Peak Poker Performance: how to bring your 'A' game to every session

Peak Poker Performance: how to bring your 'A' game to every session


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Peak Poker Performance: how to bring your 'A' game to every session by Patricia Cardner

Mike Sexton once asked Chip Reese, "The guys you play against are tough. What separates you from them?" Chip replied, "You're right Mike. They are tough. In fact, when they play their 'A' game, I'm really no better than they are. The difference is that they also have a 'C' and 'D' game, whereas I don't. They become weak players when they steam and just about all of them do. My edge is that I don't steam." (Life's a Gamble, D&B 2016).If you've ever wondered if the psychological aspect of poker is important, that should provide the answer. One of the greatest players of all times is attributing his success to the fact that he has better psychological control over his play than his opponents.The good news is that, actually, there is nothing mysterious about Chip's ability. To do the same you simply have to adhere to specific strategies and guidelines. This book will tell you what they are and explain why they work. These strategies, implemented into your everyday routine, will substantially increase your performance and improve your mental state.
Peak Poker Performance will show you how to:• Create an unbeatable mindset• Pursue excellence during downswings• Eliminate procrastination• Improve your motivation• Master your emotionsPlus much, much more
Dr. Patricia Cardner has worked with hundreds of poker players, at mid-stakes and high-stakes levels, both through private coaching and online training. With the help of Jonathan Little, Patricia moves on from her first book, ‘Positive Poker’ and uses the very latest research to take you to the next level so you too can achieve better results on the felt and in life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781909457508
Publisher: D&B Publishing
Publication date: 08/07/2016
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 1,213,392
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. Patricia Cardner has two doctorates (one in psychology and one in criminology), and is a licensed professional counselor. Patricia has taught numerous university courses in psychology including courses in sports psychology, positive psychology and a special topics course on the psychology of poker. In addition, Patricia is an avid poker player and since learning the game a few years ago, has over six figures in tournament winnings. Patricia is one of the few people with the level of education and clinical expertise who actually plays the game.Jonathan Little is a professional poker player who lives in New York and who started playing poker when he turned 18 years old. He quickly became one of the biggest winners in online sit-n-go tournaments.He has won two WPT events and final tabled two others, earning him the Season 6 Player of the Year award. He has total earnings in excess of $6 million. In 2013, he cashed five times in the WSOP, including a 3rd place finish. He has cashed over 20 times at the WSOP. Jonathan is also a poker coach who frequently posts free training content at

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 11

Introduction: Becoming a Peak Poker Performer 13

Principle 1 Have a Compelling Vision 15

Principle 2 Create Winning Habits and Systems 15

Principle 3 Keep an Experimenter's Mindset 16

Principle 4 Know Your Kryptonite 17

Principle 5 Master Your Fundamentals 18

Principle 6 Master Your Mindset 19

Principle 7 Understand and Optimize Your Brain 20

Principle 8 A Willingness to Develop Your Full Potential 20

Getting the Most from Peak Poker Performance 22

References 24

1 What's Your Why? 25

Growth Mindset 30

A Word on Mediocrity 31

Observation Activity 32

Defining Your Plans 33

Activity: Goals Reflection 34

Mental Contrasting 34

If This Then That: Implementation Intentions 36

Activity: Creating a Daily Action Plan 38

Are You Willing to Pay The Price? 39

Summary 40

Chapter Highlights 40

Jonathan's Comments 41

References and Further Reading 43

2 Create Winning Habits 45

Habits as Superpowers 48

Anatomy of a Habit 50

Steps for Building Habits 52

Keystone Habits 53

Daily Drudgery 55

Think Big but Start Small 56

Identify Your Kryptonite 58

Embrace the Process 58

Summary 59

Chapter Highlights 60

Jonathan's Comments 60

References and Further Reading 62

3 Systematizing Success 64

Goals Versus Systems 65

Systematize Your Process 67

Create Perfect Days 68

Bookend Your Days 73

Small Choices Add Up: The Compound Effect 73

The 5% Solution 75

Track Your Behaviors 76

Gaining Momentum 76

Continuous Improvement Through Kaizen 77

Why Systems Fail 81

Summary 82

Chapter Highlights 82

Jonathan's Comments 83

References and Further Reading 85

4 Deconstructing the A Game 86

What Does Your A Game Look Like? 88

Flow as the Optimal Psychological State 91

Pre-Game Considerations 94

Focus of Attention 95

Developing Situational Awareness 96

The Myth of Multi-tasking 97

Two Paths to Increasing Your A Game Rating 98

Strong Emotions and the A Game 100

Assessing Emotional Responses 103

Reacting to Strong Emotional Responses 104

Cognitive Defusion in Action 106

Summary 107

Chapter Highlights 108

Jonathan's Comments 108

References and Further Reading 110

5 Common Psychological Hurdles 112

Emotional Awareness Exercise 114

How Emotions Develop 115

The Creation of a Tilt Response 117

The Mind as a Problem Solving Machine 118

Emotional Intelligence 120

Mental game leaks 122

Summary 136

Chapter Highlights 136

Jonathan's Comments 137

References and Further Reading 138

6 Beating Procrastination 139

Why Procrastinate? 140

How A Behavioral Economist Explains Procrastination 143

Types of Procrastinators 144

Self-Verification Theory of Procrastination 145

Tactics To Fight Procrastination 147

Goals are Super Fuel for Motivation 150

Gamify Aversive Tasks 151

Temptation Bundling 152

Work in Short Bursts 153

Environmental Design 154

Simplify Your To-Do List 155

Create Accountability 156

Summary 157

Chapter Highlights 157

Jonathan's Comments 158

References and Further Reading 160

7 Transform Your Mental Game 161

Your Mindfulness Baseline 162

Developing Psychological Flexibility: Mindfulness Training 165

Mindfulness Breathing Exercise 169

Mindful Movement: Walking Mediation 171

The Body Scan 171

Mindfulness of Routine Activities 173

Defuse Your Negative Thoughts 174

Practicing Thought Awareness 175

Acceptance: An Antidote for Resistance 176

Is it Workable? 177

Managing Impulses and Urges 180

The Challenge of Boredom 181

Summary 181

Chapter Highlights 183

Jonathan's Comments 184

References and Further Reading 185

8 Neuropsychology and Peak Poker Performance 186

Meet Your Brain 187

The Exterior Brain 190

Interior Parts of the Brain 194

Putting It All Together 196

Neurons 198

Neuroplasticity: The Mechanism of Brain Change 201

Neurotransmitters 203

Your Brain on Tilt 205

The Neuroscience of Downswings 207

Negativity Bias 210

Summary 211

Chapter Highlights 211

Jonathan's Comments 212

References and Further Reading 214

9 Enhance Your Brain's Performance: Brain Boosters 215

Brain Booster #1: Exercise 217

Brain Booster #2: Diet 218

Brain Booster #3: Mindfulness Meditation 220

Brain Booster #4: Proper Sleep 223

Brain Booster #5: Reduce Your Stress 225

Summary 227

Chapter Highlights 228

Jonathan's Comments 229

References and Further Reading 232

10 Readers' Questions 233

Q1 Memory Issues 233

Q2 Left and Right Brain 236

Q3 Banishing Fear 237

Q4 Moving Up 239

Q5 Feeling Tired when Winning 239

Q6 Procrastination Issues 240

Q7 Key Psychological Factors 242

Q8 Roadmap for Improvement 243

Q9 Switching Gears 245

Q10 Avoiding Tilt 246

Q11 Maintaining Focus 247

References and Further Reading 249

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