Alan N. Schoonmaker, Ph.D.
Alan Schoonmaker Bio and Books
Author Biography - Alan Schoonmaker
Alan Schoonmaker earned his Ph.D. in industrial psychology at U of California, Berkeley. He taught and did research at UCLA, Carnegie-Mellon, and Belgium's Catholic University of Louvain. After running management development at Merrill Lynch, he worked as a consultant in twenty-nine countries on all six continents. His clients included the world's largest corporations such as IBM, Mobil, GE, GM, and Chase Manhattan. The annual sales of his clients exceed one trillion dollars.
He has written or co-authored three research monographs and five books on industrial psychology. His work has been translated into French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Japanese, and Indonesian. He has also developed several multi-media training programs. His "Selling: The Psychological Approach" was once the world's best selling computer based instructional program for business people. A major theme of his work is understanding and adjusting to different kinds of people, which is also the theme of The Psychology of Poker.
For two years he wrote the "Psychology of Poker" column for Poker Digest. That column now appears in Cardplayer magazine.
His attitude toward our game is unique for a poker writer: "I play only in smaller games because maximizing my profits is much less important to me than relaxing and learning about people. I became a psychologist because I enjoy people-watching, and a cardroom is a wonderful place to do it." "Players in small games are much more interesting than the more serious players. They are more varied, open, and relaxed. They laugh more, tell better stories, and never forget that the purpose of playing any game is to have fun."
"As the stakes get higher, the players become more serious and homogeneous. Most of them study the same books, know the same odds, and try to use similar strategies. In the smaller games there are more rocks, more maniacs, more calling stations, more nerds, more "Deluded Experts," and more oddballs, which means I learn more and get better material for my writing."
"Most poker writers focus on how the champions think and play, but hardly anything has been written about ordinary players. I want to help them to understand themselves and the people in their games."