The contributors to Part 2 then provide more technical advice with sections on range analysis, game theory optimal play, short stack strategies, value betting, and final table play. The final Part 3 then focuses on issues like mental toughness, psychology, and understanding tilt. Only when you understand tilt and the nature of anger can you begin to correct the underlying flaws that cause it. Here are the ones that are most common and damaging.

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How to Get Into Poker Zone In this interview Tendler explains what the zone is, how we get into it and why we should spend as much time as possible there. It really is like a nirvana in a sense. In sports it seems much more about muscle memory and repetition whereas poker is more a mental game.

Jared Tendler teaches you how to access your entire knowledge base. PL: How big a factor in performance does this ability to play in the zone represent? Are the best athletes and poker players just that much better at consistently reaching their potential?

JT: Obviously talent is a big part of the equation here. But if you look at the frequency at which the very best athletes and poker players are able to play in the zone, or damn close to it, it is definitely way higher than people at lower levels.

PL: We all know what it feels like to be in the zone in sports or poker, but what kind of work has been done scientifically to define it? The Mental Game of Poker is available now.

The thing that distinguishes the zone from every other state of mind is the access to unconscious data. So the thing that allows a golfer to just instinctively know the break on that putt, or the basketball player driving the lane to know exactly when to pass it, is access to more data. PL: You said this understanding of the zone is relatively new. Was there someone in golf that really embraced it and kind of jumped out in front of everyone as a result?

JT: I think it had been building and then Tiger came along and sort of trumped everyone. He basically forced people to catch up mentally and physically or they were gone. Tiger had been working with sports psychologists since he was 12 but if you look at the level of intensity and focus he brought to the game in the years like it was disgusting.

Tiger spent about five consecutive years in the zone in the late 90s. Do you think Ivey is playing at a level comparable to Tiger in his big years? JT: I do. And you could make Hellmuth the Phil Mickelson of poker. Hellmuth and Mickelson both have more mental game issues than Tiger and Ivey. Like Tiger and Mickelson at their best might actually be equal.


Jared Tendler dispels five popular ’tilt myths’ believed by poker players



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