Maria Konnikova Becomes Latest PokerStars Ambassador

Maria Konnikova Becomes Latest PokerStars Ambassador

What an amazing journey it has been for bestselling author Maria Konnikova since she decided to make her next writing project about the game of poker. Interested in how much of our lives is determined by luck and how much is actually under our own control, Konnikova’s original plan was to spend one year familiarizing herself with the card game and gaining live playing experience before eventually releasing her new book called “The Biggest Bluff” at the end of this year.

It certainly seems like she had the right kind of skill set going into the project, with her past books including How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (2013) and The Confidence Game (2016). Nevertheless, she could not have dreamed of enjoying such remarkable early success as a poker player considering her complete lack of knowledge about the game prior to embarking on her new adventure.

In fact, Konnikova is enjoying playing poker so much at the moment that the release date of her book has now been delayed until the end of 2019. In the meantime, life has just got a whole lot more interesting for the Russian-American writer from New York City, as she has now signed on to become an ambassador for the world biggest online poker site, PokerStars.

Official Sponsored Pro

Konnikova was approached by PokerStars to wear a brand patch after enjoying success at a number of different tournaments over the past year. On Monday, June 25, however, PokerStars made Konnikova an official sponsored brand ambassador, and as she commented following the exciting announcement:

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the PokerStars team. It’s been wonderful to be an unofficial ambassador with PokerStars for this past year, and I feel it’s a tremendous honor to be joining the team officially now. I never could have imagined poker becoming as big a part of my life as it has, and joining PokerStars offers me an incredible opportunity to take my game to the next level and to represent a brand that I’ve come to admire greatly.”

Top Poker Tuition

Before 2017, Maria Konnikova admits to not even knowing how many playing cards are contained within a standard deck. In order to give her a solid grounding in the game, she then sought out training from fellow New Yorker Erik Seidel, with the 8-times WSOP bracelet holder instantly intrigued by Konnikova’s idea to write a book chronicling her experience traveling the live poker tournament circuit.

A trained psychologist, Konnikova benefited from further instruction by Phil Galfond, one of the best players in the game, who also currently runs the poker training site Run It Once. In addition to being a quick study, it would seem that having two of poker’s highest earners on her side has done instant wonders to her understanding of the game, as can be seen from her impressive string of results.

Poker Success

In March 2017, Konnikova entered the $125 NLHE Daily Event at the Aria, eventually finishing runner-up out of 122 players for $2,215, in the process marking her first live cash ever. That same year, she then went on to cash a total of 13 times for $31,604, but the start of 2018 is when Konnikova’s poker career really took off.

In January, Konnikova attended the popular PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas, and entered the $1,650 NLHE PCA National event alongside a field of 230 players. After navigating her way past her fellow competitors, Konnikova then managed to best a tough final table that included the likes of Chris Moorman and Harrison Gimbel to claim a top prize of $84,600. That month, Konnikova also enjoyed a 42nd place finish at the $10k PCA Main Event for $22,020, while in March she traveled to Macau and finished runner-up at the HK$ 20k NLHE event for HK$451,200 ($57,519).

As a result, Konnikova now has $207,750 in live tournament earnings to her name, with that figure expected to be given a further boost at the start of next year. After all, Konnikova’s PCA victory earned her a Platinum Pass through to the PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship (PSPC) in the Bahamas in January 2019, with the package including a $25,000 PSPC ticket, 6 nights accommodation at the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, and $2,000 worth of food and beverages. It will also give PokerStars a further opportunity to show off their latest talented ambassador.