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The Chicago Poker Meetup Group Message Board › Books on Poker

Books on Poker

A former member
Post #: 11
In order to start some discussion on this board other that who is scamming who, how about a topic on poker books?

Has anyone read a book that you felt was helpful? I have heard that Dan Harrington's series, Harrington on Hold'em Expert Strategy is suppose to be pretty good.
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Post #: 39
In order to start some discussion on this board other that who is scamming who, how about a topic on poker books?

Has anyone read a book that you felt was helpful? I have heard that Dan Harrington's series, Harrington on Hold'em Expert Strategy is suppose to be pretty good.

Hey Luka:

GREAT subject...

As a matter of fact, it really should be a sticky thread so let's do that...

Here's my thoughts on poker books... First, they come in basically two or three types:

1) The "How To" Books.... best hands to start with, pot odds, strategies, etc. etc.

2) The "Life of a Gambler" Books... now, we don't have so many of these any more, but if you go back to some of the older books by Bobby Baldwin, Johnny Moss, etc. you'll find alot of these books.

3) "Poker Wisdom" books... they are sort of a hybrid between the "how to's" and the "slice of gambling life" books.

My opinion is that to be well-rounded you really should read BOTH types.

As for some great "How To" Books: a) Brunson's Super System b) anything by Cloutier and McEvoy c) Harrington's HoldEm is a great recent book d) Hellmuth's Play Poker Like the Pros is great, I consider it more of an amateur or intermediate than professional, but do like it e) Sklansky and Malmuth have some real good "basic" books with starting hands, pot odds, etc. f) Cappelleti on Omaha is great...

As for great "slice of life" books: a) Tales Out of Tulsa by Bobby Baldwin, I just love that book... the ups and downs of a road gambler on the texas/louisiana/oklahoma circuit. Baldwin played backroom poker with all the great texas players: pearson, slim, brunson, roberts, moss... on every chapter he has like "the lesson" b) Johnny Moss: Champion of Champions... not alot of how-to but alot of understanding the psyche of a very top pro c) Positively 5th Street by McManus was a great "being there" read.

Poker Wisdom books: Doyle has a good book on this "Poker Wisdom of a Champion"... there's Phil Gordon's "Little Green Book" that just came out that I think is a classic. A great read on both poker wisdom AND "How To"... a must read really... I like Gordon's book because he has alot of anecdotes about game situations where he quotes top pro players that he's at the table with. It's like he's passing on what he's learned from the older pros he's playin' with, and you'll rarely read a book so revealing about the game of a particular pro. Another worthwhile book out by a great real-world touring pro is Erick Lindren's "Making the Final Table".

That's just a short list.
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Post #: 40
BTW, the best collection of poker books... and gaming books in general is from Gamblers Book Shop in Las Vegas... Website is:


Telephone: 1-800-522-1777

Ask them to send you their catalogue, it's great. Alot of obscure poker books, out-of-print stuff, etc.

And stop by there the next time you're in Vegas... a bit off the strip but worth the trip.
A former member
Post #: 1
hello, this is my first post but hopefully what I have to say can help you achieve a level of success playing hold em.

for a person to suggest to you what books to read, the suggestor would need to know what your goals are, what limits you play, what your current level of expertise is. not knowing any of that, I will sugest a list of books to read, in the order I feel that they should be read. I also suggest re-reading most of these books, as the concepts are somewhat difficult to fully wrap your brain around on the first go. some of these books I have read 5 or more times, if that will help give you a point of reference.

Getting Started in Hold Em by Ed Miller
this book will provide a great introduction and basic winning strategy to the game with chapters on Limit, No Limit, and Tournament play. there is also a section in the beginning of the book that will train you to better interpret what's going on in a given hand. worlds beyond any "beginner" poker book, just playing the simple style prescribed here should make you a low limit winner.

Small Stakes Hold Em by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth
this book will take the basic concepts from GSIHE and build tremendously on them. this is a Limit specific book, teaching solid poker thinking. even if you play NL, I'd recommend reading and fully understanding the principles set forth in SSHE. this book brings alot more of the math element into focus, with in depth discussions of odds, pot equity, and outs among other things. there is a very helpful, very thorough starting hand guide, and detailed discussion of play on the flop + turn, and a special section for play on the river. this is the main guide for online Limit players who play at limits up to 2/4 - 3/6, and live players who play up to 10/20 - 15/30.

The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky
this is a more advanced book that deals with a wide range of poker topics. some include expected value, calculating your hourly rate, bluffing and inducing bluffs, slowplaying, with many, many more. this book uses examples from many forms of poker to prove it's points. TOP is more math intensive, and will require a few readings and a good deal of application through play to fully understand. to play well, and to be a consistent winner for the long run, it's imperative to understand and apply these concepts.

Hold Em Poker for Advanced Players by David Sklansky
Consider this to be SSHE for advanced players. as you progress through the limits in ring games, you will need new strategies to consistently defeat your new and better opponents. this book provides the tools necessary to adapt to the play at the advanced upper limit tables.

the above books should be read whether you play tournaments or ring game, fixed limit or no limit. they, along with application through play, will in time produce a better, smarter, solid poker player that will be a consistent winner in the long run. I've mentioned this "long run" a few times, as poker is a game where overall success cannot be determined by over-analyzing single session statistics. as far as tournament specific books, the only books I feel comfortable recommending are the Harrington on Hold Em books. the first book in the series is a great primer for solid, albeit very "tight" strategy that is applicable to both tournament and ring games. the second book is where the really invaluable tournament knowledge is to be found, with discussions on zones, formulas for computing your place in the tourney, advanced plays and a whole lot more. to play great tournament poker and allow yourself the best chance to make the money, Dan Harrington's books are THE guide.

hopefully this hasnt been too terrible for a first post, and I certainly hope that the information presented here will help you all become better, winning poker players. you will notice when/if you look into any of these books that they are all published by 2+2 publishing, which is Mason Malmuth's company. I would not recommend books published by anyone else, as the level and accuracy of the information in 2+2's books is unrivaled. please also check out the discussion forums at 2+2. here you will find discussion on every possible facet of poker, with separate forums for different limits, books, internet gambling and bonuses, software, and so much more. I can be found occasionally posting hands for analysis (very useful!!) on the micro limit forum, and am always there analyzing other's hands. thanks for reading. smile

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