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"The Poker Face Of Wall Street" (Aaron Brown) - Book Review

     "The Poker Face Of Wall Street by Aaron Brown (Wiley Publishing) is an often entertaining read which deftly combines two of my favorite pastimes - poker and trading. However, in my opinion, it does not offer much original insight into either of the two arenas.  What it does do, that I have yet to come across in any other attempts, is to combine the similarities of the two disciplines in such a way that is non-academic, yet sophisticated enough to be of value to the educated reader in either area.
     In terms of a poker book, Mr. Brown does not offer any new tips or strategies on how to optimize your game, but he does provide some historical background that many readers may not be aware of.  These examples dovetail nicely into the history of the stock market as well.  Also, he explains many poker concepts, especially risk, in terms of investing.  This also helps to integrate the two concepts.  I would have liked to seen a bit more rigor in terms of his poker analysis, but as he himself points out there are already numerous books that have done a terrific job in that area.
    As a trading book, again, it left me a bit wanting.  Perhaps, I did not know what to expect, but given Mr. Brown's impressive background as a quant (Morgan Stanley, Harvard, etc.), I would have liked to have been presented with more in-depth analysis of actual trading systems and approaches.  I do not expect him to give away anything proprietary, but perhaps some real-life examples to elucidate his concepts.
     Overall, the book was entertaining to me, but I am an avid poker player, and an avid trader (and especially interested in the history of risk).  For more casual trader types, I believe this book will not be of much practical use, but may provide for a quick and light read.




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