Briefly, this book tells you how to calculate the odds of just about any event occurring at a Texas Hold’em poker table. The book starts with a review of basic mathematics and probability and then slowly builds the math necessary to do complicated card odds calculations.
The book solves most problems using a quick-and-dirty calculation, a detailed calculation, and a computer simulation. It is interesting to compare one’s intuition to a back-of-the-envelope answer and then a detailed answer. In many cases one’s intuition is excellent, in others, the real odds can be surprising.
This book is a lot less about what the odds are of various Hold’em Slot events occurring as it is about how to calculate these sorts of card odds. To be honest, I was expecting, and hoping for, more of the former than the latter. For myself, I already know how to calculate these odds, I was interested in finding a place where all the numbers I was interested in are already calculated. While it should be noted that it’s not the author’s fault that this book isn’t Percentage Hold’em by Will Hyde, the book that fulfills the role I was hoping for, I really can’t recommend this book on its own merits.
Setting aside for the moment that the book looks cheap, with its fixed width font layout, for the money it commands, the book just doesn’t seem terribly substantive to me. The book occupies a fairly narrow niche in the market. The prospective reader has to be unfamiliar enough with math not to be comfortable calculating basic probabilities while not being fearful of the math itself. While I liked the large number of examples and the quizzes for the readers to test their knowledge, the presented here could have been covered far more compactly.
Feel free to page through the book and see if it appeals to you, it may be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s my opinion that the material in this book is better covered in other places, such as in Richard Epstein’s The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic or David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker. Although these books don’t cover Hold’em in this depth, they both provide the same foundation in a more general manner and are much better written. I really can’t recommend this book.
If you want a book on how to calculate the probabilities of various events occurring in Texas Hold’em, you’re not afraid of math, but you’re not well versed in probability theory, this book may be for you. Otherwise, I’d make sure I had an opportunity to page through it and make sure it’s what I was looking for before buying it.
Ok, so I’ve finally gotten around to perusing ‘How to Play Winning Poker’ by Avery Cardoza, the prize from the first tournament. As much as I hate looking a gift horse in the mouth, I really was not terribly impressed with this one.
For someone with NO experience whatsoever, who has never even sat down at a table but would like to, I think it could be an incredibly valuable tool for learning the manners of play in the various games, some poker jargon, and the basic logistics of calling, checking, folding, etc.
That said, I think anyone with any real experience would find problems with some of the latter sections, specifically the chapter on bluffing. While some decent points are made (e.g. bluffing is most effective against only one or two opponents, and when the pot is smaller), it also essentially suggests that you bet into people who are losing a lot, which seems logical but experience will tell you that these are the people who are most likely to be on tilt, and thus will call far more than they should, thus bluffing is not terribly effective.
I also don’t know if I agree with their “rule” for a buy-in: 15 times the big bet not only isn’t that much, but it also can’t possibly be accurate across the wide spectrum of playing limits, especially since within the superloose small limits it might only last even the most solid player a short amount of time before busting.
In summation, I feel that the instructional parts of this book would be good for a totally rank beginner, but after any reasonable amount of skill, and even just experience, is accrued, the misinformation could definitely prove harmful. So, I think it is a decent book if the reader goes in with a very wary attitude.