Inside the intriguing world of poker lies a fascinating exercise in strategy and extreme concentration–many of the same principles that underpin the one-thousand-year-old philosophy of Zen spirituality. Zen and the Art of Poker is the first book to apply Zen theories to America’s most popular card game, presenting tips that readers can use to enhance their game. Among the more than one hundred rules that comprise this book, readers will learn to:* Make peace with folding* Use inaction as a weapon* Make patience a central pillar of their strategy* Pick their times of confrontationUsing a concise and spare style, in the tradition of Zen practices and rituals, Zen and the Art of Poker traces a parallel track connecting the two disciplines by giving comments and inspirational examples from the ancient Zen masters to the poker masters of today.
Many readers of this original book, which mixes Zen and poker, will find it difficult to grasp Zen theories in which one becomes an arrow, is the ball, and becomes one with poker and the universe. In gambling, it’s easier to be a cynic, but an open mind will be necessary in accepting the knowledge of the bodhi tree. The poker enthusiast has only one objective in winning money. Phillips, a journalist and poker pro, perhaps with his tongue in his cheek implies that an individual will be rewarded with an almost psychic internal peace by the practices and theories of Zen. The true poker player or gambler, however, is by nature intuitive, compulsive, aggressive, calculating, relentless, and one-dimensional. Still, the author’s approach makes this an entertaining and well-written work worth perusing. He gives 100 useful rules for improving one’s play plus proverbs and theories that are great to mull over. As to the challenge of finding peace in folding, there is no way of doing it and maintaining sanity. Highly recommended for public libraries.AMarty Soven, Woodside, NY
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.