Fedor Holz is a young poker genius from Germany. His career rocketed in 2014-2016, making him rich and famous, and putting him squarely in the center of public attention. So people have been wondering: how did he do this? Winning more than $20 million in less than 18 months? Is it possible to do so just playing cards? Maybe Fedor Holz, or CrownUpGuy, as he nicknamed himself, knows a secret or two? Maybe he has learned some tricks, having read a couple of good books?
Of course, he has! But at the same time, he’s not making a secret of what he reads. He even recommends that his fans read certain books; he also explains why this or that book has to be read. The list of poker books recommended by Fedor Holz is very interesting by itself — it certainly reveals some of the pathways of this extraordinary mind, even if it does not guarantee to make a complete success of teaching anyone who feels like learning to play poker like Fedor Holz does.
And even more, these books are not poker handbooks in the narrow meaning of this term. But they certainly are a good help for clearing one’s mind, which is certainly beneficial in many ways for every one of us! Not least in terms of becoming a better poker player, of course. So let’s go through the list in which Fedor highlights the most valuable literature heritage in terms of poker and not only.
Table of Contents
Poker Books on the Fedor Holz Reading List
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey
This is said to be the #1 National Bestseller, offering the most well-integrated approach to problem-solving in both the professional and personal spheres. The book was first published in 1989, four years before Fedor Holz was born. But it still holds the edge!
The book teaches living with some key principles, like human dignity, service, integrity, and fairness — just a handful of well-known, but unfortunately little-used concepts. The result of living according to these principles will be an increased adaptivity to change, and the ability to gain an advantage from the opportunities constantly emerging.
Does it have anything to do with poker? Yes, it does indeed have everything to do with it! And not just poker, either!
The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, by Deepak Chopra
This is a 1994 self-help book inspired by Hindu concepts. It argues that personal success comes, first of all, from gaining a proper understanding of human nature, along with our ability to follow the laws of nature. Hard work, ambitions and well-weighed plans are purely of secondary importance. The secret is how to apply the laws of nature in order to gain what we want, and to fulfill our deepest desires. So, it is all about that the fact that how we do anything is more important than what exactly we do.
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, by Mason Currey
This is just another book exploring the most effective methods of the most famous people but from quite an interesting point of view. It studies their daily rituals. Scientists, novelists, poets, mathematicians, philosophers — altogether 161 of them, including Franz Kafka, Thomas Wolfe, Jean-Paul Sartre, René Descartes, Karl Marx, Woody Allen, Agatha Christie, Leo Tolstoy, Charles Dickens, Pablo Picasso, George Gershwin, and many, many others. Every one of them invented their own ways (sometimes quite strange and maybe somewhat self-imposed!) to be productive, to clear their brains, and to reach their goals. The idea is that anything that works is good for you, so invent something and go ahead with it! Yes, so no surprises here: it’s time to use your brains again!
The Power of Habit, by Charles Duhigg
Charles Duhigg is an award-winning business reporter. His 2014 book explores the phenomenon of habits and suggests how we can change them — from the point of view of recent scientific discoveries. The extensive factual material here does help us to better understand human nature and the great potential people have.
The message is that if we want to achieve any goal in life, such as career and professional success, increased productivity, improved appearance etc., we should first understand how the habits we acquire actually work. Then, once we finally know this, we can change many things.
10 Days to Faster Reading, by The Princeton Language Institute and Abby Marks-Beale
This book was published in 2001. Now you might be tempted to ask: What? Reading skills? Just this? Everybody can read! Why read a book about reading skills? But speed reading is something different. It is like upgrading the software of your mind. Do it and feel the difference! It is not only about speed.
This book contains some very useful practical advice about how to discover and eliminate bad habits (yes, habits again!) that risk slowing you down and taking away your focus and concentration. The reader will learn how to boost his powers of comprehension, freeing the hidden reserves of his sight and mind. Which all sounds very pokerly, so to speak!
Rewire: Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior, by Psychotherapist Richard O’Connor
This challenging and probably somewhat lengthy title is self-explanatory. To live a more successful, productive, and happier life, we do need to eliminate some bad habits. The key is to learn about yourself very well; and in particular, about your “automatic” self that makes decisions without paying proper attention.
The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler
This 1994 best-seller contains a lot of useful recommendations, deep thoughts and lengthy quotes from the Dalai Lama. As many things in our life can change once we manage to change our perception, the ideas and approaches of Buddhism are of great practical importance.
The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz
It is the most famous book of this author published in 1997, examining the major limitations and reasons to be unhappy that we can eventually overcome. The book contains four important statements that, as Fedor Holz says, have always been his guide.
The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Timothy Ferriss
The title captures the eye with an almost unbelievable statement, but the book itself is very inspiring. It teaches how to build up and implement the best strategies in your own life management, especially in these unpredictable economic times, when many new opportunities emerge.
Elon Musk: Telsa, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future, by Ashlee Vance
This book examines the phenomenon of Elon Musk, who is one of the most extraordinary and ambitious entrepreneurs of our time. His breakthrough projects have gained him some well-deserved popularity, and launched a worldwide discussion about future technologies to change our lives. Which only the brightest mind, combining inventive and managerial brilliance, can make come true.
What Fedor Holz’s Favorite Books Can Tell You Even Before You Read Them
The list of Fedor Holz favorite books speaks for itself. CrownUpGuy makes no secret of how his success as a professional poker player was only a side effect of a proper mindset and freeing up some headspace. This very mental and psycho-emotional side of poker really does matter. In fact, having a free mind, inner calm, and peace do help people to achieve some truly wondrous things in life, and not only in poker! Martial arts is one of many examples!
Many philosophical and spiritual teachings, including Buddhism among others, teach the same things. But our everyday routine is full of stress and strain. It puts tremendous pressure on people, really preventing us in achieving our goals.
And not only our goals! Actually, many people feel that they worry too much, and that they need a different mindset to live a more meaningful life. The books Fedor Holz recommends reading on Twitter via his @CrownUpGuy account can definitely help you in sorting this out! Poker, if you decide to actually play it, will only be a secondary side project.