Maria Konnikova

Welcome to my blog. I’ll do my best to update it regularly (or semi-regularly, at the least…) with news, writing updates, and other assorted thoughts. Read, enjoy, and please share your thoughts and comments. If you’re looking for psychology pieces at the New Yorker, you can find them here. If you’re looking for my old blog about literature and psychology, Literally Psyched, you can find it here.

Hour glass illustration

A Monte Carlo adventure!

May 25, 2017

As you know, for the foreseeable future I’m playing poker on a full-time schedule – my next book is by far the most immersive project I’ve ever undertaken. It’s been quite a journey – and I’m not even halfway there. I’ve been remiss about posting updates, but will do my best to keep you all in the loop going forward. And to start that goal off on the right foot, I’d love to share my latest big poker trip!

Last month, I had a phenomenal opportunity (courtesy of PokerStars) to travel to Monte Carlo for the PokerStars Monte Carlo Championship, the biggest event I’ve ever played. I played in seven tournaments, and cashed in three of them (even though I busted the Main on Day 1!). I also did a bunch of interviews about my book project, women in poker (with a video cameo of me making funny faces…), the psychology of poker, the theory of EV in poker and in life, and other fun stuff. And I took pictures! Pretty pictures of Monte Carlo. Here are a few of them!

First, I took my first ever helicopter flight, from Nice to Monte Carlo. It was beautiful, but terrifying. I kept being afraid we’d crash. Good thing my book isn’t about flying.

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Me, after a nine-hour red-eye flight, looking slightly terrified of my first ever helicopter ride.

Me, after a nine-hour red-eye flight, looking slightly terrified of my first ever helicopter ride.

The view, though, was spectacular.

Monte Carlo from above

Monte Carlo from above

approaching the city...

approaching the city…

Water, water, everywhere...

Water, water, everywhere…

Me with my brilliant videographer, Nick.

Me with my brilliant videographer, Nick. We landed safely.

It got better from there.

Breakfast on my hotel balcony. Don't mind if I do.

Breakfast on my hotel balcony. Don’t mind if I do.

And then a walk through the Japanese garden to the casino…

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Outside the casino!

A mid-tournament break outside the casino

A mid-tournament break outside the casino

And then I was scared of crashing again. Only at the poker table, not in the air.

First tournament!

First tournament!

The gorgeous Salle des Etoiles - the roof retracts.

The gorgeous Salle des Etoiles – the roof retracts.

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I made Day 2!

I made Day 2!

Shuffle up...

Shuffle up…

And, of course, you have to take care of yourself. So I treated myself to a few meals out.

Brain food.

Brain food.

A Mediterranean special.

A Mediterranean special.

I survived, and I loved it. A huge thanks to PokerStars for making it possible. Next stop, next week: the WSOP. I’ll be playing a bunch of events, including the Main in July (!!!!) and will do my best to keep you posted…on a more timely basis, this time around :). Until then!

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