8 mins Read
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – a famous quote by Tony Robbins turned out to be just apt for the Russian-born American writer and psychologist, Maria Konnikova (cover image) who is now the newest ambassador for PokerStars.
It all started in January last year when Konnikova made a conscious decision to enter the poker world and began playing live poker tournaments as part of research for her new book “The Biggest Bluff”. Little did she know that in no time she would be basking all the glory of being the brand ambassador of the largest online poker company in the world, PokerStars.
The trained psychologist with a PhD and New York Times bestselling author had been working most recently as a writer for The New Yorker when she contacted the renowned poker player, Erik Seidel who himself is based out of New York. Seidel agreed to coach her and also introduced her to another celebrated player, Phil Galfold.
With the best possible tutoring, it came as no surprise when Konnikova bagged a first place finish $1,650 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em National at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) for $84,600, along with a $30,000 Platinum Pass for the $25,000 buy-in PokerStars Player’s No-Limit Hold’em Championship. She followed it up with another major victory the same year, a 2nd place finish in HK$20,000 NLH at APPT Macau for HK$ 451,200 ($57,519).
PokerStars is known to have a variety when it comes to their brand ambassadors, be it a sports person, poker player or even a writer for that matter. It sure gives them the opportunity to push their brand into the mainstream. Lapping up this chance, PokerStars had unofficially made Konnikova its ambassador as she has been sporting the PokerStars patch for several months now and just this week, Monday 25, June it was finally made official.
Coming back to the reason for which Konnikova began playing the sport in the first place, her book is still in progress and now is set for a late-2019 launch.
— Maria Konnikova (@mkonnikova) June 25, 2018
Eric Hollreiser, Vice President of Corporate Communications at The Stars Group, said, “I didn’t know – or frankly care – whether she would become a good enough player to turn pro. I knew from her past literary work that she’d be able to distill the essence of poker into life lessons in ways that would resonate with people. That was good enough for me. The fact that she’s now a competitive professional player is a testament to Maria and her work ethic. And it will also make her story even more compelling.”