John Feeney is a poker columnist for Poker Digest magazine who also holds a PhD in clinical psychology. Besides being a skilled poker player, this also gives him valuable insight into his own mind as a poker player, as well as the minds of his opponents. In Inside the Poker Mind we have a collection of essays which relate Feeney’s thoughts about poker and the folks who play it.
This book is divided into five sections. After some introductory material, Part One begins covering what Feeney calls “Technical Points”. These essays cover a variety of subjects, and I don’t really know what the section title refers to. Some of the topics covered are why people play too many hands and what that costs them, playing Ace-Queen in Hold’em, and some thoughts on tells. Most of the advice here seems pretty good to me, but occasionally, Feeney states some things in more of a straightforward manner than I believe is warranted. For example, in his essay titled “Do You Pass the Ace-Queen Test?”, he states, “Do you always play it, usually by calling the two bets cold? Then get into my game please.” While I agree that in many games, especially tougher games, that always cold-calling with AQoff is unwise, there are some games, such as the nearly ubiquitous loose low-limit games where nearly everyone plays poorly, where always playing AQoff for two bets probably isn’t very wrong. it’s true that Feeney says, “Of course it depends on the situation…,” but this dispenses with what sort of game one is in far too quickly for my tastes.
Part Two is titled “General Poker Slot Gacor Concepts”, and it covers luck, short handed play, and learning the game of poker. I really like most of these essays, and I think this section is the strongest one in the book. The third section, “Strategic Thinking in Hold’em”, covers what Feeney calls “The Strategic Moment”, how to play against maniacs, playing against a good card reader, and other strategies. Overall, most of the essays here are good, but less inspired in my opinion than those in Part Two.
The next section, “Poker and Emotion”, is the one where we expect the author to really shine, as he mixes his poker knowledge with his background in Slot Gacor psychology. He discusses having a professional attitude, tilt, and the benefits of therapy for poker players. I was a bit disappointed here, but I’m not sure I’m being fair. I have been doing a lot of thinking myself about what the “professional attitude” looks like and how it should affect one’s game, so it’s not surprising that I found Feeney’s general remarks on the subject to be simpler than what I was hoping for, and the details of some of his discussions sometimes emphasize different issues than what I think is most important. However, for the poker player that hasn’t given this much thought, the author’s analysis is almost certainly …