Maria Konnikova Biography, Age, Parents, Husband, Poker, Books, Podcast And New Yorker

Maria Konnikova Biography

Maria Konnikova is a Russian-American writer and psychologist. She has worked as a television producer, written for several magazines and online publications, and authored two New York Times best selling books. She primarily writes about psychology and its application to real life situations. Maria has a B.A. in psychology and creative writing from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University. 

Maria Konnikova Age

Maria was born in Moscow, Russia in 1984. She is 35 years old as of 2019.

Maria Konnikova Parents

Maria was born in Moscow, Russia to Jewish parents. When Maria was 4 years old her family migrated to the United States after the Soviet Union opened its borders to allow Jews to move to Israel. Her family chose to settle in the state of Massachusetts, outside Boston.  Maria’s parents were affected by the propaganda experienced in the Soviet Union and decided to live without a television.

Maria Konnikova Husband

Maria is married though he has never disclosed anything regarding her husband. She lives in New York City and is currently completing her first novel.

Maria Konnikova Poker

Maria became interested in poker after reading John von Neumann’s work on game theory. She described it as a way to examine the mind’s responses to conditions that involve both skill and chance. Her upcoming book will explore “…poker as a metaphor for life in general.” To research this book, she  made contact with Erik Seidel, who allowed her to observe him competing at an event for high-stakes players. Other players also agreed to let her watch them play. She noted “It was a beautiful learning experience that really accelerated my ability to learn the game.”

After starting with $20 and $40 tournaments, she began playing in higher stakes tournaments.  Maria has taken up professional poker playing full-time, and is an Ambassador of Poker League of Nations, the world’s largest women’s poker organization. The Poker Stars tournament 2017 in Monte Carlo was her first major tournament.  The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure No-Limit Hold’em Championship, where she placed 42nd of 582 players, was a personal turning point for her. Konnikova said of her performance “PCA was the moment where everything kind of came together…I’m learning and it’s sticking and I’m playing well. It’s a really wonderful feeling when you’re studying and working to have that validated.”

Maria  decided to delay work on her book to compete in more poker tournaments with higher stakes in 2018 . She is completing the tour at the Poker Stars tournament 2018 in Monte Carlo, being coached by Erik Seidel.  Despite the fact that she has earned more than US$200,000 at the poker table, she says she will not quit writing: “I’m never going to stop being a writer. Why can’t I do both? I love poker. Why would I stop?”

She told the New York Times she had no background in poker when she began this journey: “When I started this, I didn’t know how many cards were in a deck. I hate casinos. I have zero interest in gambling.”

Maria konnikova Photo

Maria Konnikova Confidence Game

The Confidence Game  is Maria’s second book.  It was published by Viking Press/Penguin Group. The book made the New York Times best seller list for February 2016 in the crime and punishment category, and the Canadian Best Sellers List for non fiction for the weeks ending 26 January and 2 February

Maria Konnikova Books |Maria Konnikova Author

Maria is the author of two New York Times best-sellers, The Confidence Game (Viking/Penguin 2016) and Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes (Viking/Penguin, 2013).

  • 3 January 2013 – Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes, Viking.
  • 12 January 2016 – The Confidence Game: Why We Fall for It .. Every Time, Viking.

Maria Konnikova Mastermind | Maria Konnikova How To Think Like Sherlock

Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes  is Maria’s first book.  It was published by Viking Press/Penguin Group in January 2013.  The book was a New York Times bestseller and was translated into 17 languages.  She explained that she was first introduced to the character of Sherlock Holmes at a young age, when her father read Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories to her. She later read all of the Sherlock Holmes stories at an age that she calls “very impressionable” and states that “they certainly did change my life.” Following the publication of the book, Maria explained her opinion on the importance of fiction in relation to psychology:

Maria Konnikova Poker Book |Maria Konnikova New Book

Currently Maria is working on a book about poker and the balance of skill and luck in life, to be published by Penguin Press in 2019.

Maria Konnikova Podcast

Maria is the host of the longform storytelling podcast “The Grift,” on the Panoply network, and has written for The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times, California Sunday, Pacific Standard, The New Republic, WIRED, Smithsonian, and Scientific American, among numerous other publications.

Maria Konnikova New Yorker | Maria Konnikova Scientific American

Maria wrote the “Literally Psyched” column for Scientific American  and the psychology blog “Artful Choice” for Big Think, both of which she is no longer involved with. She is a contributing writer for The New Yorker. Her writing has appeared in many publications including The New York TimesThe AtlanticSlateThe Paris Review and The New Republic. She had an article published in The New Yorker for the first time in April 2013 , and continues to contribute regularly with articles about psychology and science.


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