Thursday, February 17, 2005

Read 'em and Weep

So you haven't read a book since 8th grade and your reading skills are on par with those of an NBA player. But, you want to start fresh and need a good poker book to pick up. Well, you've come to the right place. I'll be reviewing some poker books in my next two posts. Here are my first 9 reviews. My rating is based on how much I liked the book and how much I got out of it for my poker game.

Doyle Brunson’s Super System I: I only read the no-limit portion of this book 18 months ago. There, of course, is some great information in is book. But, for me, the style that Doyle recommends didn’t fit my game. And, at the lower levels his aggressive approach rarely works, especially online. My rating: 4

Doyle Brunson's Super System II: I loved this book. The limit section by Jennifer Harmon is incredible - I've read it 4 times. I also enjoyed the triple-draw lowball section written by Daniel Negreanu. I didn't read the omaha sections or the seven-card stud section but there is some great stuff in this book. Again, I was dissapointed wih the no-limit section. Perhaps my hopes are too high for a true legend of poker. For some reason I got more out of this than the original Super System. My rating: 8

Winning Low-Limit Hold’em – Lee Jones: I enjoyed this book and found some valuable advice in here. I’ve only read it once and I admit that I didn’t absorb all that much of it. This book is probably best for someone looking to go to a casino to play low-limit hold’em for the first time. My rating: 3

Play Poker Like the Pros – Phil Hellmuth: I’ve heard many people bash this book but it holds a special place in my heart. I probably read this book 8 times cover to cover in the summer of 2003, mostly because that was one of the only poker books that Lloyd and I owned in South Carolina. I enjoyed the stories more than the strategy but still this book is great for the beginning player. My rating: 7

Poker: The Real Deal – Phil Gordon: This is a short read and not a bad one. Ultimately, I felt like it didn’t help my game much if at all. Granted, this was the millionth poker book I had read so it’s tough to cover new ground at that point. Phil Gordon’s story is pretty interesting but I knew a lot of that before even opening up the book. Phil is a very funny guy so I would have liked to see more humor in this book. My rating: 2

Zen and the Art of Poker – Larry Phillips: This is my favorite poker book. Ever feel like your going on tilt? You think you are better than your opponents but you lose money online? Please read this book. You won’t learn how to play KQ from middle position with an early limper in the pot and two people to act behind you. This isn’t that type of book. Just read the damn book. My rating: 10

Phil Hellmuth - Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: This book was decent but not great. I mean, most of these stories you can get off of Just go to Phil's archives and you'll get at least 50% of these stroies. I promise. My rating: 2

Positively Fifth Street - James McManus: This is a really good book. Half of the book centers around the murder of Ted Binion. I found it a little boring but still loved the book. The poker stuff is great. For those that don't know I won't ruin it but James McManus wins a seat into the World Series of Poker in 2000 and chronicles his tournament. My rating: 6

Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People : The Memoirs of the Greatest Gambler Who Ever Lived: This book is so great. It's not much of a poker book but go out and get it right now. You will be amazed the stuff Amarillo Slim does. Great stories. The lack of poker brings down my rating a bit though. My rating: 6

Wow, that was fun. Go head to your local bookstore and check out some of these bad boys. Or, better yet, do what I do and read these at Barnes & Noble without paying for them. On a side note, as our site continues to draw more people we want to continue to get better. We have included a link to our e-mail address so please e-mail us with comments, complaints, pictures of girls, etc.

And.......another long distance shout out goes to DoubleAs. This guy has a terrific blog that we have now linked. Him mentioning us at has helped an incredible amount of budding poker players find our site. Hopefully the information they find here will help them get better and not worse. Thanks DoubleAs, we really appreciate it.

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