Wednesday May 9, 2018 at 5:20 pm
FUN

Author Maria Konnikova announced her new book was going to be delayed because she's been too busy crushing the poker tables! Maria Konnikova appeared on the Poker Life Podcast with Joey Ingram to discuss her recent rise on the tournament scene.

MariaK Plat Pass
Pic by Neil Stoddard

Everyone loves a great story about a fish out of water who figures out how to survive with the big dogs. In this instance, Maria Konnikova was a quick learner. The award-winning author and journalist realized she didn't just have a knack for poker... she was exceptional at it. It was an undiscovered talent she never knew she had until she started researching a book about mastering a craft.

Last March, Maria Konnikova, a frequent contributor to high-brow lit rags like the New Yorker, announced she was taking a deep dive into the underworld of professional poker for a year and then would write a book about her experiences. Ah, and don't forget about the "apprenticed by a reclusive champion" trope! Hey no snark here. Any time you can get super-quiet, low-key Erik Seidel to open up about poker... it's a remarkable thing.

Deadspin said it best, "Writer picks up poker for book stunt, wins so much her book is on hold." In a brief time since she started playing, Maria Konnikova banked over $203K in tournaments. In short, Erik Seidel took Maria Konnikova under his wing and she's been crushing the tables ever since.

The convergence of high brow/low brow has been a huge attraction for the literati. There's no shortage of daring Upper East Side, Ivy League-educated intellectuals who relish in the opportunity to go slumming with degenerates, hustlers, sharks, and other miscreants in the gambling ecosystem.

English poet Al Alvarez was one of the first notable authors who shared his astute observations and experiences in the high-stakes poker world when he visited Las Vegas in 1981 to soak up the World Series of Poker. To this date, The Biggest Game in Town is the single-greatest book ever authored about poker.

In his epic book Shut Up and Deal, American author Jesse May shed a light on the gambling scene in Atlantic City in the 1990s before the internet completely altered the poker landscape.

Lit prof, author, and journalist James McManus rose to fame at the peak of the poker boom 15 years ago after he final tabled the WSOP Main Event in 2000 and parlayed his parallel experiences at the tables and in the court room following the Ted Binion murder trial in the sensational best-selling book Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker. If you like true crime, seedy old Vegas, and poker, then McManus' book is for you!

Vicky Coren Mitchell was a well-known journalist in the U.K. before she began sharing her experiences playing in posh London card rooms and running with several larger-than-life characters from the infamous Hendon Mob (**not a real mafia). Coren parlayed her success at the tables in a book deal and several high-trafficked columns. Not to mention a sponsorship deal with PokerStars after she became the first woman to win an event on the EPT in September 2006. In due time, Coren also made history when she became the first player to win two titles on the EPT after she binked the EPT10 San Remo in Italy in 2014. To date, Vicky Coren Mitchell earned $2.4 million in tournament winnings.

Now you can add Maria Konnikova's name to the growing list of scribes who slugged it out in the trenches and survived to write about. Konnikova won a side event at the triumphant return of the PCA in the Bahamas this past January. Not only did she win $86,400 by binking The National, but she also locked up a coveted Platinum Pass to the $25K PSPC at the 2019 PCA. Yup, she's going back to the Bahamas next year. I wonder how much more she'll win in that short time?

I picked up a copy of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova after her run at the PCA. She's an exquisite writer and it was obvious that she had a special ability to explain high-end concepts in a succinct manner. Her ability to boil something complex down to its raw essence is what gives her a solid foundation to be a winning poker player. Throw in natural instincts, a little math, advanced game theory, and tutelage from one of the GOATs... and you have a perfect recipe for success.

I usually encourage people to avoid gambling as a profession, but in this instance as a fellow author struggling to get compensated for creative work, this is a rare incident when I'd advise Maria to keep playing poker! Ride the rush and maximize the freshness because poker can get stale and old real quick. It doesn't take a lot to wear someone down, especially on the road. Might as well let the tap flow until it slows to a trickle. After all, she can always return to writing. Then again, Maria Konnikova looks like the real deal, so it might be a while before she returns to her old life. I wonder if there will be anything resembling a publishing industry by then?

