Female poker author wins PCA National Championship

Maria Konnikova, an author and New Yorker writer, decided to pick up poker about a year ago.  In her quest to become a true contender, recruited one of poker's winningest players, Eric Seidel, to coach her.  The lessons certainly paid off, as she has taken first-place honors and $84,000 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) National Championship.

The $1,650 PCA tournament saw action by 291 entries.  After three days, some big names in poker joined Konnikova at the final table.  Chris Moorman, Luek van Wely and Harrison Gimbel went up against the Russian-born novice, only to hit the rails.  Konnikova ended up in heads-up play against long-time player Alex Ziskind.  Ziskind, an Oklahoma native, was in a tough spot going into the duel, down 3 to 1 against Konnikova, and wasn't able to improve his position, ultimately succumbing to Konnikova's commanding lead. 

Maria Konnikova has authored two books and is currently working on her third, The Biggest Bluff, which is scheduled for release at the end of the year.  She has degrees from Columbia and Harvard and a successful career at the New Yorker.  About a year ago, she decided to pick up poker, travel around the circuit and document her experiences.  She had recently announced that her third book, The Biggest Bluff, would be going to the printers by the end of the year.  She has also written The Confidence Game and Mastermind.

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