Alan Schoonmaker is an avid poker player, licensed psychologist, and published author. He combined his passion for poker, background in psychology, and writing skills to create some of the most influential poker strategy books in history. They are distinct in that they are designed to analyze the movements of recreational poker players as opposed to professionals.
“The majority of poker authors focus on how champions think and play, while almost nothing has been written about average players. I want to assist them in comprehending themselves and the other players in their sports.” The name Alan Schoonmaker
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Alan Schoonmaker was born in Pasadena and reared there. His father taught at the California Institute of Technology, while his mother worked as a surgical nurse. He was the firstborn of three siblings, with two sisters younger than him.
Schoonmaker had a peaceful childhood until the age of ten, when his father abandoned the household. One evening, he returned home from school to find his mother in tears as she read his father’s farewell note, in which he explained that he had fallen in love with another woman and intended to spend the remainder of his life with her.
Schoonmaker’s mother believed it would be in his best interest to speak with a therapist after this incident left her son in a state of despair. Initially hesitant to confide in a therapist, he eventually found the sessions beneficial. Actually, it was these early experiences that inspired Schoonmaker to become interested in psychology, but more on that later.
Schoonmaker played blackjack for the first time in the caddie store of the golf course where he worked when he was 13 years old. Texas hold ’em was the first form of poker he learned, but he went on to master Caribbean Stud Poker and Omaha hold ’em as well. Poker was a stress-relieving activity he used to cope with the absence of his father.
Schoonmaker excelled academically from a young age and graduated in the top five percent of his cohort. He was a member of the mathematics, science, and psychology clubs at his school. The combination of his academic performance and extracurricular involvement earned him a complete scholarship to the California Institute of Technology. To avoid a potential confrontation with his father, he decided to decline their offer and enroll at the University of California, Berkeley.
His College and Profession
During his freshman year of college, Schoonmaker decided not to designate a major. Although he was contemplating a career as a psychologist, the idea of spending eight years in college left him feeling overburdened. At the time, he believed that becoming a mathematics instructor was the best option.
Schoonmaker began playing poker on a weekly basis with a group of friends who convened at a local café every Tuesday evening during his sophomore year. He enjoyed observing other players, searching for their signals and attempting to determine their playing techniques.
Actually, it was his interest in analyzing competitors’ movements that caused him to reconsider becoming a psychologist.