Dr. Tricia Cardner is a mental coach who focuses on helping players improve their performance. Learn more about Dr. Cardner and what brought her into poker!


Where is your original hometown, and where do you call home now?

Original hometown – Corpus Christi, TX & current Austin, TX

Where specifically are we most likely to see you playing cards these days?

I play MTTs mostly – WSOP Circuit Events, WSOP, Las Vegas, Choctaw, OK and Winstar, OK

When and how did you start playing poker?

I first played in 2006 with a bunch of my hubby’s Air Force buddies. We were stationed in Cheyenne, WY and there’s not much going on there, so I really got into poker!

When and how did you decide to play poker professionally/seriously?

As soon as I started playing, I wanted to improve. I put my focus on being the best I could be – something I’m still working on.

What do you consider your proudest poker achievements?

I’m proud of Positive Poker (my book with Jonathan Little) because I love helping fellow poker players improve their mental game. Also, making the final table of the main event at the River 2012 (a major tournament at Winstar) was pretty cool!

When and how did you start coaching others?

I’ve been coaching people on peak performance issues since 2005. I started out working with business executives and professional and semi-professional athletes. I started working with poker players in 2009.

What is your coaching specialty? Do you consider yourself a ‘specialist’ in any games?

My coaching specialty is the mental game with an emphasis on achieving peak performance. I help players get the best out of themselves on a more consistent basis. From a poker standpoint, I feel most qualified to coach on MTTs.

What is your goal in providing coaching through Red Chip Poker?

What do you hope to achieve for our members? I want our members to realize that there is a significant psychological component to poker, and that there are many avenues to self-improvement if they are willing to put in the work. As you move up in stakes, the mental game becomes so much more important!

Please share a coaching success story with us:

I’ve had many clients who have been able to set and achieve lofty goals. Books have been written, championships won, and losing streaks ended. Many a computer monitor has been saved on my watch ☺ I’d like to think that I’m a guide who helps players cut through the psychological mess to get to their inner core of greatness.

Do you have a professional career/background outside of poker?

I’m a licensed psychotherapist and a former psychology professor. I’ve always worked in the area of psychology/counseling. My main specialty areas are: peak performance psychology, sport psychology, positive psychology & health and wellness psychology. I developed and taught an undergraduate course (from 2008-2012) called the Psychology of Poker, which as far as I know was the only one of its kind in the United States.

What are your favorite hobbies and pursuits outside of poker?

I love eating (and cooking), hanging out with my friends and family, and watching sporting events.

Can you link us to all of the books you’ve written?

I’m the author of Positive Poker https://www.amazon.com/Positive-Poker-Psychological-Approach-Mastering/dp/1909457078/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
I’m also part of a multi-author poker book that is slated to be out during WSOP 2015 (authors include Jonathan Little, Phil Hellmuth, Elliot Roe, and many more).

Do you have any results on Hendon Mob, etc.?

My results are not completely accurate because my name is often misspelled – LOL – but here is what hendonmob has: https://pokerdb.thehendonmob.com/player.php?a=r&n=130554

Rapid Fire Fun Questions

Favorite color: Hot Pink

Favorite starting hand: 86s

Favorite poker room: Wynn

Last song you listened to: Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

Waffles or pancakes: Waffles

Favorite drink: Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka

Favorite thing to cook: Mexican Cuisine

Do you have a lucky object?: No – but I clearly need one!

Favorite board game: Chinese Checkers

Want to ask Tricia your own question?

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