Monday, February 21, 2005

Read 'em and Weep - Part Deux

Here is part two of my review on some popular poker books. I’m sure you’ve read most of the books I recommended from Thursday. Well, you’re in luck. I have some more here including my all-time favorite poker book. Check it out.

Hold em Poker - David Sklansky: This book is one of the first books a new poker player will pick up and for good reason. It begins with the basics such as which hand is the best and then moves to starting hand requirements. Hold em Poker for Advanced Players (which I’m not reviewing) by the same author is an extension of this book and goes into more subtleties. Both of these books are painfully boring though. The beginning poker player will sometimes quit halfway through the book or not bother to reread important sections. Perhaps Sklansky is too smart for his own good sometimes. Still, Hold em Poker is definitely a must for the beginning poker player. My rating: 8

Tournament Poker for Advanced Players - David Sklansky: This is actually one of my favorite books. I got a lot out of it. If you want to know when to throw away aces pre-flop or haven’t heard of the gap concept pick this book up. Of course, this book isn’t directed at cash games but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some very valuable information in the book. There is also a very interesting chapter about ‘The System’ which is a very interesting read. This isn’t as boring as Sklansky’s other efforts. My rating: 9

Caro’s Book of Tells - Mike Caro: If it’s good enough for Mike McDermott it’s good enough for you. I think Mike McD had the tape but you get the picture. This book covers what seems like one million tells that your opponent may have and is a must if you are looking to play at a casino. The tells involving five-card draw won’t help usually but this is packed full of valuable information. My rating: 7

Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country - Andy Bellin: Long title; short read. This book reads more like a novel with enough poker to keep you more than entertained. You won’t get much in terms of strategy (there is a little) but you need some variety in your life. The anecdotes are humorous and there is an interesting chapter or two about a couple who cheated at poker Gotta love that kind of stuff. My rating: 6

Moneymaker : How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker - Chris Moneymaker: I think the folks at Barnes & Noble caught on to my little game. A couple of them stared me down the other day and guilted me into buying this book. I didn’t mind though because I was hooked by the first chapter. This is a story about a rookie who plays in his first big live tournament and makes a lot of money. I obviously may be a little biased here. Moneymaker talks about what he was feeling throughout the tournament and on key hands. He also gives his background into poker and gambling which I’m guessing most people don’t know (I didn’t). Overall, this is a very good book. My rating: 8

Poker Wisdom of a champion - Doyle Brunson: This book was a collection of stories in the life of Doyle Brunson, each of which used to illustrate an important lesson regarding poker, life, or both. You also get a lot of the background on how Doyle got started in poker. I thoroughly enjoyed this book even though I knew a lot of the background. Some of the stories had me laughing out loud. One of my favorite stories was about gambling on a football game and didn’t have much at all to do with poker. It’s a quick read that will keep you entertained. My rating: 6

Championship no-limit and pot-limit hold'em: On the road to the World Series of Poker - Tom McEvoy & T.J. Cloutier: Most of my friends have heard me tell people this is my favorite poker book. Well, it still is. I read this book the week before I went to the World Series and it’s influence on me in that tournament can’t be overstated. The format is great, T.J. and Tom look at certain situations differently and explain the pros and cons of each side. It’s great for tournaments or cash games. I can’t say enough about this book. My rating: 10

Championship Tournament Poker - Tom McEvoy: I was pretty disappointed in this book. Maybe I missed T.J. chiming in or maybe it was that I read this after Championship no-limit and pot-limit hold’em. Either way I didn’t get much from this book. My rating: 2

It took about as much time to write these damn things as to read a new book. I hope this has been entertaining at the very least. Again, our site continues to get hooked up. This time it was the boys over at Apparently we stole their three person format. Ship it! In all honesty though, they have a quality site that you should check out if you haven’t already. I’ll be commenting on some e-mails we have received in my next post and we’ll be adding some new links on Thursday so be sure to watch for that. That’s my equivalent of a cliff-hanger on a day-time soap opera.

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