Thinking in Bets–Making Smarter Decisions

As an avid poker player, when a friend told me about this book it was a no-brainer read for me. But, I was already reading three books at the time and didn’t want to add another into the rotation. So I turned to Audible, and listened to this one in my car. Learning lessons from playing poker at the highest levels, Annie Duke zeroes in on many psychological elements essential to getting better at the game. She then extrapolates these lessons to everyday life and our decision making. There are many life lessons that I have personally learned from poker, such as patience, making decisions with incomplete information, and sometimes choosing the best option when all options are less than ideal. Hearing Duke discuss one of these different aspects reinforced some of these subconscious lessons.

Duke highlights an important bias that can hinder us, and that is to associate the outcome of a decision with the decision itself and then let the outcome influence future decisions. In poker, this would be known as result oriented decision making. Say I have the second best possible starting hand in poker–pocket kings, and before the flop someone goes all in and I decide to call, risking all my chips. Before the flop is dealt, the other player flips over the best starting hand in poker–pocket aces. Instantly, I know my odds of winning are about 20%, meaning over the long run I will win 1 out of 5 times or put another way, I’m fucked. The flop, turn, and river, are dealt and my hand does not improve. I have a pair of kings, he has a pair of aces, he wins. The result is that I lost, but does that mean I made a bad decision? The answer is probably not. I had to manage the risk that he had aces, it was a possibility but not a probability. He could have had queens, jacks, ace king, ace queen, or a number of even worse hands. Against all those hands I am the clear favorite, but it would be easy for me to get upset and say to myself “I should have known! I should have just folded if I had folded I would have kept my money.” If he had pocket queens and I called with pocket kings and won, I would’ve rewarded myself for the great decision I made. In both scenarios, I made a good decision, but the outcome was different. Duke shows how in the real world, when things are even more convoluted, we tend to embrace result oriented thinking much more. She uses an example of when the Seahawks decided to throw the ball on the 1 yard line of the Super Bowl, with little time left, instead of letting a highly successful running back try and run the ball in. After the Patriots intercepted the ball off, everyone talked about what a bad decision coach Carroll made and how that bad decision naturally led to a bad outcome. Duke inspects Carroll’s decision making process using logic, rather than hindsight bias like many sports fans and news outlets did. She came to the conclusion that it was actually a good decision to throw the ball, but Carroll just got a bad outcome.

Detecting the mental biases we have is difficult, it’s much easier to take comfort in the misery of the “unlucky outcome” rather than in our bad decision making. Blaming misfortune on luck, rather than on our decision making makes us complacent and unable to learn from our mistakes and make better decisions in the future. This book takes somewhat complicated psychological traits we all have–explained in more detail in Thinking Fast and Slow and The Black Swan–and presents them in a manner that is extremely readable. I’d recommend this book to anyone who want to become a better decision maker, even if you do not play poker.

Max Bertman

About the author

Education shouldn't stop the second we finish school. Follow along as I continue my education through reading an hour or two a day. In my book reviews, I will try give a broad summary of the topics covered. I will also begin a discussion on some of the things that peak my interest. Continue the discussion with me in the comments. If you click the book reviews tab you will find all the reviews I have written and what I am currently reading; pick up a book and become smarter with me.

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  37. Where to study music in the UK?
    Studying abroad is a complex and expensive business: the cost of a year can vary from hundreds of thousands to one and a half million rubles per year. However, there are many grants and scholarships available, some of them covering up to 100% of the tuition costs. You can learn about the subtleties of preparing a portfolio for admission and receiving scholarships at the exhibition of British education “Study UK: Discover You”. We advise you on which educational institutions you should pay attention to.

    BIMM (British & Irish Modern Music Institute)
    The music industry in miniature .Britain’s most prestigious school of contemporary music. It teaches not only how to play a musical instrument well, but also how to interact with the industry. Among the directions — vocals, playing instruments, music business, production and songwriting (it is taught, for a moment, vocalist Lamb).

    On the territory of the Institute there are several rehearsal bases and small studios: young musicians gather groups, record demos and organize concerts without leaving the walls of their native University, and student journalists publish LDN magazine, where they talk about their colleagues and interview masters from big show business. Senior colleagues (ranging from Chuck D to Brian may) also visit students, telling them about the intricacies of their work and leaving Souvenirs: in one of the halls, for example, you can admire an autographed Niall Rogers guitar. In General, there is a whole model of the music industry-and the model is quite working. As a result, bimm alumni include George Ezra, Tom Odell, Izzy Bizu, and the Cure drummer Jason Cooper. Royal Academy of Music. The oldest Conservatory in the United Kingdom, under the personal patronage of Her Majesty, will celebrate its bicentenary in 2022. The list of graduates and alumni is no less impressive: among others, Annie Lennox from Eurythmics and Elton John studied here (for authenticity, a couple of scenes of “Rocketman” were filmed in the Royal Academy

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  38. Studying abroad is a complex and expensive business: the cost of a year can vary from hundreds of thousands to one and a half million rubles per year. However, there are many grants and scholarships available, some of them covering up to 100% of the tuition costs. You can learn about the subtleties of preparing a portfolio for admission and receiving scholarships at the exhibition of British education “Study UK: Discover You”. We advise you on which educational institutions you should pay attention to.

