The Business of Authority

Making Better Decisions with Annie Duke

Episode Summary

Annie Duke—former professional poker player and now decision strategist, author and speaker—joins us for a no-holds barred discussion about how to make better decisions.

Episode Notes

“There are only two things that determine the way your life turns out. Luck and the quality of your decisions. That's it.” Annie Duke

When we won’t quit a bad idea because we hear a unicorn success story—instead of making the smarter move to invest “our treasure” (talents, time and energy) elsewhere.

Why we never have ALL the facts when making decisions (and how luck swings outcomes more than we think).

When we have to ignore how much money we’ve “put in the pot” and fold instead (and why pre-bet kill criteria will be your friend).

Thinking in bets: how to calculate your expected value from a decision (and why horses are more dangerous than sharks).

How soloists can establish truth-seeking groups to get the value of constructive advice (and why this is so critical to high performance).

Be sure to stick around to the very end for a lightning round of Q+A on making better decisions.


Annie Duke | Substack | Website | Quit | Thinking in Bets 


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, was released in 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.