Trained as a psychologist (she has a Ph. D. ), Konnikova made it her mission to become a poker champion in just one year. The idea was that she would document her experiences for her third nonfiction book about the world of poker. After immersing herself in the game and studying with Erik Seidel, a professional poker player who went on to compete against her in the Bahamas, she’d have enough material to write her book.
According to PokerStars, Konnikova came to the topic after a particularly rough year, in which bad luck struck her family. That got her thinking.
“I was interested in the question of skill vs. chance in life, ” Konnikova said in a video interview with Poker News last May. “How do we use the poker table to make better decisions in everyday life? ”
“I’ve learned, first regarding all, that poker is surely an even better metaphor regarding life than I considered, ” she continued. “I mean, You’re sitting from the table, you’re studying people, you’re dealing together with all kinds of situations. You have got to deal with items that we have to package with in our everyday lives, like controlling our emotions, being bullied…. I’m a woman, and that’s rare in the poker world, and playing while female is different than playing while male. ” Konnikova has previously spoken to Newsweek about the particular difficulties and insults that women who play poker face at the table.
As for the aspects of human psychology that were most important for Konnikova’s success, she told Poker News that paying attention topped the list. She mentioned seeing players look at their phones between hands, or get up from the table when they weren’t actively playing. Moves like that cause players to lose out on crucial information.
“Learning to focus and really pay attention is, I think, the single most crucial thing that could make you great at holdem poker and good at lifestyle. ”
And, as Konnikova emphasized in the leadup with her book, that emphasis has helped her obtain an amazing degree of accomplishment at a game the lady started playing not more than a yr ago, and helped the woman answer the question the woman project asks.
“I’m an overall total poker outsider. I found this as someone who’d never had any experience of the game. And it may be type of a test regarding psychology versus a a lot more mathematical approach. Does the background give me any sort of an edge? Can We actually use psychology in order to become competitive? ”
Therefore far, it seems, therefore good.