Listen to Maria Konnikova's story on the Poker Life Podcast with Joey Ingram...

Latest news
Thursday January 17, 2019 at 2:36 am
Breaking News
2019 PCA: Chino Rheem wins $10K Main Event for $1.5 million score

The 2019 PCA Main Event Championship is in the books and American pro Chino Rheem survived a field of 865 runners to win $1.5 million. Rheem came into the final table with the lead and knocked out all five opponents en route to a quick and efficient victory in the Bahamas. Rheem picked off Daniel Strelitz heads-up for the trophy. Rheem has officially passed $10 million in career earnings.

Wednesday January 16, 2019 at 5:37 pm
2019 PCA: Chino Rheem leads Main Event final table

The 2019 PCA Main Event Championship is down to its final table and Chino Rheem is the big stack with six remaining. This year's $10K Main Event attracted 865 players. First place pays out $1,567,100. The runner up banks $951K. Canada's Scott Wellenbach is second in chips, followed by two Americans -- Brian Altman and Dan Strelitz. Vicent Bosca is repping Spain at the final table and Pavel Veksler is the short stack.

Tuesday January 15, 2019 at 7:13 pm
RIP Gavin Smith

Canadian poker pro Gavin Smith passed away in his sleep at the age of 50. Smith won a WPT title at the Mirage in 2005 and won his first WSOP bracelet in 2010. Smith banked over $6.3 million in tournaments. The magnanimous Smith was an integral part of Poker Road Radio during the peak of the online poker boom. Smith is currently ranked #11 on the all-time Canada money list.

Tuesday January 15, 2019 at 8:56 am
2019 PCA Main Event: Tommy Nguyen Leads Final 20

The 2019 PCA is in its home stretch and Chino Rheem still has chips in the Main Event. After the third day of action, the $10K Main Event went from 79 to 20 players. Tommy Nguyen bagged up the big stack with Jeff Hakim, Dan Strelitz, Matthias Eibinger, and Brian Altman round out the Top 5. First place pays out a juicy $1.5 million. Only two more days remain before they crown a champion in the Bahamas.

Friday January 11, 2019 at 4:17 pm
Breaking News
HOT !
PSPC: Spain's Roman Colillas wins $5.1 million

After five glorious day of action at the Atlantis Casino and Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, PokerStars crowned a winner in the largest $25,000 tournament in history. Ramon Colillas from Spain banked $5.1 million for outlasting a field of 1.039 hopefuls at the PokerStars Players Championship. He defeated French pro Julien Martini heads-up for the victory Martini took home a little less than $3 million for a runner up share.

Thursday January 10, 2019 at 7:42 pm
PSPC: Down to 8, Scott Baumstein leads

The first-ever PokerStars Players Championship played down from 38 players to the final eight on Day 4 of action. On Day 5, they will be playing down to a champion. The top six places pay out at least $1 million with the winner banking $5.1 million. American pro Scott Baumstein is the big stack with 10.7M, followed by Marc Rivera, Julien Martini, Farid Jattin, Roman, Colillas, Jason Koonce, Talal Shakerchi, and Marc Perrault.

Tuesday January 8, 2019 at 8:08 am
PSPC: Farrid Jattin leads Day 2 with 215 to go

PokerStars threw the largest tournament in history with the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Players Championship attracting 1,039 unique runners. The top 181 places will pay out with first place winning $5.1 million. Only 215 players remain after two full days of action. Farrid Jattin fromColombia is the chipleader. Italian pro Mustapha Kanit bagged up the second-biggest stack. Other big stacks included Brandon Adams, Griffin Benger, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Julien Martini, Kristen Bicknell, and Talal Shakerchi.

Monday January 7, 2019 at 4:16 pm
HOT !
PSPC: Talal Shakerchi chipleader after Day 1

The PokerStars Player Championship got off to a sensational start when it passed 1,000 entries. The total is 1,014 runners. First place will pay out over $5 million and that includes an extra $1 million bonus on top. It was a Who's Who of poker at Atlantis Casino in the Bahamas for the start of the inaugural PSPC. After the first complete day of action, only 756 players remaining and The U.K.'s Talal Shakerchi is the big stack with over 420K. Registration is still open.

