The Psychology of Poker by Alan N. Schoonmaker, Ph.D.
Poker demands many skills and strategies. To be successful, you must be able to master all of them and then apply them at the appropriate times. They include proper hand selection, appropriate aggression, bluffing, semi-bluffing, understanding tells and telegraphs, choosing the right games, and reading hands. These skills do not come easily since they require unnatural actions.
You cannot win just by "doing what comes naturally." This book does not provide strategic advice; you should get it from other Two Plus Two books. Dr. Schoonmaker is concerned only with the way that psychological factors affect your own and your opponents' ability to play properly.
For example, have you ever wondered why some players seem extremely aggressive while others are passive? Why some are tight and others loose? Furthermore, have you ever wondered why some tactics seem to come naturally to you while others don't?
This text will answer many of these questions. It will explain why you and your opponents play the way you do. Many people know how to play properly, but play poorly. Simply learning strategy does not mean that you will apply it properly.
The author also suggests strategic adjustments that you should make to improve your results against different kinds of players, and he suggests personal adjustments that will help you to play better and enjoy the game more. (330 pages; $24.95) ISBN: 1880685256
Inside the Poker Mind:
Essays on Hold 'em and General Poker Concepts
Inside the Poker Mind: Essays on Hold 'em and General Poker Concepts by John Feeney, Ph.D.
Poker is a game of many skills and to become an expert poker player you need to master them all. This includes concepts such as hand selection, position, proper image projection, and reading hands. However, there are many players who have mastered most of these skills yet they still do poorly in the games -- at best they are only small winners. And when they step up in limit and challenge the better players, they almost always fail. You see, knowing the concept is one thing, putting it all together is another.
As the text will show, winning poker is a process that requires a lot of thinking as well as a thorough and systematic approach to the game, and that is what this book is about. Topics include "Playing Too Many Hands," "Self-Weighting Cold Calls," "Short-Handed Play: Don't Miss Out," "The Strategic Moment in Hold 'em," "Countering a Good Reader," "A Poker Player in Therapy," and "Thoughts on the Effects of the Poker Literature." Those of you who are serious about your game should find much of this material to be extremely valuable.