The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies For Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More - Jared Tendler

Do you find yourself frequently tilting off your poker winnings? Are you struggling with success despite spending many hours studying the game? Are you afraid of stepping up in stakes? You may find the answers you need in "The Mental Game of Poker: Proven Strategies For Improving Tilt Control, Confidence, Motivation, Coping with Variance, and More", the first of two books by mental game coach Jared Tendler, as he deals with negative emotions at the poker table.

"The Mental Game of Poker" starts by describing how learning to toughen your mental game is the same as learning any other skill. With a sports psychology degree and background in successfully coaching both golf and poker players, Tendler explain that all emotional responses at the tables are not random. Instead they follow predictable patterns, and therefore can be understood and countered. Concepts such as the Adult Learning model and Inchworm process are introduced to begin with, before looking deeper into the key areas of Tilt, Fear, Motivation and Confidence.

The book describes a strategy to directly help players address the areas they struggle with, rather than offering non-specific advice such as taking deep breathes and blocking out tilt. Instead of denying the existence of their emotions, players are encouraged to keep a diary recording the highs and lows of their seasons, then afterwards review it like they would their play. Once their mental game leaks are recognized, Tendler then provides the advice needed to plug them.

The book flows well, making it an easy read, despite including some fairly deep ideas. A lot of this is credited to co-author and poker journalist, Barry Carter, who helps Tendler explain his teachings in a familiar way to the audience.  The book is also peppered with Carter's own insights as he discovers his mental game, and client stories by some of Tendler's students including Dusty "Leatherass" Schmidt and Jordon "iMsoLucky0" Morgan. 

There is definitely something in here for players of all levels, whether you are struggling to get out of the micro stakes, or an established professional player looking for that edge over your opponents. The book is not only eye-opening but actionable, meaning you can put the advice to use straight away and start seeing positive results. "The Mental Game of Poker" is a game changer, and despite having zero poker strategy in the traditional sense, strongly deserves a place among the best poker books ever written.

Rating 4.5 out of 5