Annie Duke: Decision Making – Art or Science?

Recently Annie Duke posted a new video on her YouTube page entitled “Decision Making – Art or Science?” In the video the celebrated World Series of Poker bracelet winner ponders the question of whether decision-making is an art or a science.

“Is decision making an art or a science? I think it’s definitely a combination of both,” explains Annie Duke.

Before embarking on a career as a professional poker player, Annie Duke studied cognitive psychology and was in fact pursuing an M.A. degree before she became a poker pro. However it seems that her educational background in cognitive psych has informed the way she makes decisions, both at the card table and elsewhere.

“When you try to mathematically model these things or do experiments that are controlled studies, you’re reducing things down to their component parts, you can only model these behaviors so well.”

“I don’t want to think very hard about whether I’m gonna run away from a lion. I’m gonna run away from a lion,” says Annie Duke. “The problem is that there’s other cases where when that system takes over that’s really good for lion running away, it’s not particularly good for other things. There’s kind of an art to understanding what are the irrationals in the system.”

One of the most well-known celebrity poker players, Annie Duke is also an author and a high profile speaker. Recently she has stepped back from playing poker professionally and is concentrating more on her career as a speaker.

She’s also still highly active in the charity world where among other things, she along with actor Don Cheadle, is a co-founder of the Ante Up for Africa charity poker tournament. Miss Annie Duke has also increasingly turned her attention to applying the lessons she’s learned in poker to other aspects of life, society, and politics.

She’s cultivated a unique, insightful viewpoint, that’s informed by what she refers to as “decision science.” On her YouTube page and on her blog at, she uses decision science to offer valuable insights into current events and contemporary issues. For more of Annie Duke’s views, opinions, and insights, check out


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