Book Review: "The Poker Mindset" by Taylor and HilgerSeptember 17, 2009 9:23 am
In an interesting departure from most poker literature, ‘The Poker Mindset’ sets out to delve into the attitude necessary to become a successful poker player instead of the strategy of playing the game itself.
The book begins by outlining seven essential components that are required for a successful poker mindset, namely; ” understanding and accepting the realities of poker, playing for the long term, emphasising correct decisions over money, desensitizing yourself from money, leaving your ego at the door, removing all emotion from decisions and dedicating yourself to a continuous cycle of analysis and improvement.”
The attitude a player has towards poker will often determine the results he will achieve and in this book the authors help the reader to understand their own emotional and ideological obstacles experienced during a game. For instance, much space is devoted to helping the reader identify and avoid tilt recognised as the number one destroyer of bankrolls. The authors explain there are different types of tilt, such as tightening ones play up after a bad beat and many players who believe they don’t suffer from tilt may be forced to reevaluate and improve their play when they consider tilt ‘as the act of playing worse than they are capable of playing.’
Overcoming bad beats and steeling oneself against the inevitable downswings of poker also feature prominently in the book. A disciplined bankroll management strategy and desensitising oneself from money are discussed as essential strategies in this regard.
“The Poker Mindset” is an in depth look into the psychological aspects of poker and also includes some new innovative ways of approaching the game including a very interesting chapter on understanding the motives of your opponent’s life away from the poker table.
The book should be considered an essential addition to any poker players collection, regardless of skill levels, and acts as a poignant reminder that as players we should not allow ourselves to become complacent and must be constantly striving to understand and improve our approach to the game.