The Experiment Succeeded: Maria Konnikova Wins PCA National Championship

In the spring of 2017 Maria Konnikova began her poker journey in Monaco. The Ph.D. in psychology and writer for magazines like The Atlantic and The New York Times and author of two best-selling books Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (2013) and The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It … Every Time (2016) had decided to dive into poker and explore the question about “how much of our lives we actually control” as she told in an interview on the PokerStars’ blog.

As we know as poker players poker is a game of incomplete information, of experience and of chance, and Konnikova set out to investigate if learning to play poker can help us learn to make better decisions over all, in our lives. Konnikova took a year off to study and play poker professionally, and she asked poker legend Erik Seidel to coach her along the way. Her intention is to complete her journey in Monaco this year, and to write a book about her experience.

Now nine months into the experiment, it seems like Konnikova has already come a very long way. She has min-cashed in numerous tournaments – among them three WSOP events – and yesterday she outlasted a tough field to take down the prestigious $1,650 PCA National Championship at the Bahamas for $84,000. On a final table that included Chris Moorman and Harrison Gimble Konnikova defeated Alexander Ziskin heads-up for the title and the glory.

After the victory Konnikova took to Twitter to express her gratitude for all the support:

Konnikova’s book about her poker experience is set to publish in 2019. With this amazing accomplishment on top of a truly impressive year it’s a must-read for all aspiring female poker players as well as long-standing grinders.

Photo: Maria Konnikova, PokerStars Carribean Adventure

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