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.
|Publisher:||Penguin Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Annie Duke is a World Series of Poker bracelet winner, the winner of the 2004 Tournament of Champions and the only woman to win the NBC National Poker Heads Up Championship. Now, as a professional speaker and decision strategist, she merges her poker expertise with her cognitive psychology graduate work at UPenn. She is a founder of How I Decide, a non-profit that creates curricula and tools to improve decision making and critical thinking skills for under-served middle schoolers.
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Excerpted from "Thinking in Bets"
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Table of Contents
Introduction: Why This Isn't a Poker Book 1
Chapter 1 Life Is Poker, Not Chess 5
Pete Carroll and the Monday Morning Quarterbacks 5
The hazards of resulting 8
Quick or dead: our brains weren't built for rationality 11
Two-minute warning 16
Dr. Strangelove 18
Poker vs. chess 20
A lethal battle of wits 23
"I'm not sure": using uncertainty to our advantage 26
Redefining wrong 30
Chapter 2 Wanna Bet? 37
Thirty days in Des Moines 37
We've all been to Des Moines 41
All decisions are bets 44
Most bets are bets against ourselves 45
Our bets are only as good as our beliefs 47
Hearing is believing 49
"They saw a game" 56
The stubbornness of beliefs 59
Being smart makes it worse 62
Wanna bet? 64
Redefining confidence 67
Chapter 3 Bet to Learn: Fielding the Unfolding Future 75
Nick the Greek, and other lessons from the Crystal Lounge 75
Outcomes are feedback 78
Luck vs. skill: fielding outcomes 82
Working backward is hard: the SnackWell's Phenomenon 85
"If it weren't for luck, I'd win every one" 89
All-or-nothing thinking rears its head again 94
People watching 96
Other people's outcomes reflect on us 102
Reshaping habit 105
"Wanna bet?" redux 111
The hard way 114
Chapter 4 The Buddy System 119
"Maybe you're the problem, do you think?" 119
The red pill or the blue pill? 122
Not all groups are created equal 127
The group rewards focus on accuracy 132
"One Hundred White Castles … and a large chocolate shake": how accountability improves decision-making 135
The group ideally exposes us to a diversity of viewpoints 137
Federal judges: drift happens 141
Social psychologists: confirmatory drift and Heterodox Academy 146
Wanna bet (on science)? 149
Chapter 5 Dissent to Win 153
CUDOS to a magician 153
Mertonian communism: more is more 155
Universalism: don't shoot the message 160
Disinterestedness: we all have a conflict of interest, and it's contagious 164
Organized skepticism: real skeptics make arguments and friends 169
Communicating with the world beyond our group 172
Chapter 6 Adventures in Mental lime Travel 177
Let Marty McFly run into Marty McFly 177
Night Jerry 180
Moving regret in front of our decisions 186
A flat tire, the ticker, and a zoom lens 190
"Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?" 194
Ulysses contracts: time traveling to precommit 200
Decision swear jar 204
Reconnaissance: mapping the future 208
Scenario planning in practice 213
Backcasting: working backward from a positive future 218
Premortems: working backward from a negative future 221
Dendrology and hindsight bias (or, Give the chainsaw a rest) 227
Selected Bibliography and Recommendations for Further Reading 253