More Book ReviewsBest Selling Poker Books of 2014
How did the new books compare to the old classics? Well, we will let the data speak for itself. Take a look at the list of the best selling poker books of 2014.Deal Me In and Eat Professional Poker Players Alive Reviewed
There isn't a clear path by which people become professional poker players. There aren't any good courses at the local vo-tech for a person to study. The road to becoming a poker pro is inevitably difficult, circuitous, and filled with setbacks. Deal Me In is a book describing the course by which twenty top poker players became professionals. Poker Winners Are Different
There is a big difference between what's typical human behavior and what is called for to play poker at a high level. There aren't a lot of people for whom maximizing their expectation in poker games comes naturally. Poker Winners Are Different by Alan Schoonmaker examines this conundrum.
Weighing the Odds in Hold'em Poker
by King Yao
This is no ordinary hold'em book. Yao, a former derivatives trader shows how to think through the various situations you may encounter at the poker table. The chapters build upon each other in order to build an understanding of the mathematical and analytical aspects of a limit hold'em player. You do not, need to be strong in math in order to benefit from the information; rather this book challenges you to think about the game so you can understand how your opponents play and respond to different actions. The four sections include the foundation chapters that demonstrate how to identify and attack different player personalities, the basics of expected value, an explanation of outs, non-outs, unknown cards (and how to count outs), how to figure pot odds quickly and accurately and the different positions and their values. The strategic chapters cover when and against whom to raise for free cards, when and how to bluff, the importance and value of semi-bluffing, and when to use deceptive strategies such as slow play and check raise. The hand development chapters cover playing different hands, how to evaluate the flop, what to think about on the turn and how to make decisions on the river.
The parade of new, helpful and innovative poker books continues with the arrival of two new titles at Gambler's Book Shop: Weighing the Odds in Hold'em Poker
(350 pages, paperbound, $24.95) and MasteringHoward Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," is the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he has held since 1979. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry. Howard's website is www.gamblersbook.com No-Limit Hold'em
by Russell Fox and Scott Harker (209 pages, paperbound, $24.95).
Eleven years ago, Mike Petriv wrote the well-received and still hot-selling Hold'em's Odds Book. Until now, it was the only in-depth resource on hold'em odds. Now, King Yao, former derivatives trader for the Susquehanna Partners, with experience in options, who loved poker more than trading, has produced a wonderful new 20-chapter resource for the serious, dedicated player. The word was out on this book, which Yao worked on for nearly a year, and the first wave of books which arrived were gone within 72 hours.
Yao, a Boston area author, says "...understanding the mathematical aspects alone is not enough to turn you into a winner. In order to use the concepts (of the book) correctly, you need to understand how your opponents play and how theory responds to different actions. This ability is less of a science and more of an art. Any formula is only as good as its plugged-in variables."
This book is for the limit hold'em player. Yao describes the types of players you may face and how to identify them and play against them. He writes about expected value, outs, pot odds and position.
A second section discusses Raising for Free Cards; Bluffing and Semi-Bluffing; Slow-Playing and Check-Raising. This is followed with a section on Starting Hands -- which hands to play in which positions and why; The Flop; The Turn; the River; Reading Hands.
A final section examines short-handed play and online poker.
There is a clear, preciseness to Yao's to-the-point writing. Short sentences, questions, answers, probing material, with some formulas, tables make his work highly readable.
Beginning with Chapter 12 (Starting Hands), comes Yao's best material. He emphasizes how and why starting hands can change in value; what the flop may mean for other players' hands; when to check with AK on the flop; why pairing your low card is sometimes better than pairing your high card; thinking on the turn; thinking on the River: heads-up and in multiple-player pots; reading flushes and flush draws.
Where Petriv's book broke ground and carried the baton of information beyond the basics in 1996, Yao's book takes it all a step or two further, as the skills and intelligence level of experienced players have taken it. This is truly a must-read for the serious beginner or veteran of the tables. Stanford Wong and his Pi Yee Press made this fine book possible.
Mastering No-Limit Hold'em by Fox (a California resident) and Harker (from Youngstown, Ohio) focuses itself on the smaller, fix-buy in, no-limit games. Designed for the beginner, it covers much of the basics: house rules; what to expect when you first sit down at a table; the small stack vs. big stack; reading your opponents and understanding the types of players you may face.
There's nice coverage of odds and betting strategies; the importance of position; a look at the blinds; draws and the play on the flop; the turn, the river and bluffing; avoiding tilt; keeping records.
The authors analyze an eight-hour no-limit hold'em session at the Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens, CA., in November 2004 (279 hands played, 59 of them got action, with 28 hands won).
There's a sense of structure to this book, keyed to novices and those with some experience, but who need help. The authors have been there, experienced what it is to be nervous, wary, learning to be aggressive when it counts.