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Mental Game of Poker

Bart HansonBart Hanson Posts: 6,108Administrator, LeadPro
HEy guys--

I got this email from a user. Thought it would be nice to post here:


I just finished your Jared Tendler podcast and got home to see something interesting that happened to Tiger Woods today at the Masters. It was directly related to concepts you guys spoke about.

Tiger was tied for the tournament lead, and hit an absolutely perfect shot on the Par-5 15th hole. Here's a photo of what happened: http://www.golf.com/photos/2013-masters-round-2/tiger-woods-round-2#334415

His approach shot landed, spun back (as intended), and happened to hit the flag stick. When it hit the flag stick, it caromed off and went into the water hazard. In a split-second it went from an absolutely perfect shot, one that would take him into the lead of the tournament, and turned into a disaster.

Jared and you talked about the mental skills golf and poker have in common, and I think this is a perfect example. You play perfectly - anyone who knows anything about the game can truly appreciate the magnitude of how well you played - and something improbably, seemingly coming out of nowhere, happens. This time it was the flag pole careening the ball into the water, but at the poker table it could be a drunk player exposing your cards, or the dealer prompting someone to act out of turn.

Instead of letting what surely must have been some incredible emotions affect him, Tiger took his drop, and hit almost the exact same shot. He played a perfect shot, got screwed, and then went back and stuck with his guns - not letting the previous attempt hang over his head, knowing he made the right play the first time around.

It's hard to imagine even other professional golfers not letting something like that get to them. Can you imagine Jon Daly's reaction? Or Phil Mickelson's? His mental fortitude was really impressive there.

Here's a video highlight where you can see the two shots: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=9165864


  • GlennJonesGlennJones Posts: 176Subscriber
    Thanks Bart. I listened to the podcast on the way to my normal Friday game down in San Diego. The message in the podcast definitely had me thinking differently last night (hence today's weak tight tilt post). Thanks for mixing in a little something other than play strategy!
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