Platinum Pass Adventure: Maria Konnikova

As a writer, I've always appreciated the power of good storytelling --- and one of the first things I realized as a poker player is that storytelling can be one of the most powerful tools at the table, as well. A successful player needs to constantly weave a compelling narrative with her actions, and on the flip side, can sniff out narrative inconsistencies in the stories of others.

That's why I'm so excited to announce my Platinum Pass challenge: a call to tell me your stories, in your own voices. These don't need to be poker stories as such. Instead, I'm looking for stories that demonstrate a core principle of what it means to be a good poker player: self-control and emotion management, discipline, and motivation; interpersonal skills and observation; probabilistic thinking; rational decision-making; or creativity.

Find a moment in your past when you excelled (or failed!) at any of these, and tell me about it. What happened? Why has it stuck with you? What did you learn?

You can write it out. You can make a video. You can act out a skit. You can create a cartoon or animation. You can write a song. You can do a rap. Anything goes!

The most important thing is that the story is compelling and compellingly told. I truly believe that creativity and storytelling ability are among the most valuable and most often overlooked skills in poker -- and I can't wait to see you embrace those skills in this challenge.

--Maria Konnikova


If you're writing your story, it needs to be at least one page, or approximately 250 words (no upper limit, but please try to keep it reasonable!). If you're making a video or song or any other visual approach, it needs to be at least one minute long. Judges will pick a winner based on factors that include:

  • originality

  • story flow and cohesion

  • observable relevance to poker

  • clarity

  • overall artistry

Submissions open September 1st and remain open for one month. Please post your subscription on Twitter using the hashtag #mypokerstory before October 1st.

The link to the video/blog/text must also be emailed to with the subject line "#mypokerstory + your name" together with the following information from you:

  • Name

  • Country of origin

  • Tell us who you are in five sentences

  • Link to your tweet

The Judges

Maria will shortlist her five favourite entries on October 14th and the judging panel will choose a winner on October 21st. The panel includes:

  • Maria Konnikova

  • Matt Salsberg

  • Jen Shahade

  • Helen Ellis

  • Melanie Weisner

  • General PSPC Terms & Conditions apply

  • -- Players from Italy, France, Spain, Greece and Portugal are not eligible to participate

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