Schoonmaker has his PhD in industrial psychology from the University of California and has written about the psychology of poker extensively for Poker Digest. Schoonmaker also plays poker online regularly, albeit more for the opportunity to learn about people than to make high stakes wins. He prefers to play the lower limits of the online tables because he says there are more maniacs, rocks, oddballs and “deluded” experts there, making his game more interesting.
This book has a series of “Styles Grids” that help to determine what our internal motivations for playing poker are, as well as why we succeed or fail. He also raises questions about whether some people simply have the “right stuff” to succeed at poker and others don’t and whether it is our socialisation, not competition, that compels players to poker rooms every evening. The psyches of poker players are broken down into “eight principles of poker” which manages to dispel some myths as to the reasons why people play poker.
This book is a must for anyone who is interested in exploring the motivations and processes that go on in the minds of people who play poker and can really assist in creating understanding and therefore improving poker players’ poker skills.