## Gambling Wisdom: The Horse Race Paradox

Gambling (general), Strategy
July 31, 2007

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

Imagine a race between two horses. Horse A is a remarkably reliable horse, and will always complete the race in essentially the same time. Horse B, on the other hand, is remarkably inconsistent. Sometimes it runs a very fast race, far faster than A, and sometimes it runs a very slow race, far slower than A. Which behavior horse B exhibits is random, and P(fast race) is 0.3 or the odds are 7:3 against horse B running a fast race. Read the rest of this entry »

## Gambling Wisdom: Freerolls

Gambling (general), Strategy
July 30, 2007

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

A freeroll is a gambling situation in which you cannot lose money, but have a possibility of winning money. As you might imagine, such situations are usually quite attractive, and they come up in gambling and poker surprisingly frequently. Read the rest of this entry »

## Gambling Wisdom: Odds

Gambling (general), Strategy
July 30, 2007

In this series I discuss topics that are well known within the gambling community, but that may be new to players who come to the game of poker from a non-gambling background.

Gamblers have a funny way of talking about how likely it is that something will occur. Instead of citing the percentage chance that some event will occur, they cite the “odds” that it will occur. Odds notation works as follows: the odds that something will happen is the ratio between how many times it will happen and how many times it won’t. The bigger side of the ratio is always stated first, so you have to specify whether the odds are “in favor of” or “against” the event occurring. For example, if you have a race with 6 horses, and each is equally likely to win the race, then you could say the odds are 5:1 against horse #3 winning the race. On the other hand, if you had a race with 6 horses, and 4 of them were black, and all had an equal chance of winning, you could say the odds were 4:2 in favor of a black horse winning.

## Way To Screw It Up Guys

Poker Economy, Psychology, Strategy
July 28, 2007

So, Wil Wheaton’s hanging up his poker spurs. Not just getting canned from pokerstars (which was inevitable), but giving up poker. And he explains pretty clearly why: Read the rest of this entry »

5 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Author: Bob Ciaffone

Publisher: Self Published

Authors of poker manuals face a bit of a conundrum. The readers are presumably reading poker books because their poker game is not what it should be. In other words, the readers have some misconceptions about the game that need to be fixed. This makes it very hard to write an advanced poker book, because to do so you have to assume your readers already know basic material (or else write a monster book that contains everything) yet you KNOW that the readers are confused on some points. Perhaps parts of the basic material you’re assuming they know. Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: Hold’Em Poker for Advanced Players

3 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Authors: David Sklansky & Mason Malmuth

Publisher: 2+2

Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players has been the single most recommended book for mid-stakes limit holdem play since it came out. It has substantial strengths and weaknesses, and the prospective buyer needs to take these into account before deciding whether to purchase it. Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: The Mathematics of Poker

5 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Author: Bill Chen & Jerrod Ankenman

Publisher: Conjelco

This book attempts a fundamental methodological shift in the way scholarly players approach the game of poker.
Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: Professional Poker – The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living

4 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Publisher: Brownfield Publishing

This is the best starting point in the poker literature for the aspiring poker pro. I don’t mean amateur. I mean aspiring pro. It lays out, in very direct fashion, how to go about getting a long lasting, stable poker career. This book could be considered a much-needed compilation and reorganization of the career related information from various 2+2 and Caro books plus additional insights from the author’s career. While much of the information could be found elsewhere, you would have to pay 10x the cover price to get it in pieces. So this book provides a very reasonable service. Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: Poker Wisdom of a Champion

4 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Author: Doyle Brunson

Publisher: Cardoza

This book is a collection of Doyle’s writings about life on the road playing poker, written over a quarter century ago. They have an autobiographical bent, but this is not a memoir. The stories are entertaining and well written (not in the bizarre style of Super System, I smell ghost writer…) and I got some entertainment value out of them solely as stories. Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: The Poker Tournament Formula

1 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Author: Arnold Snyder (beware this site contains quite a bit of misinformation)

Publisher: Cardoza

Sadly this book contains a lot of misinformation in terms of the poker strategies presented. Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: Harrington on Holdem Volume 1

5 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Author: Dan Harrington & Bill Robertie

Publisher: 2+2

This book focuses on the fundamentals of playing no limit holdem in a tournament setting (although much of the information is also applicable to cash games). The book covers starting hand selection & various topics in postflop play at a full table. It doesn’t assume the reader has a particularly deep poker background. Those who have more experience with the game may find the book a little “beginnerish” but it sets a solid foundation for the more advanced material in the next two volumes. Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: Mike Caro’s Book of Poker Tells

4 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Author: Mike Caro

Publisher: Cardoza

This book has been the definitive work on poker tells (physical and vocal mannerisms that indicate the strength of a player’s hand) since in came out. It catalogs numerous tells, provides pictures of players exhibiting the tell, and discusses strategies to exploit a given tell when it appears. In addition, Caro develops a more general theory of tells, explaining why players exhibit tells and classifying them into categories. Read the rest of this entry »

## Review: Super System

4 Star, Book Reviews
July 28, 2007

Author: Doyle Brunson + numerous collaborators

Publisher: Cardoza

Doyle Brunson and a group of fellow high limit pros wrote “Super/System” in the late 70’s after Doyle won his second world series of poker main event title. The book contains general poker advice from Doyle followed by specific strategies for all the games commonly played a the time. It was a complete revelation when it came out – far and away the best poker book ever published up to that point on each of those games. For years it retained its status as the “bible” for casino poker play. Read the rest of this entry »

## The “rho” Nature of Game Strategies

Games (general), Strategy
July 27, 2007

If you haven’t read up on what a rho is, first familiarize yourself here.

Now, I said that I would eventually explain what that experiment has to do with poker, but that’s still one post away. Before I get to that I need to discuss rhos in the context of game play in general, namely the types of strategies that a player can adopt when playing a game. Read the rest of this entry »

## The “rho” – A Mathematical Diversion

Mathematics, Strategy
July 27, 2007

Got nothing better to do? Here’s something to keep you entertained. I promise this will get to the subject of poker strategy in a future post, but for now I’m hoping your love of mathematics will keep you riveted. This works OK as a thought experiment, but if you’ve got time on your hands I suggest you actually try it. Here we go! Read the rest of this entry »

## Numerology

Nonsense Debunked
July 27, 2007

OK, here’s a top shelf piece of nonsense: poker numerology. Namely, the believe that meaningful patterns appears in poker shuffles. There’s a classic example here. Read the rest of this entry »

## Rewiew: No Limit Holdem – Theory And Practice

3 Star, Book Reviews
July 27, 2007

Author: David Sklansky & Ed Miller

Publisher: 2 + 2

There aren’t a lot of books written about cash game no limit holdem. For a long time, the Supersystem chapter has been the definitive source of information on the subject. This book is the first meaningful publication on the topic in several years. However, it’s a real mixed bag. Read the rest of this entry »