Poker, like photography, isn’t all luck.
Last weekend, I finished reading Thinking in Bets, a great book that I’d recommend for anyone who wants to make better decisions in their life.
We all make decisions… decisions about what to eat, who to spend time with, how to spend our money, which clients to work with, and the result of those decisions affects innumerable outcomes as we move through life.
Professional poker player Annie Duke had great success based on her ability to understand decisions, bets, facts, and chance. Thinking in Bets is an easy read that brings together many of the lessons she’s learned.
Before I dove into the book, I was curious how poker-centric it was going to be. Although Duke comes from a poker background, the example used throughout the book are from a variety of contexts including business, sports, and yes, poker. I found the range of examples made it easy to relate.
Even within the world of games, the examples extend beyond poker: there’s a decent discussion comparing the worlds of poker vs. chess. Whereas chess is based purely on logic and the soundness of one’s decisions (the game always starts from a known state, and every move and piece are always visible), poker involves the element of luck, as one doesn’t know the opponent’s cards.
Most of our decisions in life involve a mixture of known facts, and luck. Smart bets require making good decisions based on the information available.
Decisions vs. Outcomes
One of the core themes throughout the book is understanding and separating the process of making a good decision vs. whether or not that decision led to a positive or negative outcome. Better decisions will hopefully lead to more positive outcomes, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes good decisions lead to bad outcomes (or vice versa).
If the quality of our lives is the sum of decisions plus luck, we can increase our happiness by understanding how to think in bets and make better decisions.
Buy Thinking in Bets
Order Thinking in Bets via that Amazon link, and you’ll be supporting Tech Photo Guy.