Learn the ‘mental’ aspect of poker

May 14, 2007 5:24 AM

Special to GT

Two hotsy-totsy titles of interest to poker and video poker aficionados have arrived at Gambler’s Book Shop. Alan Schoonmaker’s Your Worst Poker Enemy — Master The Mental Game (336 pages, paperbound, $15.95) and The Frugal Video Poker Scouting Guide by Jean Scott and Viktor Nacht (34 pages, 3x7, pocket-sized, spiralbound, $19.99).

Schoonmaker, who previously authored the well-received Psychology of Poker, continues to help poker players analyze themselves and opponents. In his latest work he examines and dissects subjects like logic versus intuition; evaluating ourselves and the opposition; understanding unconscious and emotional forces ; adjusting to changes; handling stress.One section in the book that’s sure to raise the hackles on the necks of female players involves why men tend to dominate tournaments.

"I therefore believe that more women avoid the poker tournament circuit for competitive than for lifestyle reasons. To put it bluntly, they don’t think they can win, and they’re probably right."

Overall, Schoonmaker does a fine job of analyzing the strengths and weaknesses that we all carry to and from the table. He also excels in explaining why some players learn from their mistakes, who some candy-coat them and refuse to admit they exist and why others, like generals in battle, learn and build on past errors to become better players in the long run.

The Scott-Nacht book is easy to carry with you to video poker machines. The authors try to guide you to what the casinos already know: Which games are better for the player and which are not; which are the better paying machines and the common variations.

There are more than 175 pay schedules for three dozen different games listed, including the most popular pay schedules nationally””so if you’re in Atlantic City or Mississippi, the book will work for you.

These books and more are available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club). The store’s web site is www.gamblersbook.com, or you can call toll free at 1-800-522-1777.