Apostolico shows poker’s winning edge in business

October 09, 2007 1:59 AM


Expert poker player and former Wall Street Attorney Apostolico (also author of Tournament Poker and the Art of War and Machiavellian Poker among other titles) has a new work, this time geared for both players and those in business who want to improve their skills. Titled Poker Strategies for a Winning Edge in Business (217 pages, paperbound, $18.95), it is divided into eight chapters.

Once you recognize and accept the "connection between poker and other disciplines" as one former business executive says in the book, "you’ll understand that a good poker player not only hides a good hand well, but has learned to execute solid business deals." There have been other books on the subject, including The Poker MBA by Greg Dinkin and Jeff Gitomer ($23.95); The Poker Face of Wall Street by Aaron Brown ($27.95); Lawyers’ Poker by Steve Lubet ($28) and the great 1950 classic by John McDonald, Strategy in Poker, Business & War ($11.95), .and this title expands and enhances what already exists.

As you have seen on television, many of the high stakes, world-class, consistent in-the-money poker players have also been successful in business, applying their entrepreneur-like talents to poker. They’ve learned when to take chances, when the pot odds are right, when to bluff, how to read opponents, the importance of position, and other skills. Is it a coincidence some of the greatest military minds were good gamblers, often excellent poker players? They often did the right thing when the enemy believed it the wrong time (the Normandy invasion of 1944, or when the American fleet gained a miraculous victory over the Japanese carriers at Midway in 1942).

Finding the edge, by understanding enemy weaknesses or breaking a code or holding back reserves until the right moment, these are the moves in poker and war that are uncannily similar.

Chapter headings in Apostolico’s work discuss why poker strategies should be applied to business, how to invest for the long run, how to avoid tilt (the psychology of poker and investing) and how to negotiate from poker (while becoming table leader). Also: when to bluff or fold (effective negotiating no matter what hand you are dealt), going all-in (how to climb the corporate ladder and win), how successful poker players and business people think.

Interestingly, there’s even a small section on how to play "liar’s poker" with the serial numbers of American paper currency.

The book has no index; no charts and tables; no mathematical formulas and no sample hands to illustrate points. Most poker books do; but this a combination business, advice, common sense work for any level player, guiding the individual to key disciplines and common sense points of execution.

"At the end of the day in poker, you are judged by one thing and one thing only””how much you win or lose," the author says, while advising players never to always "play by the book."

These books and more are available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club) in Las Vegas. The store’s web site is www.gamblersbook.com; or you can call toll free at 1-800-522-1777.