All In: Poker Night Lessons for Winning Big at Your Career - Book Review

by Joy Cagil - Date: 2007-02-18 - Word Count: 561 Share This!

Geoff Graber says he was four years old when his grandfather taught him how to play poker. I read this little fact when I opened the book to its beginning, and I was immediately hooked.

After having read--a few years ago--another book on the application of the principles of Sun Tzu's "Art of War" (fifth century B.C.) to management, the application of the rules of poker to business seemed reasonable. In any case, Poker may be considered to be some kind of a war, a silent war of wits and cunning with a lot to gain or lose, and the more I read this book, the more I found parallels between the two books. The tricky part of the matter is, except for the people in defense industry, Art of War is not a book effortlessly read by the general population. On the other hand, Poker is a highly popular game and teachings from Poker are probably better understood.

The first two tenets of Graber's Poker Night Lessons are: being prepared, that is knowing all the rules, and getting to know your rivals. Knowledge is power is not a cliché here; it is a must. As such, Graber puts the No-Limits Hold'em game on the table and explains the different facets of it in relation to business, showing incidents from his own work from the time when he was with Bank of America to the events that made him a Yahoo executive.

The author's insight into the different characters at the poker table can be considered a serious study in human psychology, since very rarely, within so few pages, so much is said about what makes different types of people tick. The tactics to use against each kind of player and against the table in general are eye-opening. The comparison between the Poker bully and the bully in business is a revelation, but then, there are quite a few other revelations in the book.

Being and acting cool and knowing when and how to bluff are important just as much as having a strategy for how you want to be seen by others. A general advice is not to be too slow. If anything, being bold and making the right move at the right time leads to success. In Graber's words, "You never slow-play, unless you've got an extremely strong hand."

On the contents page, the book's chapters are stated as ten rules with an epilogue and acknowledgements at the end. Chapters contain drawings and charts to promote ease in understanding the tactics. The author's language is direct, clear, and easily understood.

The author, Geoff Graber, holds a B.A. in East Asian Studies and Business from UCLA. He has had a highly successful career as a venture capitalist, an entrepreneur, and an executive in the interactive entertainment industry. He had also held an assortment of positions in Yahoo, one as director of Yahoo Games, before becoming a Yahoo executive. As of 2006, Double Fusion, a leader in the in-game advertising industry, appointed Geoff Graber as its chief executive officer.

The second author, Matthew Robinson, is a screenwriter and novelist, living in Los Angeles, California.

The book is in hardcover with 224 pages and ISBN: 0060873485.

Unlike some other lackluster business books, "All In: Poker Night Lessons for Winning Big at Your Career" entertains the reader by offering some Poker tips as well teaching business strategies. I recommend this book highly.

Related Tags: money, human, business, book, war, poker, strategy, game, rule, lose, win, teach, manage, table, type, play, tactic

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