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Bounce! Conversations with Larry Weeks

Interviews w/ authors, entrepreneurs, athletes and others on resilience, getting on or getting over life’s set ups and setbacks.

On the podcast Larry has in-depth conversations with notable people from a variety of fields and occupations; professors, entrepreneurs, athletes, physicians, etc, to get their stories or research on how to deal with or prepare for life’s challenges, stumbles, and stings. If research exists on how people bounce back, he talks about it. If there are physical practices, proven psychologies or philosophies that can help people build personal foundations before the storms come, he digs into it.

Mar 14, 2018

"We’ve all had that experience of expressing something with certainty…and someone says “wanna bet?” and immediately it brings to the fore the fact that whenever you declare something you believe to be true, or a prediction, that there’s risk in that – Annie Duke

All decisions have tradeoffs, risk vs. reward. We have to make choices that have costs yet, many factors involved in making those choices are often hidden.

So how do you make good decisions in the face of uncertainty?

These are challenges inherent in the game of poker, and in poker, as in life, there is a difference between good decisions and good outcomes.

On this podcast, my guest is Annie Duke. For two decades she was one of the top poker players in the world. She holds a World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet and the 2004 World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions and the National Heads-Up Poker Championship in 2010.

Before becoming a professional poker player, Annie was awarded a National Science Foundation Fellowship to study cognitive psychology at the University of Pennsylvania. She now spends her time writing, consulting and speaking on topics such as decision fitness and embracing uncertainty.

In her new book, "Thinking In Bets" Annie reveals lessons cultivated by combining her academic studies in cognitive psychology with real-life decision-making experience at the poker table, which is the topic of this podcast.

This conversation is indeed about better decision-making, but that encompasses a great deal. It's also about equanimity, how to be objective in the face of bad outcomes - while developing skill to influence better outcomes.

This is also how resilience is developed, using outcomes good or bad, as a feedback loop. 

You also become more resilient when you are able to unhook your happiness solely from a result. 

I think that the outcome anchors us so heavily that we can't see that there's lots of other stuff by which we can determine whether a decision was good - Annie Duke

There's been a lot written about the benefits of shifting to a process orientation but Annie tells you how to actually do that.

I had a great time talking with Annie and you will really enjoy this episode. Don't let the length fool you, there is no lull.

Here's some of what we talk about on this show. 

  • How she went from academia to poker 
  • Her introduction to decision strategy
  • Some great betting stories (Ira the Whale)
  • The worst call in history?
  • Cognitive bias / why we make bad decisions
  • Defining failure
  • Time travel thought experiments
  • What being wrong / right really means
  • Probabilities and predictions
  • How to use betting to make better decisions in life

Whether it's career, business or relationships our lives are the sum total of our decisions to this point. I would listen to this podcast and reflect on whether you've made good decisions or whether you've just been very lucky so far - and then learn how to make better ones. 


For show notes and resources visit