Thursday January 3, 2019 at 5:49 pm
Outgoing Governor Rick Snyder vetoes online gambling bill in Michigan

Republican governor Rick Snyder decided to veto a bill that would have allowed Michigan gamblers to gamble online and play online poker. Michigan missed a chance to become the fifth state in America to legalize online poker joining Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. Snyder cited that Michigan needed to study the data more before making a decision to authorize online gambling.

Thursday December 27, 2018 at 3:56 pm
Telex
2019 WPT UK Main Event scheduled for September 22 thru October 6

The World Poker Tour is coming to the UK in the fallof 2019! The WPT UK will be hosted at the Dusk Till Dawn Poker & Casino Nottingham. The £3,300 buy-in event also has a £1.5 million guarantee. The first of two opening flights begins online at partypoker on September 22. The first of three live opening flights begins on September 30 at Dusk Till Dawn Poker & Casino Nottingham. The WPT UK Main Event will run through October 6. For a complete schedule, click here.

Friday December 21, 2018 at 4:26 pm
Breaking News
SCOOP
2019 WSOP dates and partial schedule released

Christmas came a little early for poker enthusiasts because dates dropped for the 2019 World Series of Poker. The Rio Casino in Las Vegas will host the 50th version of the WSOP with 78 events running over 50 days starting May 28 and running through July 16. This year's special event with be the $5million guarantee Big 50, which is $500 juice free (initial) entry. The Main Event will feature three opening flights over the Fourth of July weekend.

Thursday December 20, 2018 at 4:12 pm
Isaac Haxton ships Super High Roller Bowl V for $3.6 million

Ike Haxton faded a field of 36 super ballers to win the $300,000 buy-in 2018 Super High Roller Bowl at the Aria Casino in Las Vegas. Haxton banked $3.6 million for his victory in the fifth installment of the SHRB. The American pro defeated Alex Foxen heads-up for the win. The final table for the SHR included Ali Imsirovic, Igor Kurganov, Adrian Mateos, Talal Shakerchi, and Stephen Chidwick.

Saturday December 15, 2018 at 1:50 am
PokerStars Winter Series with $40 million in guarantees

The holiday season is upon us. PokerStars will celebrate the end of the year and the holiday season with 60 events and 240 tournaments for the Winter Series starting on December 23 and running through January 7. The Winter Series has four levels with different buy-ins for players with varying bankrolls with events at Micro, Low, Medium, and High. There will be $40 million in guaranteed prize pools. The Main Event Medium and High will both have $1.5 million guarantees. Buy-ins for the Winter Series will range from $0.55 to $5,200.

Thursday December 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm
EPT Prague: Matthias Eibinger wins €50K High Roller

It's another day, another high roller. At the 2018 EPT Prague, hosted at the swanky Hilton Hotel, Matthias Eibinger from Austria outlasted 40 other players to win the €50K High Roller for a score worth €653,000. Eibinger defeated Andras Nemeth from Hungary heads up for the cash and the crown. Also at the final table were Liang Xu, Pavel Plesuv, Luc Greenwood, and Charlie Carrel. Eibinger, closing in on $5 million in winnings, is capping off the best year of his career with a big win in Prague.

Wednesday December 12, 2018 at 3:19 pm
Breaking News
FUN
100K Isolation prop bet over on $62K buyout

It was a crazy wager, but American poker pro Rich Altai won the $100,000 prop bet where he had to live in complete isolation and seclusion for 30 days. After 20 days, Australian poker pro Rory Young realized Altai was going to all the way for the win, so he negotiated a buy-out worth $62,000. Altai agreed, and he exited the sequestered room where he lived in total darkness and silence for 20 days.

Monday December 10, 2018 at 4:11 pm
Minneapolis Jim Meehan Passes Away

One of the last remaining characters in poker, Minneapolis Jim Meehan, passed away at the age of 66. The attorney and poker pro from Minnesota won a WSOP bracelet in 2003, made a couple of televised final tables during the poker boom, and banked over $1.4 million in career earnings.

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