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Poker Book Review – Part 1

April 24, 2008

I’m a little OCD. Let’s call it “gently restrained compulsion”. I have a short attention span for things, but while they have my attention I tend to devote a lot of energy and attention to them. Right now, this OCD-light is focused on poker. This being the case, I have read a number of books over the last 2 months or so to try and make sure I’m playing well. I tend to devour each book and I believe I have a good idea at this point what makes each unique and the merits of each. I thought I’d share a little book review of each to help everyone else. The following list is in order of when I read each.

Winner’s Guide to Texas Hold ‘Em – Ken Warren

This is a great book, especially for the beginner. The author builds up your knowledge starting all the way at the bottom with how to deal the game all the way to playing tournaments and jackpots. There’s a little something in here for everyone.

***


Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book – Phil Gordon

So far this is the best book I’ve read. Phil may not be the best player, but I think he might be the best teacher in poker. He tells you both what play to make and why. I don’t always agree with his assessment of what play to make, but his whys are always backed up with sound reasoning even to the degree of “if I make this play X times then I’ll be up 103% of my original stack. He’s not boring or dry like some other authors either. I’d highly recommend this book.


Phil Gordon’s Little Blue Book – Phil Gordon

I like this book almost as much as the green book. Like other authors, Phil’s second book is a collection of hand stories. Where this book beats out others like it is that he assesses the play in each hand. He gives both positive and negative examples. Read the green book first and then this one.

***


Play Poker Like the Pros – Phil Hellmuth

This Phil is a good player, but not the best teacher or author. What’s nice about this book is that Phil goes through all of the casino poker variations out there (except Chinese poker and the games you play against the house.) This book is good, but not great. If you love Hellmuth’s game and/or want a good primer on each game, read this.

***


Bad Beats and Lucky Draws – Phil Hellmuth

This book is even more poorly written than the last one. It also suffers from a lot of Phil stroking his own ego about great plays he made. This is mostly boring stories from the table with occasional commentary that might help your game.

***


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