The Poker Face of Wall Street

( 3 )

Overview

Although you probably don't want to think of your broker orinvestment bank as playing games with your hard-earned money, thefact is that gambling lies at the heart of economic ideas andinstitutions. Not surprisingly, the game most like the financialmarkets—poker—is hugely popular with financialprofessionals.

Financial professional and lifelong poker player Aaron Brownknows how fine the line is between risk-taking and ruin. Now, inThe Poker Face of Wall Street, Brown enlightens ...

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Overview

Although you probably don't want to think of your broker orinvestment bank as playing games with your hard-earned money, thefact is that gambling lies at the heart of economic ideas andinstitutions. Not surprisingly, the game most like the financialmarkets—poker—is hugely popular with financialprofessionals.

Financial professional and lifelong poker player Aaron Brownknows how fine the line is between risk-taking and ruin. Now, inThe Poker Face of Wall Street, Brown enlightens and bedazzlesserious risk-takers about the odds and skills underlying theirmercurial crafts and shows how the cultures of poker and WallStreet are so easily intertwined. Whether you're walking the walkon Wall Street or talking the talk on the Vegas Strip, thisentertaining book reveals why the modern game of poker and modernfinance have more similarities than differences, and what thosesimilarities mean for players at each kind of table.

The Poker Face of Wall Street also:

  • Delves into the psychology of finance and the economics ofpoker
  • Explores some of the cutting-edge work being done in thesefields and some of the dangerous nonsense to avoid
  • Reveals how America's passion for gamblingat poker and in themarkets has shaped the country's economic success and nationalcharacter
  • Includes author flashbacks in which Brown candidly recalls histriumphs and disasters in high-stakes finance and poker

The Poker Face of Wall Street is a one-of-a-kind book that willshow you the real meaning of risk and reward. Financialprofessionals who want to use poker insights to improve their jobperformance will find this entertaining book a must-read, as willpoker players searching for an edge by applying the insights ofrisk-takers on Wall Street.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Named one of BusinessWeek's top 10 paperbacks for summer reading: "The Poker Face of Wall Street is a sprawling, idiosyncratic, and sometimes poker-obsessed work filled with nuggets about American history and finance."
Publishers Weekly
If you're looking for tips on becoming a better poker player, you've probably come to the wrong place. Brown does cover the game's basics and shares plenty of stories from his early card-playing days, which include Harvard games with the likes of Scott Turow. But he has much bigger stakes to discuss in this upbeat and entertaining guide. Drawing on his background at Morgan Stanley (where he's an executive director) and other financial institutions, Brown proposes that "finance can only be understood as a gambling game" and vice versa-and though the material can be rough going for those without some investment training, he's very convincing once all the cards are laid out. In an extended historical example, Brown shows how the economy of colonial America was jump-started by the introduction of faro dealers into French Louisiana. He sees the current financial market as filled with similar wealth-generating potential and believes "taking risks just makes sense" in such an opportunity-rich climate. Poker, then, becomes a tool for learning how to evaluate and embrace financial risk. Brown's model is instantly graspable, but so contrary to the conventional wisdom on both economics and gambling that it may well spark debate. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470127315
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 7/27/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 694,282
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Meet the Author

Aaron Brown is an executive director at the investment bank Morgan Stanley and a serious lifelong poker player who has played with Wall Street tycoons and world champion poker pros. He holds degrees in applied mathematics from Harvard and finance from the University of Chicago. He has been a finance professor and a trader as well as a portfolio manager and risk manager for Prudential Insurance, JPMorgan, Rabobank, and Citigroup.

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Table of Contents

Foreword.

Preface.

Chapter 1. The Art of Uncalculated Risk.

Chapter 2. Poker Basics.

Chapter 3. Finance Basics.

Chapter 4. A Brief History of Risk Denial.

Chapter 5. Pokernomics.

Chapter 6. Son of a Soft Money Bank.

Chapter 7. The Once-Bold Mates of Morgan.

Chapter 8. The Games People Play.

Chapter 9. Who Got Game.

Chapter 10. Utility Belt.

Annotated Bibliography.

Index.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2008

    The risky links between gambling and investing

    In this unusual study, math geek and poker addict Aaron Brown uses royal flushes as a way to meditate on the oft-overlooked topic of financial risk. Poker and trading share many similarities, he argues, and you can apply similar skills and mindsets profitably to both endeavors. Brown travels from California card rooms to Texas back rooms to Yukon gold mining camps, with numerous stops on Wall Street and in the Ivy League. In lesser hands, such a far-reaching study would have lost focus, but Brown manages to keep making meaty points. Unlike the stereotypical quant, Brown writes clearly and gracefully, making his work rewarding to read. getAbstract recommends his book to investors seeking an edge in a risky world. Your deal.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2006

    Is the author bluffing?

    Let me start out by stating that this is a well written book that presents a detailed hypothesis that financial markets are essentially a gambling institution. In fact, the author presents the case that this premise is critical to the markets' existence and viability. The author makes a number of detailed analogies to support his thesis. Ultimately, however, the book fails for two reasons, one of which is critical. The first non-critical point is that the book fails to offer any practical advice whatsoever. If you're looking for any advice as to poker or investing, you will be sorely disappointed. However, if you're looking to read a well written hypothesis, you won't be disappointed. The next point is more critical. I admit that I do not know enough about financial markets to make a determination as to how accurate some of the discussions are. I do, however, know quite a bit about poker. When poker analogies are used, the author is quite often wrong in some of his assumptions. Thus, the veracity of his conclusions have to be called into question when the underlying assumption is wrong. Now, the author is a financial expert and not a poker expert so perhaps the conclusions are accurate. However, if you are going to write this book, you should get your poker facts right.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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