A whole deck of jokers? That’s just the beginning of what you get from The Poker MBA: Winning In Business No Matter What Cards You’re Dealt (Random House/Crown Business). In this creative look at how poker principles translate into business success, jokers are wild and all fifty-two offer a business nugget, a quote, or a funny story. At the end of every chapter, there are four "chapter aces" that review the most important points. It’s one of the reasons this book is so fun to read and easy to put to use.

There are references to movies like The Cincinnati Kid, Rounders, and Maverick, and stories ranging from a game of strip poker on the beach to a no-limit Texas Hold’em game with $1.5 million on the line. These stories are used to set up concrete lessons that teach readers how to apply "game theory" and use the traits of a poker professional to become better decision-makers in order to profit more in business. Fascinating concepts such as how to read a person’s "poker face" and identify a person’s "tells" will show you to become a better negotiator, manager, and risk-taker.

In the book’s introduction, Dinkin explains that a world-champion poker player like
Amarillo Slim and a world-class businessman like Bill Gates possess the same set of skills: adept at reading others and seeing things from another’s perspective, able to balance risk and reward, disciplined enough to handle adversity and recover from a loss, and good enough actors to "fake it" and win–they can bluff.

The book uses
case studies presented in simple language that are not only fun to read, but also explained in simple terms. Through the poker lens, readers learn sophisticated concepts such as expected value, regression to the mean, and discounted cash flows. The material is MBA-level, but Business 101 accessible.

A poker book? Sure.

A business book? Absolutely.

Read it and you will soon be cashing in.
© The Poker MBA 2002
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