Maria Konnikova is now the author of three New York Times bestsellers, The Confidence Game and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes. Her newest book, The Biggest Bluff, was just released in June and has joined the aforementioned club. She is a regular contributing writer for The New Yorker whose writing has won numerous awards, including the 2019 Excellence in Science Journalism Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology.

While researching The Biggest Bluff, Maria became an international poker champion, racked up over $300,000 in tournament earnings, and inadvertently turned into a professional poker player. Maria’s writing has been featured in Best American Science and Nature Writing and has been translated into over 20 languages. Maria also hosts the podcast The Grift from Panoply Media, a show that explores con artists and the lives they ruin, and is currently a visiting fellow at NYU’s School of Journalism. Her podcasting work earned her a National Magazine Award nomination in 2019. She graduated from Harvard University and received her PhD in psychology from Columbia University.

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Time Stamps

0:00 Welcome & Introduction
2:54 Introduction to Maria Konnikova
10:54 Maria: What brought you to poker?
17:39 Maria: If you had to pick one poker superpower, what would it be?
22:18 Maria: Thoughts about luck
31:06 Maria:The number one mistake recreational players make
38:21 Maria:The best advice for rec players
43:17 Maria: How can you help rec players psychologically to grasp the inherent variance of the game?
56:34 John: Home Games update
1:00:38 Rob: Book Study update, “The Game Plan”
1:02:25 Chris: August seminar updates
1:04:24 Steve: Podcast structure


Maria Konnikova
Maria Konnikova | Image credit: Neil Stoddart