Review: Play Razz Poker To Win

3 Star
October 15, 2008

Author: Mitchell Cogert – website for the book

Publisher:  Self Published/CreateSpace

This is one of only two books currently in print on the topic of razz poker.  The other is Sklansky on Razz/Sklansky on Poker which I previously reviewed.  There are also a few pages in the lowball section of Supersystem.  I was unaware this book existed, but Mitchell contacted me out of the blue and was kind enough to send me a review copy, so I owe it to him to (belatedly) get around to reviewing it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Harrington on Cash Games Volume II

5 Star, Book Reviews, No Limit Texas Holdem
October 13, 2008

Subtitle: How to Win at No-Limit Hold’em Money Games

Author: Dan Harrington & Bill Robertie

Publisher: 2+2

This is the follow-on to the excellent Harrington on Cash Games Volume I.  The two volumes are in essence one book, and should be treated as such.  Volume one deals primarily with basic concepts and play before and after the flop, and volume II deals mostly with play on the turn and river.  Since turn and river play are more essential to winning at NL, this could in some ways be considered the more important volume.  That said, don’t consider buying only one of the two volumes – they really are just one book split in half, and having one but not the other doesn’t make much sense.  So if you’re going to buy one, buy both.

Like the previous volume, the advice in this volume is of high quality and strikes me as sound on a number of theoretical levels. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gambling Wisdom: Kelly Criterion Part 1

Economics, Gambling (general)
October 8, 2008

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.

Maybe you’ve had this experience –  I know I have.  You’re studying some form of math, and you’re not quite clear on why it works the way it does or what it has to do with anything – someone’s just stuck this formula in front of you.   And then you go back and read about why it was invented in the first place, and suddenly you realize you’re holding the answer to everything, or at least a much bigger chunk of everything than you originally thought. Read the rest of this entry »


CardSharp Mailbag: Split Two Pair in NL Holdem vs. Two Pair in Draw Poker

5 Card Draw, No Limit Texas Holdem, Reader Questions
October 2, 2008

One of my readers sent in the following question which I think deserves discussion:


I have stumbled across your website and I think your articles are excellent. I am writing to request your insight about split 2 pair. An article or an email would be much appreciated. I have heard it referred to as a trap hand and I can see why. As I understand it Mark Twain once said “That knowing how to play two pair correctly is worth a college education and costs about as much to learn how to do so”. I am paraphrasing but you get the point. The heart of my dilemma is this: I do not know if I should play all split two pair hands as drawing hands hoping to fill up or play them strongly knowing I will have to win with just two pair. Two pair (especially top two pair ) seems to be too strong a had to play as what amounts to a gun shot draw but more often than I like I seem to be toast to a set on the flop or beat by the river. I know board coordination plays a role but I REALLY hate getting my money in when I am beat to a set on an uncoordinated flop board. Is this just a cooler like set over set. What is a poker player to do? In my mind there is a big difference between 3 types of split two pair you can have and thus there should an equally big difference in how you play the hand. But I am not sure how to work this all out or if I am on the right track. Any advice you can give or articles you will write are much appreciated! I look forward to reading more of your poker insights in the future. Thanks.

This is a good question. Mark Twain’s comment about two pair certainly refers to draw poker. While draw poker is essentially a dead game in this day and age, it’s worth looking at what happens there as background for thinking about 2 pair in holdem. Read the rest of this entry »

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