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The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies for Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More. Paperback – May 4, 2011
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It is the only book I recommend. My buddy Tony Gregg (The 2013 One Drop Champion) told me I should read The Mental Game of Poker on audio book, I downloaded it in the middle of June 2012 and listened to it every night over the course of the WSOP. I couldn't endorse it more, I've done interviews where people ask me what book I would recommend and that is the only book I would recommend. I couldn't agree with the philosophy of the book more. ~2012 WSOP Main Event Champion Greg Merson --The Mental Game of Poker Podcast
My mental game is tough, and I ll tell you why. My mental game used to be terrible, I used to tilt, I used to go insane, and this is going to be a plug for Jared Tendler, he wrote a book called The Mental Game of Poker and I don t tilt any more. ~Justin Oliver, 2013 WSOP bracelet winner (Immediately after winning the $2,500 Four Max event.) --Pokernews.com
The best poker book ever written, and it's not even close. ~Lex Veldhuis, PokerStars Team Pro --Twitter
About the Author
Jared Tendler, M.S., LMHC, was a mental game coach for golfers on the PGA and LPGA tours before he became the leading mental game expert in poker. He now coaches some of the top players in poker, in addition to more than 500 other professionals hailing from 45 countries. Jared's groundbreaking methods have also helped thousands more through his books, training videos, articles, and forum Q&As. Jared earned a master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern University, and became a licensed mental health counselor prior to becoming a mental game coach in 2005.
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1. It's priced at $49.95 which is way over priced compared to similar books in the same category. For example, take a book like Annie Duke's latest, "Decide To Play Great Poker", which is priced at $23.07 (lists at $34.95) and has a whopping 450 pages, whereas this book only has 241 pages. That means that this book basically costs four (4) times as much. That's pure greed.
2. It's being advertised as being available for sale on Amazon, but it's actually NOT sold by Amazon directly. Amazon is only a front for the publisher himself who sells it directly. That means I, as an Amazon customer, can not take advantage of the "FREE Super Saver Shipping" option (I bundle a lot of purchases to save money.) But that's a mute point really (see #3)
3. Last I checked it's still 2011 and there are MORE eBooks sold than traditional paperbacks, and yet, this book is NOT offered for sale in the Kindle format. I personally stopped purchasing paper books more than a year ago and it's time this publisher jumps on the train to the future. In fact, the future is already HERE!
That boggles my mind, why he wouldn't make this book available in digital format. I know for a fact that this book already exists in PDF format, so it would be VERY LITTLE extra work on the part of the publisher to make it available in eBook format. And if he did, the sales would sky rocket! Trust me on this; I know plenty of people who only buy eBooks.
And pretty much all of his competition is selling their books in digital format so it doesn't make sense really why this guy doesn't want his book available to a bigger audience and start making more money. That's pure stupidity.
Now, as far as the content of the book goes, I'm dying to read it since I've heard it's great! But as it stands now, I wouldn't know: It's way over priced and not available in the Kindle format. So I guess I gotta wait... Or I could try to get hold of the PDF I know is out there, but that wouldn't be right. I don't mind paying for the books I read, but for God's sake, make it affordable and readily available for ALL!
I bought the kindle version/audiobook combo of both books for a total of under $30. To put this in perspective, look at what Jared Tendler charges for coaching sessions by the hour. You are getting his complete educational framework for the mental game at a fraction of his hourly rate. I say that not at all to disparage the value of his coaching, as when you get to a high enough level of play, coaching is absolutely VITAL to incrementally increasing your performance and keeping your game consistent.
Point being, the content of both books is worth many times the small investment you pay for them.
CONTENT AND APPLICABILITY
I became interested in poker through my interest in trading equities/commodities. I study the game because of the many skill sets required by trading, that are also crucial in poker. These two books excel at strategies in sports psychology, not at all just poker. Are they written for poker players? Yes, but I had no trouble at all translating the strategies and processes in my head into useful mental strategies for trading as well.
Jared, along with his co-authors has put together a unique series in every respect. I have read several "performance psychology" books in the past that simply served as teasers for the author's coaching services. They would start off "This is what this book can do for you", introduce a concept, and right before getting to the actual drill down of the strategy/process, they would end off with "For more information on this strategy and how it applies to your unique situation, please contact the author to inquire about coaching etc.". Infuriating!
These books do NOT do that at all. Look at the table of contents via the "Look Inside" feature for both books. Those concepts and strategies listed are each respectively dissected and broken down when you read the sections in full. You go from the concept/strategy, to the framework, to the application, to the actual grunt work necessary to successfully implement. Many of the concepts are rounded out and demonstrated with anecdotes from actual professionals who successfully implemented the concepts into their play.
The other aspect of these books that I absolutely loved was the fact that neither of them are shy in stating how much work and hours of practice are required to master the mental game, as well as how the game of poker is never really mastered, in that even at the highest levels of play, the top players consistently put in an inhuman amount of time into staying ahead of the curve. There is no "magic bullet" aspect to these books, and that gives me a great deal more comfort in actually applying the strategies. Almost every concept introduced in these books comes along with practice suggestions, and actual strategies to most effectively and efficiently introduce them into your game.
The parts of book 2 that deal with learning/deep practice and how it relates to poker are worth way more than I paid for both books/audiobooks. Jared and his co-authors actually teach strategies in how best to learn poker (Including variations as not everyone learns the same way), which I found to be useful, especially for trading and how to approach the information overload that we all face in learning almost any skill.
In addition, the mental/learning strategies the book introduces are not the type trending practices that will be outdated anytime soon. These strategies, and the depth used to communicate them ensure they will prove to be central elements of the serious player's mental game, should they apply them properly going forward.
I will be spending a great deal more time studying these volumes in detail, working through the strategies, applying them, and refining my trading predominantly. As I ease into the game of poker, I will be using the many worksheets, checklists and processes introduced in these books, without a doubt, as the initial plunge is always the hardest.
I would have paid more than double for the information in these volumes and cannot offer a higher recommendation of them. Trader or poker player, if you work through these volumes and invest the time into the concepts/strategies, there is no question you will develop your game and profit.