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The Poker Face of Wall Street

3.36  ·  Rating Details  ·  110 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Wall Street is where poker and modern finance?and the theory behind these "games"?clash head on. In both worlds, real risk means real money is made or lost in a heart beat, and neither camp is always rational with the risk it takes. As a result, business and financial professionals who want to use poker insights to improve their job performance will find this entertaining ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published March 1st 2006 by John Wiley & Sons (first published January 1st 2006)
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Greg
Dec 08, 2008 Greg rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: finance professionals looking for a different perspective
Check out the flashback sections at the end of some of the chapters to get some perspective on the author's experiences. Generally I liked the book, but I was struck by the fact that there wasn't a lot of advice for finance/risk professionals. Basically his take is that they should be good at risk related games such as poker, but this doesn't say much more to me than that you should be good at math.
Sections I liked :
The Games People Play - General information about game theory and poker. Not rea
...more
Akj153
May 19, 2016 Akj153 rated it liked it
Lines i liked:
- Many short-term price movements are neither random nor caused by economic fundamentals. They're caused by investors buying and selling. This leads to predictable effects, such as stock prices being "pinned" to option exercise prices near option expiration, or sometimes forced away from them if the option holders have stronger hands than the option writers. These short-term movements affect the volatility and liquidity of securities, which affect their economic appeal to both issu
...more
Clare
May 28, 2010 Clare rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance, non-fiction
Aaron Brown is the quant equivalent of a rock star (well, to me at least). I loved this book - it provides historical context as well as real-world ideas and experience. All quants (and risk managers) should read it.
Tim
Jan 09, 2016 Tim rated it really liked it
Insightful but lacked a unifying theme. The chapters/flashbacks contain great anecdotes but most of the pieces were just a bit too long. I especially enjoyed topics such as people who are great at chess versus chess prodigies, how the quants won liar's poker, the fallacies of applying game theory to poker, and the author's response to gambling critics. The author's research is thorough and Scott Patterson's coverage in The Quants turns what might strike you as a "nobody" tooting his own horn int ...more
Ed
Feb 20, 2010 Ed rated it really liked it
As someone who never gambles as a past time, this book is way outside my comfort zone and has significant sections on how to win at poker that I assume I will never need. The author does share my reservations about game theory and he did teach me poker fundamentals! Nevertheless I learned quite a bit from it about why people go looking for risk, how they handle it and the role of risk in the economy. The author sees little difference between the modern financial economy and poker and thinks this ...more
Sunil
Mar 04, 2008 Sunil rated it liked it
Good discussion about poker, finance, and economic history. Probably a more interesting book about the financing support for westward expansion of the American frontier rather than a "strictly poker" tale.

The discussion about "soft money banks" was insightful.

The book is hard to summarize. Lots of great content and anecdotes, but I didn't get a solid feel for the author's thesis, if in fact there was one.
Nothanks
May 25, 2011 Nothanks rated it liked it
Being nice and giving this a three because if you are more foreign to the subject this would be more useful. Too much fluff in this book. The format of going between the 2 subjects, poker and then wallstreet... gets old. Content should have been cut in half.
gekko100
May 11, 2010 gekko100 rated it it was ok
Brown seems like a smart guy and there is some interesting stuff in here --- but not enough to make it a compelling read overall.
Anandh Sundar
Dec 13, 2010 Anandh Sundar rated it it was ok
Good read for poker players but gets a bit dull at times.
He neither does complete justice to finance or poker
Rishi
Dec 08, 2009 Rishi rated it it was amazing
One of the best books that I have read. Recommended for anyone who loves derivatives market and/or poker
Franco Arda
Sep 29, 2011 Franco Arda rated it it was amazing
Aaron opened my eyes to a new world: un-calculated risk.
Moe
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Jun 05, 2016
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