Zen and The Art Of Poker is a book by Larry Phillips that teaches how to use Zen to make you a better poker player. Since Robert Pirsig started the Zen and… craze in the mid-seventies, the public has been infatuated with books relating eastern mysticism and everyday western life. It was only a matter of time before someone wrote Zen and The Art of Poker, which applies the principles of this sect of Buddhism to the ultimate game of strategy and deception.
In Zen and The Art Of Poker there are five major sections. Each of these sections contain from four to six essays on the application of Zen to the game of poker. Zen and The Art Of Poker also has an introduction and two appendices. The first appendix is on Zen and poker tournaments, and the second is on Zen and Poker Computer Software. Zen and The Art Of Poker has a bibliography as well. The bibliography refers to a number of good poker books and contains references for the many Zen quotes that Phillips applies to poker within the book.
Zen and The Art Of Poker covers some of the inherent contradictions between Zen and poker. Poker requires a great measure of aggression, and that the way one measures long term success in poker is by winning tournaments and accumulating money. These are both very un-Zen-like ideas.
Zen and The Art Of Poker author Larry Phillips then proceeds to explain where Zen is useful in poker. Some of the most important notions include calmness, not associating results of individual pots with playing well. Zen and The Art Of Poker recommends looking at the game of poker in long term views. These lessons are vital for poker players and should be learned in order for players to play their best game.
Zen and The Art Of Poker is filled with quotes from Zen literature and other sources. Most of these are relevant to the points that Phillips discusses. Some of them are quite amusing and fitting for the game of poker. It is a key for poker players to control their emotions and accept the realities of the conditions of the game in which they are playing in. There are so many variables in poker that something is sure to try and get under your skin when you play. Poker players who cannot control their emotions will be long term losers. Zen and The Art Of Poker author Larry Phillips’ Zen approach is a good method for a player to gain control of their own game if they chose to buy in to the Zen way of thinking. Zen and The Art Of Poker can be very useful in helping a player maintain the involved yet detached state of mind that is most appropriate for winning play in poker.
Poker players who are able to appreciate Zen concepts may find that Zen and the Art of Poker can significantly help them improve their self-control at the poker table. Overall, this book is good at explaining how and why a player should work on this piece of their poker game. As I am always suggesting, constant education is important for poker players, such as it is in life in general. Zen and The Art Of Poker teaches you concepts that I have not found in other books. Improve yourself, the poker player, with Zen and The Art Of Poker. As always, good luck in your poker adventures!