Confession # 12 - I got more Tells than William
Poker psychology is often overlooked by many players, including me. Yes, I know about tells, betting patterns, and tilt, but like so many other players I often ignored the mental side of the game and that's a huge mistake that I'm now going to correct.
In addition to the reading that I plan on doing from Step 1, I'm also fortunate to have a good sized library of books having to do with the mental game, Body Language, Tells, and some information on Kinesics too. While I am concentrating on Sit and Go's on-line, now is the time to work on the mental game and that includes everything about it.
Step 2 - Poker Psychology
- Mental Game; pretty much I have a reading list that includes the following books.
1) Why You Lose at Poker - Fox and Harker
2) The Poker Mindset - Taylor and Hilger
3) The Psychology of Poker - Schoonmaker
4) Zen and the Art of Poker - Phillips
5) Your Worst Poker Enemy - Schoonmaker
These are the books I'm starting with, but I have all of Schoonmakers' books, as well as the "Beyond" series of books by James Mckenna and a few other books that I will get to over time.
- Tells; We all know the importance of tells and reverse tells and I have some books and videos to help me get to where I want to be with perfecting how to hide my tells, and with detecting tells from others. There are also tells in on-line poker that Matthew Hilger covers in his Internet Texas Hold'Em book. My reading list is as follows;
1) Read Em and Reap - Joe Navarro (I've read Joe Navarro extensively due to my real life job and his series of books on body language are great)
2) The Power of Body Language - Tonya Reiman
3) Caro's Book of Poker Tells - Caro
4) The Truth about Lying - Stan Walters (an expert in kinesics as well)
- Meditation, NLP or Hypnosis? - If you notice the question mark, I wanted to add this section because it's very relevant to today's poker players. I personally have done meditation before and am getting back into it as a means of maintaining better focus.
1) Meditation - if you've never done it, then I recommend reading "Meditation for Beginners" by Stephanie Clement. Since I started exercising and doing yoga recently, I've also gotten back into Meditation and you would be surprised at how many pro players use this as a way of maintaining focus and more at the poker table.
2) Neuro-Linguistic Programming - A lot of poker players are now using life coaches in their training and daily lives. NLP is at the core of life coach training and might be useful to you. For me, I'm reading up on it to decide if it's something that might help and no you don't have to hire a life coach since there are several good resources out there on the net and in book stores.
3) Hypnosis - hmmmm, several pro players are also using hypnosis to help their game and some people have recommended it highly. How does it work? Well, I use a cd that has theta waves and such on it to help me sleep better. For me, it works and has a calming effect. I am open to trying poker specific audio cd's, but even the makers of the cd's will tell you there is no substitute for training and experience. I think the cd's and hypnosis work very similar to NLP.
- Player profiling - This is a must learn and in addition to the information in some of my chosen psychology readings, Phil Hellmuth has a list of "animals" that he uses to identify player types that I'm going to try and incorporate into my own profiling. We know the rock and fish, but what about the jackal, elephant, and eagle? What I like about the player profiling is that with practice I'll get better at identifying the player types and with experience and training, I'll have tools on how to play against them.
I think we all have a lot to learn about the psychology of poker and it starts with identifying our own issues and psychological leaks, so we can learn to defeat them. Then we can concentrate on everything we know about the mental game to coax our opponents into loosening their purse strings.
Till next time
Ric, AkA Punky159