The Iowa Idea: Annie Duke
“This is going to be such a weird podcast.”
Welcome to this episode of The Iowa Idea Podcast, where I’m joined by Annie Duke. Annie is an author, speaker, and decision strategist. Her latest book is called How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices. Annie’s previous book, Thinking in Bets, is a national bestseller. I highly recommend for innovators and strategists.
As a former professional poker player, Annie has won more than $4 million in tournament poker. She is the co-founder of The Alliance for Decision Education, a non-profit whose mission is to improve lives by empowering students through decision skills education.
Annie and I dig into her journey as an accidental, but wildly successful, poker player
We talk about life experience choices through the intersectional lens of mixing Tab with vodka, chewing mint Bubblicious, and waking up with Cheap Trick’s Dream Police LP.
Annie believes that our life comes down to two things – the quality of decisions we make and luck. We discuss her work, exploring cognitive biases that impede our ability to make good decisions and prevent us from objectively reviewing the quality of our decision. One particular phenomenon we discuss is “resulting.” Annie explains resulting from a poker perspective and Pete Carrol’s play calling in Super Bowl XLIX. We explore the role of luck and self-serving bias and how we struggle to acknowledge luck when there’s a positive outcome yet blaming bad luck when there’s a negative outcome. We also cover some interesting ground in the realm of forced quitting and the cognitive headwinds that prevent us from looking for or at alternatives.
It was an honor having Annie join me on the show. Thanks to Annie for her time and insights, as well as the work that she’s doing to help young people develop better decision-making skills. I hope you enjoy the episode.
Annie is an author, corporate speaker, and consultant in the decision-making space. Annie’s latest book, How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices, was released in the fall of 2020 from Portfolio, a Penguin Random House imprint. Her previous book, Thinking in Bets, is a national bestseller. As a former professional poker player, she has won more than $4 million in tournament poker. During her career, Annie won a World Series of Poker bracelet and is the only woman to have won the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and the NBC National Poker Heads-Up Championship. She retired from the game in 2012. Prior to becoming a professional poker player, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study Cognitive Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.
Annie is the co-founder of The Alliance for Decision Education, a non-profit whose mission is to improve lives by empowering students through decision skills education. She is also a member of the National Board of After-School All-Stars and the Board of Directors of the Franklin Institute. In 2020, she joined the board of the Renew Democracy Initiative.
The Alliance: https://www.alliancefordecisioneducation.org/
Her Books: https://www.annieduke.com/books/
The Iowa Idea Podcast theme music written and performed by Paisley Bible (https://paisleybible.bandcamp.com/).