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on 21 October 2011
I've been planning to give a review of this book for a long time but I haven't got around to it until now. There are two reasons for this - I'm up the walls in college and also I haven't finished it yet

I've decided to give a review on the chapters I have read because of how much they've helped my poker game and me as a person. I've read chapters 1-4 comprehensively. I've read them three or four times and when I get some free time this week I'm going to read them again. This is the main reason I haven't finished the book yet.

I think the most important thing to understand about this book is that it really is a book for the mental game. It's not just a book to deal with tilt. It deals with all aspects of your mental approach to poker. A quick read through the contents inside the front cover will signify this.

The main thing this book has shown me so far is how I've been approaching the learning side of the game completely wrong. In Ireland we have a saying, `He's a working fool'. It's a phrase to describe someone who is all work and bluster but never seems to get anything done. Well I felt like a working fool after reading chapter two.

I am someone who has no issue working on my game. I read books, I watch Cardrunners videos and I post on twoplustwo as much as I can. I've always made a point of trying to improve - I suspect my personality traits are fairly common among twoplustwo users.

The thing about my learning strategy was I was always trying to learn new things - every day. I'd load up a set of sngs with so much new info clogging my mind that I wouldn't know what to do. I always assumed the day would come when old information would make sense and new information would stick automatically; I just needed to persevere. After a year and a half of this I still hadn't realised how wrong my strategy was.

Chapter two, Foundation, has completely changed my approach to the game. I can honestly say there is something in nearly every line of that chapter that hits home for me. After reading certain parts of it I felt like slapping my head off a door for being so stupid in my approach to poker.

Taking his advice for warming up as one aspect to discuss -I always knew I needed to warm up to play, the problem was I always did it during the first hour of play. I would be aware I was making some basic errors but knew my play would improve after the first hour - my brain was essentially taking time to adjust to the game. It never dawned on me to prepare for this first hour before I played and ensure I wasn't making basic errors or repeat mistakes.

Chapter two gave me the resources to learn and have an uncluttered mind but chapters three and four (Emotion, Strategy) are the chapters that dominate my thinking in-game. When I play now I have a really close eye on my mental state and I am alert instantly when I feel it slipping. These chapters exposed flaws in my mental game I never knew existed. If I'm honest I thought I only had some minor mental game issues to begin with but these chapters have exposed some huge weaknesses.

The biggest of these is how wound up I get during play, particularly towards the end of a set. Again this was a weakness I was always aware of but had come to accept. I thought it was just a facet of my personality that couldn't be changed. I would say it was the biggest hindrance to my development as a player. I would get wound up in a game, make mistakes and afterwards this would lead to a sort of mini-depression I would tell myself this is part of my personality I have to live with, but always knew that it was holding me back hugely.

Working with these chapters I now realise there is always a trigger point for this mind-set. I have to be mindful when that trigger goes off - not get pissed because I realise I've been wound up for the past twenty minutes.
The awareness of my mental game in poker is now transferring into my everyday life and I am extremely grateful for that. It's helping me in my approach to social situations (which I suck at) learning in college and countless other situations.

So that's what The Mental Game of Poker has done for me.

I also must commend Jared and Barry for their willingness to engage with readers on Twitter. I'm fairly sure neither of them has yet failed to answer a question thrown at them.

Thanks for the good work guys and hopefully this is the first of many mental game books.
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on 4 January 2013
This book is absolutely crucial and should be read by any player moving on from the Beginner stage. Jared's view on tilt and other mental game issues is pretty much novel amongst poker writers but more to the point it's far more on the money and will actually help you cure tilt as opposed to just suppressing it.

This is one of the best poker books I've read and heartily recommend it to everyone.
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on 10 November 2013
This book has totally changed how I view the game and my attitude toward it. For the better I should add.

I am low stake sng and mtt long term winner but I am very prone to tilt and needed to find a solution to it- this book has give me the foundations to be able to move forward positively not dread periods of run bad, being jealous of other players I perceived to be luckier than me, not feeling like I was cursed, making tilt calls along with keeping calm during games and hands!

The book guides you through the types of tilt, how to recognise them and why they can be so damaging and helpful to your game at the same time!

Definitely worth a read for ANY poker player!! I say any and not just players who suffer from tilt because some of the tilt described in the book I didn't even realise I have!

GL at the tables!
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on 30 March 2012
i read all the must read literature for poker. 'supersytem 2' phil gordons books' etc was a winning player but wanted the next step, the next thing to read to improve my game. this is that book. i didnt think i was much of a tilter and was skeptical about this so called mental game, how i was wrong, buy this book. it turned out i did tilt, i did have mental game issues and this book brought that to light. i was a mental fish and now im working on it. it also helped me learn to study my actual game better thus i found many flaws in my play. im now trying to fix these bad plays and learn the proper plays to unconcious competence lol. buy the book its worth it
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on 14 April 2014
I can't criticise this book too much as there are certain things in this book that do help and are beneficial.

However, Tendler basically comes up with 2 or 3 ways to control tilt but manages to spin these out into a whole book, explaining in different ways basically about the same thing.

Not bad for the price, partially helpful, but not a great read at all.
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on 9 July 2012
I had this book in my wish list for a while and when I saw it was only a fiver on Kindle, decided to purchase it.

This book is excellent and I have really noticed improvements in my play since I started reading it. I have always had a problem with tilting on a bad run and spewing my bankroll away. This book helped me adjust the way I think about poker, variance and, crucially, to get realistic expectations about what to expect in Poker. This helps me stay in control when someone gets lucky against me or I don't play a good session.

I now think the mental game aspect of poker is something that is really neglected and full marks go to this book for addressing the issue.
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on 9 March 2013
excellent piece of work designed to make u understand your own decision making when in pressure situations in poker. Reading it, using it, adds money to your pocket.
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on 5 December 2012
Will definitely sort out any tilt issues you have as well as any other minor emotional problems you have. Sorted out my frustration at losing pots to crap players.
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on 26 October 2014
The Mental Game of Poker does not only help you as a poker player, but also in your everyday life. Therefore, it is not only directed to avoiding tilt but helping you to improve your overall mental status. What is more, I have really found it useful in trading aswell, because a lot of these factors are quite similar, especially when running bad.

It is written in really good language and is easily understandable. What I really found interesting and helpful, are the three foundational theories, which are MUST if you want to improve your game and mental focus.

All in all, what I really liked about this book, is that it helped me in everyday life as much as in poker - to gain confidence & motivation. Therefore, this is a book I recommend to everyone who is starting to take poker more seriously, because there is a thing called "variance", which will really start to depress you when you are playing 1000+ hands online a day. I recommend to read it before, so you have heads up, what might happen to you while playing and therefore be ready and confident about it.
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on 19 March 2012
If you buy no other poker books this year then this book is for you. Through a site I play on I was able to have an actual live session with Jared and find the advice in the book second to none. There are plenty of reviews out that that will go in to much more depth than me, but this really is a book you need to have in your colection.
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