Book Review: The Mental Game of Poker volume 2

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Jun 17, 2013 Posted in Reviews | No Comments »

ImageJared Tendler works with some of the biggest names in poker, and has been credited by a number of these players with turning their poker game around. The roll-call of the players Tendler has worked with (that we know of) is impressive with names like Dusty Schmidt, Niman Kenkre, Darren Kramer, and Danny Steinberg, and those are just the ones we know about.

A couple years ago Tendler started to make his extensive mental game knowledge available to the rest of us with his first book, The Mental Game of Poker, and now he is back at it, with volume 2 of The Mental Game of Poker.

Purchase the Mental Game of Poker volume 2

Let me start by saying that I have never been more pleasantly surprised by a poker book than I was with Jared Tendler’s Mental Game of Poker, so I have been eagerly anticipating the release of Mental Game of Poker volume 2, and I have to say it was every bit as good as volume 1 and lived up to my lofty expectations.

The Mental Game of Poker Volume 2 doesn’t rehash the content in volume 1 and it doesn’t simply pick up where volume 1 left off either. Instead The Mental Game of Poker volume 2 is essentially its own book, although I would highly recommend reading volume 1 before picking up volume 2 as reading and implementing the concepts found in the two books will make you a far more formidable poker player than just one or the other.

If I had to sum up volume 1 in a single sentence I would call it a book designed to help improve the flaws in your approach to the game of poker –namely, what makes you tilt at the poker tables. Where volume 1 teaches you to raise the bottom of your poker game (basically, play better when you are playing bad), volume 2 is designed to do the opposite, and raise your ceiling and help you reach you’re A-game more often.

First off, I love Tendler’s no-nonsense approach to the topic of mental game thinking in poker. Tendler once again pulls no punches, and has a hard-love style like Gordon Ramsay on an episode of Kitchen Nightmares (complete with a bit of salty language, although Tendler is no Ramsay on that front); this is what you’re doing wrong, here is what you should be doing to achieve your goals, and this is why. After comparing his tough-love teaching methods to Chef Ramsay I should probably add that Jared is one of the most likable and approachable people in poker.

Anyone who reads my book reviews knows you’re not going to get a deep look into the content of the book (if you want that then you should go read the book!) so let me start off with a basic overview of Mental Game of Poker volume 2 and why you should buy it:

Like volume 1, volume 2 is a self-published book authored by Jared Tendler along with poker columnist Barry Carter. The book clocks in at 187 pages, with the text divided into 8 separate chapters. Since the book is self-published let me give you an idea what you can expect from a quality standpoint: The book itself is well constructed, with a high-quality binding, thick pages, and excellent formatting.

The Mental Game of Poker volume 2 spends the bulk of its words on “The Zone” and the ways players can attain and remain in the zone. Like volume 1, don’t expect Tendler to play self-help guru and peddle positive thinking and yoga classes. Instead Tendler preaches a three pronged attack that requires you to do some actual work and soul-searching: Energy (not being too high or low), Learning (relying on your instincts and wisdom to make many decisions), and The Data Stream (how you filter and process all of the data that is constantly flung at you in poker).

If you’ve hit a plateau in your game, or you are struggling with poker despite having plenty of strategic knowledge swirling around in your head than Tendler’s books would probably be the best investment you could make. While I make plenty of book recommendations, The Mental Game of Poker series are the only books that I would universally recommend. If you’ve read volume 1 than you already know how good volume 2 is (and have probably already bought it)… If you’re not familiar with Tendler’s work than I highly recommend both books with zero reservations.

read my latest interview with Jared Tendler here:

read my review of The Mental Game of Poker volume 1 here:

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