Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hitting the Books

As I mentioned last time, I'm taking some time off from work, and I wanted to use some of my free time to analyze poker. As planned, I did absolutely nothing poker-related for my first week off, but now I've started to hit the books. I reread a few sections of The Mathematics of Poker (probably my favorite poker book despite typos and other flaws), and I'm almost done with Gus Hansen's book, Every Hand Revealed. The only thing really earth-shattering about Hansen's book is his humility, which is very uncharacteristic of poker players. He unabashedly admits that he often doesn't know what the best play is, but describes his thinking of the pros and cons of each option. It's a good book, as it gives the reader a taste for how to play a super-aggressive style and what it's like to play in one of these big televised poker tournaments, but I don't feel that I've taken much away from it strategically except that I may be playing too tight in the blinds and with suited connectors.

In addition to The Mathematics of Poker and Every Hand Revealed, I'm also revisiting No Limit Hold 'Em: Theory and Practice by David Sklansky and Ed Miller. I never got around to writing a review for this book, but I thought it was mostly quite good. There are already lots of reviews online. (The book is three years old now, but one extensive review was just published yesterday.) However, I remember thinking that there was a lot of questionable advice, and, as always with "2+2" publications, astonishingly feeble editing. Anyway, the last part of the book, called "Concepts and Weapons," is simply a list of 60 NLHE concepts, and I've always thought this would be fertile ground for some poker discussion. I think it might be interesting to go through them all and give my impression of them. No promises, but I think I'll start that tomorrow. I go back to work at the Bike the next day, but hopefully I'll eventually work my way through the whole list.

The other thing I thought I might do before I go back to work was play in the $1070 tournament in the Bike's Legends of Poker. However, my plans for being staked by other players fell through, and I opted not to pay for it myself.

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