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Poker Winners Are Different by Dr Alan Schoonmaker

Release date: 05th March, 2009
Publisher: CITADEL

List Price: £10.99
Our Price: £7.25
You Save: £3.74 (34%)
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As a flight of fancy, we'd like to think Schoonmaker is a doctor of poker-ology. The truth is much less comedic but no less impressive. With a Ph.D. in psychology, his background centres around industrial psychology, but as his earlier best-selling books have shown, he's been known to hold court on the subject of poker. The two are inexorably linked.

This is a book for the narcissistic in a good way. If you fancy taking a long hard look in the mirror at the way you play the game, the good doctor has just the prescription. Yes it's possible to go overboard on the navel gazing sometimes; although this isn't such an occasion.

Schoonmaker serves up a good deal of practical advice for recognizing and addressing shortcomings in your own psyche which can then be honed and finely tuned.

He never loses sight of the truism that poker breeds far more losers than winners; you can never accuse him of being unrealistic.

Some interesting assertions are to be found in the book; we're told that variances in player skill are often imperceptible, which is reassuring. The gaping chasms lie in the difference between players' motives, discipline, decisiveness and reactions to feelings. Read too many of this style of book and there's a danger you end up sounding like a million and one self help books, blurting out trendy terms like "emotional intelligence."

However, there's no getting away from the author's academia driven tone, but this does help his book stand out. Often quoting from private emails, forums and discussion groups, Schoonmaker backs up his claims with hard evidence. It's hard to argue with such concrete reasoning and coupled with numerous activities in the book, Poker Winners Are Different throws up enough powerful observations and conclusions to make it a compelling read.


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