How the Greatest Female Poker Player Reduces Risk

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I have had my copy of Quit marked up and ready to review for a couple of months – since the day it arrived from Amazon shortly after it was published last fall. I have waited until now to write this review to fully absorb the insights that Annie Duke has provided in the latest and best of her books on making decisions under uncertainty.

Duke is not an actuary. But her thinking and approach to risk mitigation and management will be entirely familiar to those of us who look at such questions through the lens of actuarial science. This book is a follow-up to her bestselling books, Thinking in Bets and How to Decide. Unlike those two books, which discuss the general problem of choice under uncertainty, Quit addresses a single and extremely important aspect of risk assessment that is often in the background of our struggles with the choices that we face in life.

This book can tell you when to answer “none of the above” to a multiple-choice question.

I am biased when it comes to Quit and Duke’s writing. She was kind enough to write the foreword to my recent book, Money Mountaineering. But that doesn’t mean I am wrong. Like all information you get, consider the perspective of the individual who is providing it. In this case, my bias helps because I have worked with Duke, know her work well and have concluded that her work deserves to be widely read and appreciated.

This is a great book, technically sophisticated to satisfy most actuaries, and easy and entertaining to read. Even better, Quit provides practical advice for those who struggle with important life choices. This book will help people get better at making decisions including “knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.”