Is Maria Konnikova’s Book the Best Reading Material for Players Who Want to Improve?

maria konnikova poker book

2 minutes

Last Updated: August 2, 2023

There are countless poker books out there to choose from, but some would say they tend to teach a lot of the same lessons.

For players looking for some slightly different reading material that approaches poker from a fresh angle, Maria Konnikova’s poker book about her journey to becoming a pro is an excellent option.

The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win details the Russian-American’s journey from knowing absolutely nothing about poker to cashing in major tournaments. It features key lessons about the mindset required to win at the felt.

Konnikova Was Taught by Erik Seidel

When you read Konnikova’s eye-opening page-turner, you don’t just get the insight of her experience at the poker tables. There’s also advice from a range of other poker champions including Erik Seidel.

Seidel was Konnikova’s main mentor during her rise to the top, and arguably the best person to teach a player from scratch.

This is because he’s one of the longest-running experts in the game, and he’s seen the rise of poker over the decades. He knows all about the diverse schools of thought in the game.

One of the key lessons that Seidel taught Konnikova was the importance of losing at the felt, because it’s the best way to test optimal strategies. This can be done with other card games as well, and it’s why certain games have globally agreed strategies.

Blackjack players, for instance, will often consult card charts to know what the best play is in any situation. When people play blackjack for real money online, they’re faced with numerous titles like Vegas Single Deck Blackjack and Vegas Downtown Blackjack.

Regardless of the variant, there are optimal ways to approach the games. Players can look at information to know what to do when they have certain cards.

A lot of Konnikova’s early experiences with poker involved testing out different approaches to the game, winning and losing some hands, and then tuning her strategy based on the feedback she was receiving.

Book Teaches Players How to Improve Their Mindset

As a psychologist, Konnikova was interested in the mindset required to be a success at the poker table.

Seidel is from the old-school poker camp where there’s still a lot of focus on the psychological side of things, so he was able to help his student understand the nuances of the game.

The greatest lesson from the book is that poker isn’t an exact science and it’s a game of imperfect information.

Players need to understand what they can control and what they can’t. They also need to be adaptive and ready to play similar poker hands in different ways depending on the situation.

There are numerous ways that poker players need to be disciplined at the felt, and taking emotions out of the game is one of the main takeaways from Konnikova’s book.

There are many ways to master your emotions, and seeking advice from experts is wise. Learning techniques away from poker and then taking them with you to the felt could enhance your game.

If you’re looking for a new book to read, The Biggest Bluff is entertaining and enjoyable. It also provides a wide array of insights about how to get better at the game and may teach you a few things you hadn’t considered before.

Disclaimer: content on may contain affiliate links to online gambling operators and other sites. When you use our affiliate links, we may earn a commission based on our terms of service, but that does not influence the content on the site since we strictly follow our editorial guidelines. Learn more about how we make money and why we always stick to unbiased content. All content on this site is intended for those 21 or older or of legal gambling age in their jurisdiction.

Copyright © iBetMedia UAB. All rights reserved. Content may not be reproduced or distributed without the prior written permission of the copyright holder.