Annie Duke: The Value of Our Ideas

In a recent video blog posted on her YouTube page, celebrity poker player Annie Duke offered her opinions on the “The Value of Our Ideas.” Miss Duke, who is well known as a World Series of Poker bracelet-winning poker champion, often translates lessons learned at the card table into valuable personal and professional insights. She then communicates these insights via blog posts, videos, or through her high profile public speaking engagements (Annie Duke is a much in-demand motivational and business speaker).

In “The Value of Our Ideas” Duke discusses the way in which our own ideas get endowed to us, much in the same way that objects get endowed to us.

“If you own something and I ask what you would sell it for,” says Annie Duke in the video. “That would be much higher than what somebody will buy it for. Because you own it, it’s now been endowed with extra value beyond what the value of the item is, and that’s true of ideas too.”

“We really fall in love with our own ideas,” adds the former Celebrity Apprentice runner-up. “So when you combine all of these things, endowment and anchoring along with sort of how we view in a winning state that’s skill, you can get into really big trouble.”

Lately Annie Duke, who has taken a step back from competitive poker playing, has been applying her own “decision science” to all kinds of personal and political situations. Duke’s unique insights, gained from a lifetime of playing poker for a living, have a surprising relevance to many political and societal situations.

Recently in her blog at, she offered her own commentary on the Syrian situation. In the post, which was titled “Syria: The Problem with Ultimatums,” Duke explained how President Obama’s “red-line” warning to Syria over chemical weapons has now backed him into a corner.

“This is the problem with issuing ultimatums,” explains Annie Duke. “Once the ultimatum is challenged, you only have two options: follow through or lose credibility.”

“We can think about ultimatums like bets in a poker game. When choosing what the best bet is, a player has to think about not just what is going to make them the most money in the moment but also what will make them the most money in the future.”



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