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View Full Version : The "great" poker books...


thaskalos
02-18-2014, 07:30 PM
I was motivated to start this thread by ManU918...who started a thread earlier today about a book written by Mike Matusow. I think the topic of poker books is interesting enough to warrant its own thread...where we might discuss some of the better poker books that have been written...and the lessons that they have to teach.

It is true enough, of course, that we cannot hope to improve as poker players simply by reading poker books; we must also actually play the game. But there are some great poker minds out there who have committed some of their thoughts to print...and I think we could benefit by heeding their advice. At least I know that I have...

I would like to start this thread by recommending the book Phil Gordon's Little Green Book...currently available at Amazon for $4.25, in very good condition.

Now...it may be common knowledge that Phil Gordon is not one of the poker "Greats"...but it is also common knowledge that the truly "Great" players usually have a very difficult time when it comes to coaching lesser players, in the game that they are so skilled at. Indeed...he best players often make the lousiest coaches. And Phil Gordon, in my opinion, is an OUTSTANDING poker coach.

The space here does not permit me to go into great detail about Gordon's attributes as an author...but I will say that he has a way of presenting his views with a certain imagery which gets the job done more effectively than could be accomplished by merely stating facts, or stats. He paints pictures with his words...and pictures can be remembered more vividly than facts, or stats.

For instance:

We all know how important position is in no-limit holdem...and we can easily list the various reasons why playing a hand out of position is not a desirable thing to do -- especially against the better players. Gordon will give us these reasons too...but he will also provide an example, which will make the lesson more memorable and vivid in our minds. He will write:

"I remember the very first time I was dealt AK-suited UTG in a serious game...and I sat there admiring my hand as I confidently put out my raise. I was called in two places...and the flop was Q-9-7 rainbow. And THAT'S when I truly realized the perils of playing a hand out of position".

Many poker players are getting interested in the no-limit version of the game...and they may be uncertain on which course to take in educating themselves in this new, exciting, potentially profitable...but also very dangerous endeavor. IMO...Phil Gordon is the way to go. So impressed am I, in fact, by the coaching skill of this man...that I advise you to pick up his subsequent two books -- the Blue and the Gold book -- as well. Both are available on Amazon for $3 or $4 each...and they represent the best bargain in the gambling world...IMO.

And never mind the criticism that Gordon sometimes contradicts himself in his latter books; there is nothing wrong with a player contradicting himself as he gains in knowledge and experience. If nothing else...it shows that the author has integrity.

He is allowing us to grow as players...just as he has grown...

FIVE STARS...for Phil Gordon's contribution to the poker player. :ThmbUp:

DeltaLover
02-18-2014, 07:44 PM
If I had to pick a single poker book, then without a doubt this would had been


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51rkT9qIi%2BL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


with


http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51ZNZ4B462L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg


a close second.

Clocker
02-18-2014, 09:37 PM
And Phil Gordon, in my opinion, is an OUTSTANDING poker coach.

Agreed. And he had a DVD on tournament play that was very good for new players to tournaments.

I haven't played since the feds destroyed online poker in the US. I used to play in Sit-n-Go's and small online tournaments. One of the most influential books I ever read, perhaps because of the timing when I read it, was "The Poker Tournament Formula" (http://www.amazon.com/Poker-Tournament-Formula-Arnold-Snyder/dp/1580422039/ref=la_B001K8J5IO_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392771771&sr=1-3) by Arnold Snyder. Yes, that Arnold Snyder. Nothing I ever read before or after brought home the importance of positional play in small tournaments. He was also one of the first to go into a lot of depth on fast vs slow tournament (i.e., how fast the blinds went up, and how that dictated different strategies).

The book was quite controversial at the time, triggering heated debates online between those that found the book to be of value and the Sklansky- Malmuth fans who saw it as an attack on the 2+2 dogma. If online poker ever comes back, that is the first book I will dust off, read, re-read, and head for the S-n-G's.

Robert Goren
02-18-2014, 11:28 PM
I have read most of the stuff before 2009 that was not too highly priced. The best book I have found is No-Limit Texas Hold’em: A Complete Course by Angel Largay.
Harrington and Robertie first book was pretty good too. Someone in a newsgroup I belonged to paid it the ultimate complement. It went something like this.
"Do not read this book. It will make your penis grow shorter. Mine has shrunk by 3 inches since I read it. "
Their books are now days are a guide book into the mind of a rock.
Jeff Hwang's books on pot limit Omaha are very good too.
Johnny Chan's Million Dollar Hold'em: Winning Big in Limit Cash Games is pretty good if you play limit.

Robert Goren
02-18-2014, 11:36 PM
Agreed. And he had a DVD on tournament play that was very good for new players to tournaments.

I haven't played since the feds destroyed online poker in the US. I used to play in Sit-n-Go's and small online tournaments. One of the most influential books I ever read, perhaps because of the timing when I read it, was "The Poker Tournament Formula" (http://www.amazon.com/Poker-Tournament-Formula-Arnold-Snyder/dp/1580422039/ref=la_B001K8J5IO_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392771771&sr=1-3) by Arnold Snyder. Yes, that Arnold Snyder. Nothing I ever read before or after brought home the importance of positional play in small tournaments. He was also one of the first to go into a lot of depth on fast vs slow tournament (i.e., how fast the blinds went up, and how that dictated different strategies).

The book was quite controversial at the time, triggering heated debates online between those that found the book to be of value and the Sklansky- Malmuth fans who saw it as an attack on the 2+2 dogma. If online poker ever comes back, that is the first book I will dust off, read, re-read, and head for the S-n-G's.Snyder's book should be subtitled How To Go Home Early. Actually it is not that bad if you are playing online.

thaskalos
02-19-2014, 02:07 AM
Snyder has written two poker books...The Poker Tournament Formula, and The Poker Tournament Formula 2. His first book is meant for the "fast" tournaments with the sub-40 minute blind levels, which conclude in the time span of a few hours...while the second book focuses on the longer pro-level tournaments...which can last several days.

Arnold Snyder is a fresh new voice in the world of poker...and he brings plenty of new insights to the table. I enjoyed both his books very much.

Clocker
02-19-2014, 03:53 AM
Arnold Snyder is a fresh new voice in the world of poker...and he brings plenty of new insights to the table. I enjoyed both his books very much.

And he doesn't take himself as seriously as some of the High Priests of the game, and their acolytes.