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Author Topic: Book review: The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler and, er, Dave Shoelace  (Read 27041 times)
Jared Tendler
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2011, 11:40:20 PM »

This is certainly a great way to be introduced to a forum. I should write a book more often.

Rich, thanks for the great review of the book. The sentiment you shared about the book was precisely it's intent and it's really gratifying to know that we delivered. I'm psyched for all of you to get a look at it, and welcome both your feedback and questions - both now and once the book is out.

I agree, the cashplays podcasts are a solid way for anyone who's interested to understand my brand of poker psych. I personally love answering questions - and that style of Q&Aing on those shows are fun for me, and more importantly the feedback I've gotten, players have found to be informative.

Andrew to your question - there's no magic to why you call in this spot - it happens for a predictable reason. The question is why. You're right it is a subconscious reaction, and in order to correct this problem, it requires understanding specifically why you call in that spot. Even though logically you know you're beat, why do you think you call in that spot. What's the logical - even if flawed - reason that you do. One of the things I wanted to show through the book, it there aren't any irrational or illogical problems in the mental game. Often problems appear that way, but it just means you haven't found the logic or the reason yet. If you'd like some advice before the book arrives, describe more details about the typical situations when this prob happens, what else you say to yourself before/after, and why you think you call. Then I'll help you break down the prob.
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2011, 11:42:43 PM »

Jared, a big welcome to blonde

Hope you stick around.
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« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2011, 11:50:18 PM »

Jared, thanks for taking the time to post on the night when the sky is falling on US online poker.

One hand that springs to mind recently.

I raise with TT in mid position. A 3bet effective shove (given stack sizes) from the SB from someone who I know is not mucking about/re-raising light at all. Really, really, straight-forward player. I know they have TT crushed. Yet I still call. 'Maybe they have AK?' goes through my mind. Yet I don't believe this, I know I'm dead. I still call.

Oh hi der KK.

Curiosity is probably one thing (by folding I get no confirmation my read was correct - by calling I get confirmation I would have been correct to fold, if that makes sense).
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« Reply #18 on: April 16, 2011, 01:27:40 PM »

Jared,welcome to Blonde. Have enjoyed the podcasts and look forward to the book. I find I have limited time to play and struggle to make it as effective as I would like. Trying to avoid being less results focused on individual sessions. Started keeping weekly records to help so I can look at my results over a longer period.

Any techniques you recomend to focus more on the quality of the play rather than results.
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Jared Tendler
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2011, 03:13:16 PM »

Appreciate that Rich.

I'd like to.

Jared, thanks for taking the time to post on the night when the sky is falling on US online poker.

One hand that springs to mind recently.

I raise with TT in mid position. A 3bet effective shove (given stack sizes) from the SB from someone who I know is not mucking about/re-raising light at all. Really, really, straight-forward player. I know they have TT crushed. Yet I still call. 'Maybe they have AK?' goes through my mind. Yet I don't believe this, I know I'm dead. I still call.

Oh hi der KK.

Curiosity is probably one thing (by folding I get no confirmation my read was correct - by calling I get confirmation I would have been correct to fold, if that makes sense).

Andrew, It is pretty amazing what can change in a day - doesn't change my job though. In some ways, when the sky falls a voice of sanity can help. So I'm happy share what I can.

To your question - it sounds like the problem is either two things: Dealing with uncertainty or not trusting your gut.

The reason I suspect the first - dealing with uncertain - is that if you were to fold in that spot, I wonder if it becomes hard for you to not get distracted by the desire to want to know what he was had. Is it? If so, part of what you have to do is review the situations more frequently after your sessions. Mark/note the hand and dissect it more after. That doesn't immediately help you, so in the short-term you're going to have to work harder to stay focused on making quality decisions, and gathering reads. Over time the combo will make it much easier for you to deal with uncertainty, because 1) you know more, 2) you know how to know more.

Regarding your gut. Basically the gut is the accumulation of all of your training reacting in the moment to the specific situation. If you've read Malcolm Gladwell's book "Blink" he calls it thin slicing. Another way to think about it is the mental equivalent of a physical reaction in sports - Rooney's bike goal wasn't planned, in the moment his skill set reacted and bam. Mentally it's the same thing, but often players don't trust their gut because they aren't really sure what it is. If you don't trust your gut, you don't trust your training. If you don't trust your training, then you need to become more conscious of how you're improving as a player.

Make sense - do it answer it for you? If not, post more details or what comes to mind now and I'll follow up with more.

[Note - Over the years, I've gotten better at answering questions on forums, but often some back and forth is needed before I can answer the question well enough for us both. The quality of my answer is dependent heavily on whether I have enough information. Sometime it takes a couples post to get there.]


