The Pequod Review:
The Biggest Bluff is a memoir of Maria Konnikova's journey into the world of no-limit poker, starting as a novice and eventually becoming a moderately successful player (with about $350,000 in winnings). The first sixty pages or so are not great — mostly a general review of probabilistic thinking that has been covered better elsewhere — but the later sections are stronger as Konnikova draws insights from both specific poker hands and from her intelligent tutor (Erik Seidel, a legendary professional player). Konnikova is a psychologist, and poker turns out to be a useful window into a broad range of subjects – the role of luck versus skill, decision-making under uncertainty, how to master the ego and handle failure, and the importance of having skin in the game ("Our minds learn when we have a stake, a real stake, in the outcome of our learning.").