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I’ve always been very keen on learning more and improving my poker game, so I’ve probably tried every source of information that was available to me. Over time I’ve found many useful resources, including poker books.

I believe that finding a good read via one of the best poker books can drastically help you on your way. Therefore, I want to share two of the most important books that changed the way I approach the game and helped more than I could have ever imagined.

Mental Game of Poker – Jared Tendler

When I first saw this book, I was a bit skeptical because I thought I handled the mental side of the game pretty well. However, that was far from the truth and the book had a huge impact on my abilities as a poker player. It helped me overcome tilting issues and build a much healthier approach to the game and probably other life areas as well.

To my surprise, this book was not just a chitchat like many psychology books, and instead it offered great insights and examples of how I could and should improve my game.

As you probably know, poker is a game where you can make the right decisions and still end up losing money for quite a long time because of variance. In those cases, staying on top of your game is quite hard and Jared helps you recognize your bad patterns and prevent poor play.

Just eliminating one or two plays—which you make out of frustration, anger or just because you are tired—could drastically change your overall results. Even if you are not tilting much, I am pretty sure you will find useful information and keep playing your ‘A Game’ much longer after reading the book.

Applications of No-Limit Hold ‘Em – Matthew Janda

This book concentrates on building a solid understanding of the game and learning GTO (Game Theory Optimal) approach. Matthew explains many vital concepts and delves deep into unexploitable play.

What I love most about this book is that it is as practical as it gets. The author covers a wide variety of different situations and examples, which you can easily implement in practice almost at once. Moreover, he explains beyond the GTO topics and helps you build a solid understanding of when you can take advantage of a given situation.

On top of that, the book will give you actual ranges that you can take away and use in your game. The whole book evolves around building the range and playing it instead of an individual hand. The fact that you will not be able to find the best play for a specific scenario without knowing how to play all your hands in a range is eye opening.

Although the book can be a bit confusing at first, once you get a feel for the author, it becomes probably the best-ever written for No-Limit Hold ’Em.

Summing It Up

Both strategy and mental approach play a huge role in your success as a player, and whether you are playing live or online poker, these books will help you take your game to the next level.

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Tadas Peckaitis

Tadas Peckaitis is a professional poker player, author of the free poker book “Play ‘A’ Game and be the Boss at Your Poker Table," and poker coach at He is also a big fan of personal effectiveness and always trying to do more. Tadas shares his knowledge about both of these topics with his students and deeply enjoys it.