Monday, August 30, 2010

Preparing to Return

After four weeks without poker, it can be a little hard to get back in the swing of things. You might think taking a month off would refresh my poker juices and have me chomping at the bit to get back to the tables, but the truth is I don't think about the game at all when I take time off. I'm going back to work in two days, though, so I figure I should get my mind back to thinking about poker a little. I'm reading a surprisingly good book called The Full Tilt Tournament Poker Strategy Guide, in which different authors each write one or more chapters. Authors include Chris Ferguson (which is why I got the book), Ted Forrest, Gavin Smith, and Howard Lederer. Although it is billed as a tournament guide, many of the chapters can be applied almost directly to cash games. I just finished a really useful chapter by Andy Bloch that includes lots of nifty charts. One of them completely trumps the interesting but completely impractical "Sklansky-Chubokov" numbers found in No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice by David Sklansky and Ed Miller. Bloch's numbers are similarly interesting and impractical, but slightly more practical and thus slightly more interesting. Basically, both try to give you an idea of when it's better to go all-in rather than fold if you are heads-up and your decision is binary (push or fold). Bloch's other charts include the win percentages of every hand when up against a random hand or a top 10% hand, as well as some other hand ranges.

Anyway, I'm hoping this book will pique my interest in returning to work on Wednesday.

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