The Poker Face of Wall Street

The Poker Face of Wall Street

4.3 3
by Aaron Brown
     
 

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Although you probably don't want to think of your broker or investment bank as playing games with your hard-earned money, the fact is that gambling lies at the heart of economic ideas and institutions. Not surprisingly, the game most like the financial markets—poker—is hugely popular with financial professionals.

Financial professional and lifelong

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Overview

Although you probably don't want to think of your broker or investment bank as playing games with your hard-earned money, the fact is that gambling lies at the heart of economic ideas and institutions. Not surprisingly, the game most like the financial markets—poker—is hugely popular with financial professionals.

Financial professional and lifelong poker player Aaron Brown knows how fine the line is between risk-taking and ruin. Now, in The Poker Face of Wall Street, Brown enlightens and bedazzles serious risk-takers about the odds and skills underlying their mercurial crafts and shows how the cultures of poker and Wall Street are so easily intertwined. Whether you're walking the walk on Wall Street or talking the talk on the Vegas Strip, this entertaining book reveals why the modern game of poker and modern finance have more similarities than differences, and what those similarities mean for players at each kind of table.

The Poker Face of Wall Street also:

  • Delves into the psychology of finance and the economics of poker
  • Explores some of the cutting-edge work being done in these fields and some of the dangerous nonsense to avoid
  • Reveals how America's passion for gamblingat poker and in the markets has shaped the country's economic success and national character
  • Includes author flashbacks in which Brown candidly recalls his triumphs and disasters in high-stakes finance and poker

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

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471770572
Publisher:
Wiley
Publication date:
03/31/2006
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Playing high-level poker, trading options, marketing bonds, andbeing a professor of finance-Aaron Brown has done them all. Heshares with us the insights each of these has given him about theothers and the lessons he's learned about life. From John Law toFischer Black, I enjoyed the characters and the anecdotes."
—Edward O. Thorp, author of Beat the Dealer: A WinningStrategy for the Game of Twenty-One and Beat the Market: AScientific Stock Market System

"How to be a poker pro and much more . . . a delightful journeythrough risk concepts with a Wall Street derivatives trader. Brownuses poker concepts as a wonderful metaphor for investment andliving life. His enthusiasm for grasping the brass ring ofadventure while explaining the role of 'incalculable risk' drawsone into the experience of the book. A great read and a good manualfor understanding risk."
—Dr. William T. Ziemba, Alumni Professor of FinancialModeling and Stochastic Optimization Emeritus), Sauder School ofBusiness, University of British Columbia, Vancouver

"Make no mistake, this is a book about economic development asmuch as poker, and it tells how to win at both gambling games.Experienced poker players and economists will both look at theworld with new eyes after hearing what Aaron Brown has tosay."
—Perry Mehrling, Professor of Economics at Barnard College ofColumbia University author of Fischer Black and theRevolutionary Idea of Finance

"The Poker Face of Wall Street is packed with usefulinformation about gambling, the life on Wall Street, poker culture,and some of the most interesting people involved in gambling. Thebook is a great mix of entertaining and nontraditionalthinking."
—Espen Gaarder Haug, Trader, JPMorgan author of TheComplete Guide to Option Pricing Formulas

"The writer's experience and knowledge of the worlds of pokerand finance come together in this intriguing and readablebook.”
—Philip Augar, author of The Greed Merchants: How theInvestment Banks Played the Free Market Game

“Aaron Brown brings together more colorful threads than aPersian carpet, more dimensions than an episode of Stargate andmore interesting characters than Damon Runyan. Aaron Brown is theDamon Runyon for a technological age in which you need psychology,game theory and mathematics in place of the suit, the spats and thediamond stick pin.”
—Paul Wilmott, author and mathematician

"Overall, this book makes for excellent reading, and I wouldrecommend it to anybody with an interest in the worlds of finance,poker or both. The author has an excellent style, and with chapterheadings as diverse as 'The stormy, husky, brawling laughter ofyouth,' 'Frank’s grandma' and 'God gave you guts: don’tlet him down,' you can feel the character and wit of the authorjumping out onto the page. ... I recommend buying your copy now,and if you should happen across a small-stakes poker game onholiday, a few of the thoughts within the book should at least helpyou understand why you lost after the event!"— Richard Norgate(Financial Engineering News, July/August 2006)

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