Review: Super System 2

4 Star, Book Reviews

August 28, 2007

Author: Doyle Brunson + numerous collaborators

Publisher: Cardoza

Part update to the original Supersystem and part add-on, Super System 2 follows the same structure as the previous book.  Doyle recruited a groups of fellow high-stakes pros to write about various games while he tackled NL holdem.  The games covered are NL holdem, limit holdem, Omaha 8, pot limit Omaha, Stud 8, and lowball triple draw. In addition, there is some general material provided by Mike Caro & others that replaces the general poker section of Super System 1.  I didn’t find this additional material particularly valuable, but most of it wasn’t bad.  The exception is the internet poker material, which is out of date and essentially a sales pitch for Doyle’s site.  Annoying to say the least, but easily avoided.  The real important stuff is the game-specific chapters

Since the game-specific chapters are in essence small books of their own, I’ll cover them separately:

  • Doyle’s NL holdem chapter is almost exactly the same material that appeared in SS1.  The editing is better and the terminology has been updated, but if you have the original book this chapter provides nothing new.  For those that don’t have the original, this is one of a few good things written on the subject of NL holdem, and is essential reading.
  • Jennifer Harman’s limit holdem chapter is good.  A lot has been written on this game, but I find her advice simple & correct, which puts it ahead of a lot of the competition.
  • Bobby Baldwin’s Omaha 8 chapter is OK.  This seems to be a tough game to write about for some reason despite being one of the easiest games to play well, and I’m not really a fan of any of the published material I’ve seen on it.  This chapter is probably as good as anything.
  • Todd Brunson’s Stud 8 chapter is very good, but the style he advocates is not appropriate for very loose games where essentially all pots are contested multi-way.  In higher stakes games where pots are often contested heads-up, I think his advice is very much correct.
  • Lyle Berman’s PLO chapter is very limited.  I”m not particularly familiar with the PLO literature, but there has to be something better than this out there.  He presents the basic concepts in an acceptable way, but I just feel that more material and more concrete material was needed.  I’ll try to provide reviews on some other PLO books in the future.
  • Daniel Negreanu’s lowball triple draw chapter is by far the best of the new chapters, and is essentially the only material ever published on that game that I’m aware of.  Since triple draw and now badugi have become the core of mid to high stakes mixed game formats, this is essential reading for any player looking to move up the ladder.

Overall, the material in Supersystem 2 is good and worth your time.  For some games, it’s the definitive discussion while for others there are probably better books out there.  But as a collection, this book is hard to beat.

Rating: 4 stars

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