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Monday, April 20, 2009

Busted Jacks Review: The Poker Mindset

I think there are many poker players out there who, even if blessed with great talent, just don't have the tools they need to improve how they deal with the roller coaster ride that is variance. At least I know I was one of them, until I read this book.

"The Poker Mindset" by Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger, is written from the perspective of poker players that have overcome the psychological challenges that are holding back many other players. The book is intended for players of every skill level. It does not propose to teach proper technical play but rather to provide a psychological tool box to help players master the mental and emotional aspects of the game.

"If you are looking to make money from poker, you need to play for the long term and accept the short-term risks." -The Poker Mindset. It is written in an organized and easy to read format that thoroughly outlines each concept with tips on how to incorporate them into your game, and mind. The book covers a full scope of topics such as, how to cope with bad beats, tilt, bankroll management, evaluating your opponents, balancing poker with your life, as well as many advanced topics including a section about what it takes to become a professional.

While reading this book I was able to apply the concepts within to my own poker game with excellent results. I read through the introduction, which gives a general outline for the intent and purpose of the book, then on to the second chapter which outlines exactly what The Poker Mindset is. "The Poker Mindset consists of seven attitudes that you need to adopt in order to succeed at poker over the long term, giving you a psychological toolbox to compliment your technical one." Basically it can help you get your perspective, emotions, and motivation in tune so that you can bring your A-game to the table more often.

If it isn't obvious already, I am very impressed with this book. I've been able to change my perspective on the game in such a way that variance doesn't have nearly the impact on my decision making that it used to. Both of the writers are professional poker players who are also well educated with degrees in subjects ranging from finance to risk management and business. As a poker player I can clearly see that they have a very good grasp on the poker concepts they write about and have presented them in a way that let's the reader see The Poker Mindset from the ground up.

Clearly I would recommend this book to any player, from novice to advanced who wants to improve their profits and play their A-game more consistently.

Play well and have fun!