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    The music industry in miniature .Britain’s most prestigious school of contemporary music. It teaches not only how to play a musical instrument well, but also how to interact with the industry. Among the directions — vocals, playing instruments, music business, production and songwriting (it is taught, for a moment, vocalist Lamb).

    On the territory of the Institute there are several rehearsal bases and small studios: young musicians gather groups, record demos and organize concerts without leaving the walls of their native University, and student journalists publish LDN magazine, where they talk about their colleagues and interview masters from big show business. Senior colleagues (ranging from Chuck D to Brian may) also visit students, telling them about the intricacies of their work and leaving Souvenirs: in one of the halls, for example, you can admire an autographed Niall Rogers guitar. In General, there is a whole model of the music industry-and the model is quite working. As a result, bimm alumni include George Ezra, Tom Odell, Izzy Bizu, and the Cure drummer Jason Cooper. Royal Academy of Music. The oldest Conservatory in the United Kingdom, under the personal patronage of Her Majesty, will celebrate its bicentenary in 2022. The list of graduates and alumni is no less impressive: among others, Annie Lennox from Eurythmics and Elton John studied here (for authenticity, a couple of scenes of “Rocketman” were filmed in the Royal Academy

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  39. What Red Bull Music Academy was for musicians and why we will miss it
    What is the RBMA?
    International music residency for artists, producers and DJs, which was sponsored by Red Bull, and the musical and organizational part was handled by yadastar from Cologne. A creative residence is something similar to a children’s camp for adults: participants gather in one place, live together, engage in creativity and make joint projects.

    In addition to the creative residency, RBMA is also a huge archive of video lectures from well-known producers, sound engineers and musicians: all these lectures were held live during the residency.RBMA started working in 1998 in Berlin. At that time, the tumultuous nineties and euphoria that came after the fall of the Berlin wall were already fading, and people who came to Berlin for inspiration either left or lost their enthusiasm.
    “We were 23 years old,” says Torsten Schmidt and Mani ameri, the founders of Yadastar, which founded the residency in collaboration with Red Bull, ” and we really missed the opportunity to learn music: it was difficult to exchange experiences, all like — minded people seemed to be scattered and confused all over the world, pathetic sound engineering courses and music colleges did not provide a single gram of valuable or even relevant information. When Red Bull asked what kind of project they could do with us in the music field, the idea was obvious — it would be cool to bring together musicians of different styles and cultures and give them the opportunity to learn from each other.”

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  40. Learn several foreign languages

    It’s nice to come to Italy and say “Buongiorno!” passing waiter. And then catch the admiring glances of those with whom you came. Is not it? But it has long been known that learning foreign languages contributes to the development of a good memory. It’s also very interesting! So why not take advantage of this?

    These are effective methods for training memory. But there is also something interesting. Memory is inextricably linked to proper and good brain function. This means that stimulating its work allows you to improve memory:

    It has been proven that regular sports activities increase brain activity and improve memory;
    No to gray days! It is well remembered that that does not fit into the framework of everyday life. Try to change the environment, add bright colors, go to the store on a new path … It is not necessary to radically change your life. Just add something new to your daily routine, and your brain will work with renewed vigor;
    Add new habits. For example, tidying up your desk in the morning is a great start to a productive day!
    Meditation, relaxation make the brain switch, relax. This means that he will perform new tasks with renewed vigor;
    Music has a magical effect on our brain. It has been proven that people who practice music have better memory and analytical skills;
    Teamwork. Brainstorms have proven their effectiveness more than once. And now scientists have proven that the decisions made in the team were more accurate and faster. They attribute this to the fact that information is easier to perceive and assimilate during communication. Therefore, solve problems together!
    The brain assimilates and sorts information while we sleep. So don’t ignore this process.
    Conclusion

    This is just a small part of the effective techniques for developing memory. But simple reading will not work. Apply these techniques. Remember, only 50% of the result depends on the doctor, and the remaining 50% on the patient. Without working on yourself, you will never reach the top.
    Figure 1. Sample structure of coursework
    The above structure can only serve as a guide. When giving the assignment to write a term paper, the teacher usually shows a sample of drawing up a plan, explains which sections should be contained in it.
    How to write the introduction of a term paper correctly

    The introduction is what is always read. If the main part of the commission (and even the leader, if he is not very conscientious) can skim through, then the first pages of the text will certainly receive close attention. As the title implies, this section serves to introduce readers to the course of the matter, to briefly describe the research. The introduction consists of typical parts:
    Relevance of the topic. You need to explain why you chose this particular topic, why it should be considered. The arguments presented depend significantly on the direction of the research – it can be either the novelty of the topic (“in connection with active changes in this area”), or its controversial nature (when one large scientific school expresses one opinion, and another – another), or practical significance. For historical topics, it is necessary to establish a connection with the present, to trace what the events of the past are affecting now, to draw parallels.
    Objective. A goal is what you want to achieve as a result of your research. For undergraduate coursework, the goal may be to “learn” something, or “systematize knowledge” about something. In senior years, the work is more practical in nature, and the goals change – “to formulate recommendations for improvement”, “to develop a project”, “to identify ways to improve efficiency.”
    Work tasks are a kind of “steps” to achieve the goal. If the goal of the work is one, then there are several tasks. Their number should correspond to the number of paragraphs in the work plan. Each item in the table of contents is a separate task.
    Dated using verbs – “analyze”, “consider”, “characterize”, “describe”, “classify”, “reveal” and others.

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