Jason’s Ranting & Raving

Those who don’t read have no advantage over those who can’t.

Book Review(s) : Poker!

Posted by jaystile on November 19, 2008

My blogs usually have something interesting to say about the book I’ve read. However, this time not so much. Reading poker books it a lot like reading a dictionary. There is a lot of information to be had, but not too much fun to discuss at parties. I had a really good night at my last monthly poker game by ‘sucking out’ on people. We play pot-limit Texas Hold’em with $20 buy ins and $20 rebuys. Big bet poker is a lot of fun. You end up winning/losing about the same amount of money as if you’re playing $.50/$1 limit hold’em. The swings are greater and I think it is more interesting.

52 Ways to Cheat at Poker by Allan Zola Kronzek
I’m not looking to cheat, but I wanted to know what the angles are. I tried out a few of the cheats and they are surprisingly easy to implement. If you want to hinder cheaters most effectively, insist on a cut and make sure you make a conscious cut. You’ll notice Worm from ‘Rounders’ never offers anyone a cut. Once the deal has passed around the table a couple of times ‘count down’ the deck to make sure you still have 52 cards. If one is missing do not give the deck to anyone until you find the missing card. However, if someone is really good at cheating you’re probably not going to catch them. The best defense is just to play with people you know.

Read ‘Em and Reap by Joe Navarro
This book is presented by Phil Hellmuth even though he had very little to do with it. I enjoyed reading this book. It has a lot of photos with explanations. Will it help? Probably not, we have a pretty tight game at my place.

Play Poker like the Pros by Phil Hellmuth
I read this book when I first started playing poker. The concept ‘trust your instinct’ and ‘get a good read on your opponent’ are ubiquitous in this book. At the time, I was like ‘yeah… bulls@$’. If you’re starting off in Poker you could do worse than read this book. It covers the most popular poker games and initial strategies to get you moving.

Caro’s Book of Poker Tells by Mike Caro
This is a classic. Seriously, all the photos are from around 1970. But most of the tells I’ve seen in real play. They act weak when strong, they act strong when weak. Words to live by.

After all these poker books, tells, and reading Blink my mind has been on edge watching people. Are they comfortable? Are they avoiding eye contact? What do they want me to do? Why are they looking at me with their feet facing the other way? I’ve always enjoyed analyzing people and I think these books added to that enjoyment.

Let me know if you’ve read any of these and let me know what you think!

Now get to the library and read something! The next book on my docket is ‘Infidel’. I’ve heard good things.


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