|Born||1984 (age 36–37)|
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Notable works||The Biggest Bluff|
Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes
The Confidence Game
Maria Konnikova is a Russian-American writer with a Ph.D in psychology from Columbia University. Konnikova has worked as a television producer, written for several magazines and online publications, and written two New York Times best-selling books. She primarily writes about psychology and its application to real life situations.
Konnikova attended Acton-Boxborough Regional High School in Massachusetts.[better source needed] After graduating from high school, Konnikova attended Harvard University, where she graduated with a B.A. in psychology and creative writing. While studying at Harvard, Konnikova was mentored by psychologist and popular author Steven Pinker.
Following her B.A., she worked as a producer for the Charlie Rose Show, where she helped set up the segment "Brain Series". While working there, she also wrote the "Literally Psyched" column for Scientific American and the psychology blog "Artful Choice" for Big Think, both of which she is no longer involved with. In April 2013 she had an article published in The New Yorker for the first time; she continues to contribute regularly with articles about psychology and science. She took a leave of absence to work on her third book.
Konnikova's first book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, was published in January 2013 by Viking Press/Penguin Group, became a New York Times bestseller, and has been translated into 17 languages. She was introduced to the Sherlock Holmes character at a young age, when her father read Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories to her.
Her second book, The Confidence Game, also published by Viking Press/Penguin Group, made the New York Times best-seller list for February 2016 in the crime and punishment category, and the Canadian Best-Sellers List for non-fiction for the weeks ending 26 January and 2 February
Her third book, The Biggest Bluff, was published on June 23, 2020, by Penguin Press; she had signed the book deal in March 2017 and submitted the manuscript in October 2019. The book follows her immersion into the world of poker and explores the role of chance in our everyday lives.
Konnikova makes regular appearances on The Gist podcast in her own segment called "Is that bullshit?". In early 2017, she published a 10-part podcast about con-artists and the lives they ruin, called The Grift.
Konnikova has said that she became interested in poker after reading John von Neumann’s work on game theory. She described it as a way to examine the mind’s responses to conditions that involve both skill and chance. Konnikova told The New York Times that "When I started this, I didn’t know how many cards were in a deck. I hate casinos. I have zero interest in gambling."
Her first major tournament, in April 2017, was the PokerStars tournament 2017 in Monte Carlo. In January 2018, she won the PCA National event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure No-Limit Hold'em Championship, winning $84,600. The win also came with a Platinum Pass worth $30,000 to the PokerStars Players Championship in January 2019. Her total earnings prior to the event were about $30,000.
After that 2018 win, Konnikova decided to delay work on her book, The Biggest Bluff, to compete in more tournaments with higher stakes She took up professional poker playing full-time. Beginning in the summer of 2018, she became affiliated with PokerStars, an online gaming site; in June 2018, she became a PokerStars "Ambassador", with PokerStars sponsoring her in professional tournaments.
In November 2019, Konnikova and PokerStars “parted ways”.
- Konnikova's book The Confidence Game was awarded the 2016 Robert P. Balles Prize by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.
- The Best American Science and Nature Writing for her article Altered Tastes, about Heston Blumenthal
- Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, Viking, 3 January 2013, ISBN 978-0670026579
- The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It . . . Every Time, Viking, 12 January 2016, ISBN 978-0525427414
- The Biggest Bluff: How I Learned to Pay Attention, Master Myself, and Win, Penguin Press, 23 June 2020, ISBN 978-0525522621
- "Maria Konnikova Wins Critical Thinking Prize from CSI for "The Confidence Game"". CSICOP.ORG. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. Retrieved 19 May 2017.
- Konnikova, Maria (9 August 2014). Maria Konnikova:TEDxColumbiaCollege. youtube.com. TEDx. Event occurs at 0:00 to 1:30. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- Joss Fong (10 January 2013). "It's Elementary". The Scientist. LabX Media Group. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- Maria Konnikova (7 January 2014). "The Open-Office Trap". The New Yorker. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
- Thompson, Nicholas (21 April 2014). "The New Yorker Out Loud(Podcast): Maria Konnikova on her approach to writing and the psychology of yawns". soundcloud.com (Podcast). The New Yorker. Event occurs at 11:40 to 14:40. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- Konnikova, Maria (2013). "The Limits of Self-Control: Self-Control, Illusory Control, and Risky Financial Decision Making". columbia.edu. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- Konnikova - Charlie Rose (video and transcript). charlierose.com. 24 February 2016. Event occurs at 0:00 to 3:00. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
- "Stories by Maria Konnikova". scientificamerican.com. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
- "Maria Konnikova". bigthink.com. Retrieved 4 June 2017.
- "Book Brahmin: Maria Konnikova". Shelf Awareness. Shelf Awareness. 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Why we need answers". newyorker.com. The New Yorker. 30 April 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
- "Harvardwood Heads To... SXSW: The Confidence Game - The Power (and Price) of Stories with Maria Konnikova AB '05". harvardwood.org. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- "Contributors, Maria Konnikova". Retrieved 4 June 2017.
- Ho, Karen K. (12 July 2018). "New Yorker writer Maria Konnikova keeps winning at poker". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
- Christian DuChateau (11 January 2013). "Become a 'Mastermind' with Sherlock Holmes' help". CNN. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- Chitra Ramaswamy (12 January 2013). "Interview: Psychologist Maria Konnikova on how we can all learn to think like Sherlock Holmes". The Scotsman. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Best Sellers, Crime and Punishment". nytimes.com. Archived from the original on 31 May 2017. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Bethune, Brian. "The MacLean's Best Seller list :week of Jan 26th". macleans.ca. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
- Bethune, Brian. "The MacLean's Best Seller list :week of Feb 2nd". macleans.ca. Retrieved 1 June 2017.
- Newell, Jennifer (26 November 2019). "Maria Konnikova Finishes Poker Book and Leaves PokerStars". www.legaluspokersites.com. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
- "The Biggest Bluff |". www.mariakonnikova.com. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
- Hill, Kashmir (1 September 2020). "To Play Poker in a Pandemic, Americans Flee the U.S." The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 4 September 2020.
- "The Grift". panoply.fm. Retrieved 31 May 2017.
- Dreifus, Claudia (10 August 2018). "Maria Konnikova Shows Her Cards". The New York Times. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
- Nuwwarah, Mo. "Konnikova Changes Plans, Delays Book After Incredible Poker Success". PokerNews.com. PokerNews. Archived from the original on 1 July 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
- "Konnikova's High Stakes Adventure Ends". www.pokernews.com. 30 April 2017. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
- Lamers, Adam (9 January 2018). "Friend of PokerStars Maria Konnikova Wins PCA Nat'l Championship". www.pokernews.com. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
- Newell, Jennifer (25 June 2018). "Maria Konnikova Signs on as PokerStars Ambassador". www.legaluspokersites.com. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
- Jahren, Hope (3 October 2017). The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2017. Mariner Books. ISBN 978-1-328-71551-7.
- "The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2017". Publishers Weekly. Archived from the original on 7 October 2017. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
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