Your Worst Poker Enemy - Alan N. Schoonmaker

Naturally, it turns out that your worst poker enemy is yourself, or at least if usually is.  It is true that a great many players allow their own thinking to interfere with their success, often to a significant degree.  Even if this isn’t a particularly big problem for you though, you will still benefit from Dr. Al’s treatment of the subject.

As usual, Dr. Al does get up on his soapbox a little too much at times, and at least some of the material is on the opinionated side.  For instance he has harsh words for those who rely on intuition rather than hard science at the table, and in reality this is a matter of some debate, as its relevance to the topic of the book.

There’s a lot of good psychology in the book though, and being one of the foremost experts in the field, Dr. Shoonmaker deals with many common roadblocks in an instructive and straightforward manner.  His section on unconscious forces and emotions is particularly interesting, and may be a real eye opener to a lot of players.  

A big part of all of this isn’t just understanding our own motivations, it’s about understanding our opponents better as well, and to that end, this knowledge can be doubly valuable.  Of course there’s also a section dealing with stress management, the importance of which all players realize.

This isn’t the best book on poker psychology out there by any means, but still is a valuable read and definitely recommended.

Rating:  3.5 out of 5