I’m not kidding. The Mental Game of Poker is a college textbook. A professor named Dr. Patricia Cardner from Park University contacted me over the summer to inquire about using The Mental Game of Poker as the text for her class on Poker Psychology. Yes, you did read that right, the class is titled Poker Psychology with the course code of PS 390 to be exact.
Dr. Cardner was looking for a way to get the students excited about psychology. Enrollment was down in the department and she took her love for poker and developed this course. The first class filled up quickly. It was a huge hit and the class has been successful ever since.
It’s pretty funny to think about these 25 or so students going into their college library, rolling over to the psychology section, and then finding The Mental Game of Poker resting between thick textbooks on Neuropsychology and Child Development.
For me, it’s great that I have the chance to influence some college students in the right direction to be thinking about the mental game. Plus, it’s a fun thing to say: The Mental Game of Poker is a textbook. Lol, never thought I’d say that!
In case you’re interested, here’s the course description:
PS 390 Selected Topics in Psychology: Intensive study of an area of psychology selected by the instructor on the basis of student need or current interest. Variable credit: 1-3 hours. Prerequisite: PS 101 or permission of the instructor.
Week 1 Introduction to the Psychological Issues Associated with Gambling & Poker Strategy
Week 2 Poker Strategy
Week 3 Motivation and Goal Setting
Week 4 Managing Tilt: Anger and Anxiety
Week 5 Concentration: Focus under Pressure
Week 6 Gambling Addiction and Treatment, Other Potential Personality Issues
Week 7 Detecting Deception Week
Week 8 Putting It All Together
Instructor Learning Outcomes
- Students will demonstrate an understanding of the major psychological constructs that are important to gambling realms (particularly poker)
- Students will develop an appreciation for the psychological nuances of various gambling games with a primary focus on poker
- Identify and label psychological themes as they appear in gambling mass media
- Explain the impact that gambling can have on a person and their family when an addiction to gambling develops or escalates
- Understand the course of treatment that applies to gambling addictions as well as assessment procedures
- Demonstrate high quality written and/oral communication skills through interaction with other students and the instructor utilizing correct psychological terms and concepts