio successo è più attribuibile alla fortuna piuttosto che al merito del mio processo decisionale?
Annie Duke, ex campionessa della World Series of Poker, è diventata una nota consulente aziendale attingendo dalla sua esperienza di giocatrice di poker. Nei suoi seminari insegna a prendere decisioni migliori. Per la maggior parte delle persone infatti è difficile dire “Non sono sicuro” in un mondo che apprezza e, addirittura, ricompensa l’aspetto della certezza. Ma i giocatori professionisti di poker si sentono a loro agio con il fatto che le grandi decisioni non portano sempre a grandi esiti e che le decisioni sbagliate non portano sempre a risultati negativi.
Spostando il tuo pensiero dall’esigenza di certezza all’obiettivo di valutare accuratamente ciò che sai e ciò che non sai, sarai meno vulnerabile alle emozioni reattive, ai pregiudizi e alle abitudini distruttive nel prendere decisioni. Diventerai più sicuro, calmo, tollerante e avrai più successo nel lungo periodo.
So often in Texas hold’em poker, you just don’t know where you stand. Do you have the best hand? The worst? Within the great gray area between the stone nuts and a pure bluff it’s often hard to tell. But take heart, because in this innovative new poker single, Annie Duke and John Vorhaus dive deep into the murky decision space of the middle zone, show you what it is, how to avoid it, and what to do if, alas, you step in something sticky.
In The Middle Zone, you’ll learn…
• How to forecast your prospects for a hand
• How to sidestep pot-size mistakes
• How to win pots that don’t belong to you
• How to turn accidental bluffs into intentional ones
The middle zone is one of hold’em’s most common decision spaces – and one of its most commonly misplayed. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Just read and study The Middle Zone and you’ll walk away with a simple, reliable strategy for navigating this tricky space effectively on hand after hand, and turning a cloudy poker situation into a clear – and clearly profitable – one instead.
Middle zone hands are the toughest hands to play, and Duke and Vorhaus offer great insight about how you should begin to think about some difficult situations. They teach you how to account for position and relative hand strength, both extremely important concepts in the modern game of poker. This book will help take your game to the next level!
Two-time NAPT Champion, WSOP Bracelet Holder