Recorded on 01/11/2023

Know When to Fold ‘Em: The Power of Quitting with Professional Poker Player Annie Duke

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Recorded on January 11, 2023. 

How do you know when it’s time to walk away from an investment, business or project? This common scenario is one that former professional poker player Annie Duke has faced many times in her personal and professional lives – enough that she felt compelled to write a guidebook to help others facing this type of dilemma.  Her new book, Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away, offers a toolkit on how to decide whether to continue with something or walk away – and what to do next.

As a professional poker player who faced the decision whether to “hold ‘em or fold ‘em” countless times in her career, Duke learned that “optimal quitting” is the one skill that can separate great players from the hacks – in poker and life. The challenge, Duke found, is overcoming the negative assumptions that quitting indicates failure and weakness.

In this thoughtful session, Duke shares the upside of quitting with real-life examples that illustrate why quitting is sometimes the best option and why people often stick with situations that aren’t working. She also provides guidance on how to assess when it’s time to abandon something and how to make better decisions by increasing flexibility in goal setting, establishing “quitting contracts,” anticipating optionality, and conducting premortems. Whether you’re facing a do-or-die business decision or a powerful personal choice, expert-decision maker Annie Duke can help you master the art of quitting to lead you to your best next move.


About Annie Duke

Annie loves to dive deep into decision making under uncertainty. Her latest obsession is on the topic of quitting. In particular, she is on a mission to rehabilitate the term and get people to be proud of walking away from things. Annie is an author, speaker, and consultant in the decision-making space, as well as Special Partner focused on Decision Science at First Round Capital Partners, a seed stage venture fund. Annie’s latest book, Quit: The Power of Knowing When to Walk Away, will be released October 4, 2022 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 a member of the National Board of After-School All-Stars and the Board of Directors of the Franklin Institute and serves on the board of the Renew Democracy Initiative.

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