Cashing In: The (Over?) Abundance of New Poker Books

Since 2000 (a number somewhat arbitrarily chosen) there has been a plethora of poker books released. There are, in a nutshell, two different categories that all of these books can be categorized under. These categories being strategy and ‘non-fiction’. Obviously strategy books are ‘non-fiction’, but I am describing books that either tell a story about a professional poker player, playing in a certain event, etc.., bu they do not offer any type of instructions, tips, or ideas to make one a better poker player (though, some could inadvertently do so). These are not the topic here though, because most people do not read those in order to become better poker players Judi Bola Terpercaya. They are generally read for entertainment purposes and any incorrect information will not effect ones poker ability (of course, either will correct information from these books). Strategy books, on the other hand, with incorrect information, can be detrimental to ones bankroll. The problem with this is that beginning poker players will not know what to look for and not only will waste money on the book, but lose money by following advice they didn’t know was wrong. Below are some books that are recommended for beginning and intermediate poker players. Before the list is an explanation of why certain books were eliminated.

One type of strategy book, and I use ‘strategy’ loosely, are the ‘inspirational’ books posing as strategy books. Though the front covers (and sometimes the contents) will claim to make somebody a great poker player, they are usually filled with anecdotal evidence and anecdotal advice. Any mention of ‘poker’ could easily be replaced with any profession, sport, etc. Some things that are mentioned in these books are being patient, eating healthy, sleeping enough, not being rude, keeping a good attitude, not letting your emotions effect your decisions. Most people buying these books have finished Kindergarten and know that these are important things to do. I am not saying it isn’t important, because it is, but it isn’t specific to poker and by doing these things alone, one will not become a better poker player. If one wants to become a good mechanic, their diet and sleep schedule will have an effect on them, but knowing about cars will still make them better mechanics than someone who knows nothing about cars, but happens to have a good attitude and has a balanced diet. There will be some actual strategy in these books, but not enough to make it a good book and the incorrect information will more than cancel out the correct strategy in these books. They are purely filled with fluff, designed to make a profit for the author and publisher (with no concern for the consumer), and though sometimes with a few tidbits of good information, not enough to justify the amount of time spent reading the entire book. Well over half the poker books fit into this category and are not recommended.

The other type of book that was eliminated from the list is those with incorrect information. These are much harder to spot and there can really only be tips given to avoid them. One thing to remember is that just because someone is a poker celebrity or has won a major tournament, does not make them an expert or make them a good writer. The latter doesn’t mean that they are bad players, but they might write about what would appeal to more people, hence selling more books, than what would make one a better poker player. Quick and anecdotal evidence is usually enjoyed by people more, but why read poker books to be entertained? Generally one is reading the poker book to become a better player.

Strategy and theory should be the prevalent discussion in the book. There should be tables, charts, simulations, studies, etc… to back up their concepts and ideas. Isolated and anecdotal evidence does not prove anything. The reasoning behind why they recommend an idea or theory should be well documented and be mathematically sound.

The books should also not give many absolutes. People are fairly dynamic and cannot be lumped into a specific category. A particular hand should not always be played the same or even played. Sometimes you will fold with a hand that you will sometimes raise with. This needs to be discussed in any beginners book and especially in a book for advanced players. It should also be mentioned that the concepts that work for no-limit don’t always work for limit and the same goes with the different limits. If a poker book says it will teach you about every form and limit of poker, it is either very basic or false.

If a book is recommended below it fits all the criteria mentioned above, but just because a book is mentioned, does not mean that it is not a good book. I have not read every poker book and I am sure that I have not read some that are worth reading. But, all the books below will teach you how to think about the game and understand it better. This is really all one should hope for in a poker book and any book that guarantees or claims to make you a lot of money will not hold up to that lofty claim.

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