With 41 PGA Tour victories and 4 Majors Championships, Phil Mickelson is one of the greatest golfers of all-time. With 12 WSOP gold bracelets, Phil Hellmuth is one of the best poker players in history. And author/mental coach Jared Tendler has found a way to link both of these greats.
Tendler, who co-wrote The Mental Game of Poker 2 with Barry Carter, described both Hellmuth and Mickelson as guys who are excellent at their respective games, but have issues when things aren’t going right.
He told PokerListings, “Hellmuth and Mickelson both have more mental game issues than Tiger and Ivey. Both Hellmuth and Mickelson are great champions, won a ton, but I don’t think they have the composure and consistency that Ivey and Tiger show.” He added, “That’s a testament to how good they are when they’re at their best but it’s almost more telling about how good they are at their worst.”
Tendler also drew a comparison between Phil Ivey and Tiger Woods by saying that they both bring a mental intensity and focus that no other player can match.
“Like Tiger and Mickelson at their best might actually be equal. But Tiger might be three shots better when they’re both at their worst,” said Tendler. “Ivey might be a full big bet better than Hellmuth, or Galfond or whoever when they’re at their worst.”
The author also explained one of the biggest concepts in his book, which is being “in the zone.” Tendler stated the following:
The zone is basically the peak of your mental performance. It’s the space in your own mind where everything just seems sort of easy and natural. You’re making very high-level decisions very easily.
If you’re a golfer your golf swing is working out and every shot’s going where you want it and you’re able to visualize the shot very easily.
In poker your reads are spot-on and you’re able to make correct decisions easily, sometimes to the point that you’re not even sure exactly why it’s right.
Seeing as how poker skills are determined by your drive to learn and ability to focus, it definitely sounds like Tendler’s book could be pretty helpful for players.