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  #11  
Old 12-19-2005, 10:54 PM
bkholdem bkholdem is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

I haven't read the book but do work in the field of psychology (not a psychologist) and have read some of his posts. I can tell you that he certainly seems to know his stuff from what i have read so I would assume it is worth it if it is an area you are interested in.
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  #12  
Old 12-20-2005, 01:49 AM
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

As a human-being I'm an a-hole, but as a player I'm as serious as they come. It's a great book. I wish my copy was signed, but I didn't get mine through Poker Stars. It can only help your game. The only thing that might hurt is being honest with yourself as the book requires you do.
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  #13  
Old 12-20-2005, 07:57 AM
Warren Whitmore Warren Whitmore is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

It has been said that being good at poker is being able to blend logic, statistics, and psychology. In my case psychology was my weak suit. The book helped me a whole lot.

p.S. As an aside "a students survival manual" also by schoonmaker will help you to get more out of all of the 2 + 2 books.
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  #14  
Old 12-20-2005, 10:41 AM
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

Pschology of Poker can only hurt you if you're dishonest with yourself...or unutterably stupid.
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  #15  
Old 12-20-2005, 12:18 PM
AlanBostick AlanBostick is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

[ QUOTE ]
Pschology of Poker can only hurt you if you're dishonest with yourself...or unutterably stupid.

[/ QUOTE ]

Also, you can get papercuts if you mishandle the pages.
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  #16  
Old 12-22-2005, 06:46 AM
yellowjack yellowjack is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

Hello,

A little late on the response here but I just finished the book two days ago so I thought I'd give some input.

I see myself as a mentally strong player who has a very good idea of why I play the way I do. As a result of this, I didn't gain anything from the self-evaluations. Actually, I found myself in disagreement about some of the assessments.

In his book, he says that if you blame your poor results on bad luck, you are kidding yourself. I disagree with this, as I put very good sessional results as coming from good luck and not just "skill". Much later on in the book he mentions himself speaking of long term luck just once. However it was very misleading at the start, and should be corrected if another edition of this book comes out.

The parts of the book that benefited me the most were the parts on why people play LPP, LAG, TAP, and TAG. The reasons are very straight-forward and logical, i.e. a TAP is living off pension and wants to pass the time while making some money. If anyone wanted a summed up version of the book from me it's that he explains why people play the way they do, and he makes sure you know why you're playing.

Perhaps this realization of this is what makes the book so good. Whatever it was, I must have overlooked it.
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  #17  
Old 12-22-2005, 11:49 AM
winky51 winky51 is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

I read some of the posts below, good replies.

I would suggest reading several psychology books on poker. Each have their own tid bit of information that helps your game.

Psychology of Poker:
PoP is a good book to allow you to get into player's minds. I also like some of the recommendations he made about handling other players. Not pissing them off by comments or insults. Make them feel comfortable when they suckout on you not angry like they want to bust you. If they make a strange play ask them why in a nice way. You get insights to their play. It alway helps you identify your playing style. I like to keep opponents predictable, raise when I am behind, call when I am ahead, not bluffing. maximize my profits and reduce theirs. Psychologu of Poker shows the path to put the blinders on the weaker players and guide then down your road of profit.

Mike Caro's Book of Tells:
This books looks silly on the inside. You read this and think "what idiot does these tells"... EVERYONE. Good book to read for learning to read players. It is most useful when dealing with weaker players, and thats most of them [img]/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img] I have used the knowledge in this book very very effectively.

Tao of Poker, Zen of Poker:
These books are good to get in the right frame of mind. They didnt do crap for me but for others they are the right book. It just didn't put it in a perspective I felt.

Ace on the River:
This accomplished what the 2 above did not, mental focus and purpose.

Phil Hellmuth books and videos:
Even though I don't like his analysis and math strategies for hands, he does always drop little pieces of information on players more than many other poker play books. Things that you only can learn with experience. His video is terrible except for the tells part. That was good. I have only seen the 1st 2 so dont burn me if he improved.

My own 2 cents:
One thing I can't stress enough is to be intraspecive (look within ones self to understand others). We are all humans and we all have the same instinctive reactions to things. Takes a lot of concentration and training to break these habits. If you are honest with yourself and identify your instinctive reactions you can see them in others. Some players can do that some can't.

EXAMPLE:
Weak means strong, strong means weak. Caro said this over and over in his book and its true. Your job is to find out how a player does this. I had to train myself to think of other things when I am in a hand not to give this tell off. I found that if I thought about the hand, the player, or if he's calling, I instinctively react when I am weak by talking or body language and act relaxed when I am ahead. I stopped that tell as best I could. Because I realized that tell in myself I can now see it in others. Be intraspective.

Guess I said too much
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  #18  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:22 AM
KenProspero KenProspero is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

If I were to rank all he poker books as far as usefulness to a new-intermediate player, Theory of Poker would be first, and Psychology of Poker would be second.

First of all, it gives you the tools to analyze your 'natural playing style'. In all liklihood, you will see yourself in the descriptions Dr. Al gives, and you will recognize your natural style of play (even if you thought your were TAG). After this analysis, you can begin to make the decision of whether you want to play poker to satisfy your emotional needs, or whether you want to play poker to win money. If you understand your own playing style, through conscious effort, you can mold yourself to the player you want to be.

Further, if you can identify personality traits in your opponents, you can make tremendous gains in reading them and determining how they play.

From these two areas alone, your long-term profits will increase tremendously if you understand what Dr. Al is saying.
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  #19  
Old 12-23-2005, 02:18 AM
davet davet is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker


I will defer common opinion and say that I am not the largest fan of this book.

I am a very experienced player and I do derive most of my income from playing.

However, I will not say that it is useless, just that I would prefer to study other things. Perhaps I am obtuse and analytical, but whatever.
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  #20  
Old 12-23-2005, 01:39 PM
KenProspero KenProspero is offline
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Default Re: The Psychology of Poker By: Alan Shoomaker

[ QUOTE ]
Perhaps I am obtuse and analytical, but whatever.

[/ QUOTE ]

I doubt that you're being either. If you play well enough to derive most of your income from playing poker, you probably don't need this book.

My experience -- I'm a casual player. I play online at stakes that are fundamentally meaningless to me. Occasionally at casinos, again small stakes.

My natural playing style is weak-tight. In 40 years or so, I could be one of those geezers who are the rockiest rocks you'd ever see. After reading a couple of books, I thought I was becomming TAG -- but looking back at it, I wasn't. I had probably moved my aggressiveness from about 10% to about 25%.

POP got me to analyze my own playing style, and realize that if I wanted to be aggressive, I'd have to work at it, really think through every hand I play and force myself to make plays that are counterintuitive to me, but vital to my success.

Also, in thinking of my own psychological make up, I realized I'll never be a poker pro. If I had to worry about my poker playing ability to support myself, I'd probably worry myself into a heart attack.

So, I've identified myself as a recreational player. I identify stakes where I can play aggressively and win, but where if I lose, I only lose my money, not my sleep.

I think this kind of evaluative process is important to a new player, and even more so to an intermediate player.

You need to identify your natural style, your 'natural' comfort zone, and whether you'll be able to move your comfort zone as you get better.
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