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DaveShoelace
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2011, 03:24:32 PM »

Congrats to my Yank chum for getting in a well executed Rooney reference
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Jared Tendler
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2011, 03:25:24 PM »

Jared,welcome to Blonde. Have enjoyed the podcasts and look forward to the book. I find I have limited time to play and struggle to make it as effective as I would like. Trying to avoid being less results focused on individual sessions. Started keeping weekly records to help so I can look at my results over a longer period.

Any techniques you recomend to focus more on the quality of the play rather than results.

Thanks Silver - great to hear all around.

Do you think there's more pressure to have results because you don't have as much time to play. Basically, you always want to do well (win money) because you don't have a much opportunity as you'd like?

Couple thoughts that may help.

This can be a bit hard to wrap your mind around - but the quality of your play produces non-monetary results. Meaning that you can analyze the quality of how you played a session - the quality of every decision at the table - and the sum total is a result. The quality of your decisions are the result of the quality of your focus, the quality of your analysis of each opponent/situation, the quality of your tilt control, the quality of your ability to adapt, the quality of your ability to correct your mistakes, etc. These are just some examples of the specific components of quality play. If you identify the ones that are important to you, you can then rate yourself each time you play. That rating is essentially a result.

The reason I frame it this way, is that players often think results are a problem. They're not. It's the specific results that your focused on. In the short-term, you have much less control over money and winning. That's why it's a problem to be overly focused on those types of results. Which is why you want to be more focused on the things I mentioned, because you have 100% control over them.

Before your session/when you play - take each one of the things you're analyzing/rating afterwards - and make them into goals. I want to work hard to avoid tilt. I want to correct ______ weaknesses in my game. Since you're playing infrequently, I'd focus on one each time you play and make that the priority. Still rate yourself on the others, but then as you see certain aspects of what makes up quality play becoming worse - let's say focusing at the end of a session - you make it the priority.

Make sense? Clear? Help?
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2011, 03:46:29 PM »

Thanks Jared.

Yes, I've read Blink, and know that 'gut feeling' is just the subconscious part of your brain having already analysed the situation and come to a decision, which is often right, which is what's so annoying - I know what the right decision is, but can't make it. So it's definitely the first part - I need to kill my curiosity. Also need to stay focused and not reach the time when I call out of laziness.
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Jared Tendler
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« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2011, 04:41:14 PM »

Thanks Jared.

Yes, I've read Blink, and know that 'gut feeling' is just the subconscious part of your brain having already analysed the situation and come to a decision, which is often right, which is what's so annoying - I know what the right decision is, but can't make it. So it's definitely the first part - I need to kill my curiosity. Also need to stay focused and not reach the time when I call out of laziness.

Ok, good, you know the theory side of things. At least that focuses you on correcting the flawed reasons you make this mistake - curiosity, and now also laziness. Are there any others? Now, you just have to make it a priority to correct these mental game mistakes, by keeping an eye out for when either shows up, and working hard to make sure you make the correct decision. Simple enough - the key was just finding out why, so you know what to look for and what to correct.
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« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2011, 04:57:55 PM »

Jared, did it mentally affect you working with Barry Carter?
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Jared Tendler
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« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2011, 06:28:42 PM »

Jared, did it mentally affect you working with Barry Carter?

I've had to go to a psychologist myself. He seems nice enough, but wow;)
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« Reply #26 on: April 20, 2011, 10:23:44 AM »

In light of the shit going down in the US, Jared released a big excerpt from the Fear section of the book, obv the clampdown doesnt affect anyone in the UK (but MC still thinks the world has come to an end) but obviously it still may be relevant to some:

http://jaredtendlerpoker.com/blog/excerpts-of-the-fear-chapter/

[ ] sure was a great time to release a poker book
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kinboshi
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« Reply #27 on: April 20, 2011, 11:25:08 AM »

A lot of these 'mental coaching' or 'pop-psychology' books are full of bollocks, but this one seems to be well focused and full of useful info - despite Barry's involvement.

Is it available in Kindle format?
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« Reply #28 on: April 20, 2011, 12:03:36 PM »

A lot of these 'mental coaching' or 'pop-psychology' books are full of bollocks, but this one seems to be well focused and full of useful info - despite Barry's involvement.

Is it available in Kindle format?

Yes one of the biggest challenges we faced, prior to last weekend, was distinguishing this book from all the 'find your inner rainbow' bullshit thats out there. Jared is after all a licensed professional in this field but unfortunately some people will always hear 'mental coach' and think bullshit.

No plans for Kindle as yet we were planning that much later, however given the current US situation it may force our hand to either bring it out quicker, or delay it longer, depending on what materialises.

Kin - you know your Kindles well, how big an issue is piracy for kindle format books? I know ebook/pdfs are piss easy to pirate, are kindles protected in any way?
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silverslick
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« Reply #29 on: April 20, 2011, 12:17:14 PM »

Thanks Jared, appreciate the comments. I will give it some thought and try it out.
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