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Ace on the River: An Advanced Poker Guide Paperback – Large Print, June 30, 2005

3.6 out of 5 stars 132 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I seem to win whenever I read it." -- Ted Forrest, winning high-stakes player

"It's the necessary complement to instructional poker books." -- John Hennigan, winning high-stakes player

"Other players don't think about poker like Barry does." -- Phil Ivey, winning high-stakes player

"This book contains a lot of stuff I knew but had never seen written." -- Doyle Brunson, poker legend

From the Publisher

This is the first truly "advanced" guide to poker. It's unique play-by-play section challenges readers and they will return again and again to this section for insight.

Product Details

  • Series: Ace on the River (Book 972044221)
  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Last Knight Publishing Company; First Edition edition (June 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0972044221
  • ISBN-13: 978-0972044226
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 6.8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (132 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,962 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By M. Grapenthien on July 10, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The long anticipated 'Ace on the River' is one of the most interesting and unique poker books ever written.

Barry Greenstein has been playing professional poker for about thirty years, and has been a regular in the biggest games in the world for more than a decade, with legends such as Doyle Brunson and Chip Reese. This text was originally intended to be a chapter in the sequel to Brunson's 'Super System,' but when the first draft ran over 100 pages, the project turned into its own book.

The book is primarily targetted toward high-limit professional poker players, which is a very limited audience. Lower and middle limit players will find a lot of the material useful and interesting, but significant portions won't apply to them. Casual home game and beginning players will find a fascinating look into the mind and world of high-stakes poker players, but should definitely look elsewhere for instruction and strategy tips.

Part I, "The Poker World," is fascinating but not especially useful material. The first thirty pages is a memoir of Greenstein's life in poker. Next are chapters on the different kinds of people in "The Poker Society," "How to Behave in the Poker Society," and a chapter on the superstitions many have.

Part II, "Philosophy," contains miscellaneous ideas, advice, and discussion mostly relevant to professional poker players. There is little technical or strategic material, focusing more on psychology and avoiding common pitfalls. One chapter discusses the dangers of getting too involved in sports betting (a ubiquitous part of the poker world), one on integrity, others on attitude, the psychology of gambling, family, and even sexuality.
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Format: Paperback
I have had a week to digest Barry Greenstein's pet project, his new book "Ace On The River." In short, I would recommend this book to middle/high limit, intellectual players who have a hungry appetite for poker books on broad ranges of topics, and have read all the other poker literature out there. Barry pens a lot of poker wisdom that has not been put into print before, but while some of it is definitely useful, much will be wasted on the average player and some sections are not as thorough as they could have been.
While beginners could certainly glean a lot of useful information from the book, strategy-based choices like Lee Jones' "Winning Low-Limit Hold 'Em" or Dan Harrington's "Harrington on Hold 'Em" tournament books (the best poker books out there) are better starting points.
Why is that? Well, for starters, there is very little in the way of actual hand analysis or traditional strategy discussion in the book. A chapter at the end studies 4 or 5 of Barry's notable tournament hands from the past few years, and a chapter entitled "Poker Lessons" goes over 7 or 8 problems in various games. But the purpose of these sample hands is to get the reader to start looking at poker situations in a different way, and that is ultimately the goal of the book.
In that sense, the book succeeds. But the problem is that a great deal of time is spent on topics like "Poker and Your Family," "Poker and Productive Society," "How To Behave In Poker Society,"...you get the idea. While these topics are certainly well-written and interesting, there's not a lot of solid, useable information for the average poker player to apply to his poker playing sessions from these chapters.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I received Ace in the Hole on a Thursday, and finished it on Friday. The book is an easy read, mostly discussion and history with very little thought required of the reader. The material is fascinating if you are a poker head, and should be mildly interesting to someone looking to understand the Poker World without delving into it (the wife or girlfriend, perhaps).

The hand analysis is easily worth the $25 price of the book. In fact, I would pay $10 per analysis if Barry would write them a la carte, maybe a book of 50 or 100. Although there are just a handful of hand discussions, they are really that good.

I consider myself an intermediate poker player, someone who has had some success and understands the material in Sklansky and Harrington and other poker books. For me, Ace on the River served to gather the disparate concepts and lessons from other works, and unify them into a cohesive poker philosophy. In short, it "got my head right". In fact, after finishing the book I entered a large online tournament and had by biggest win to date.

This is not an instructional text, aside from the hand analyses. This is a coffee table book, this is one man's history and treatise, this is Barry's gift to the poker world. Enjoy. World, meet Barry Greenstein.

Damien Del Russo
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Format: Paperback
It's a coffee table book with lots of pretty pictures for the neophyte.
It's a take on the world of poker by a high level cash game player.
It passes the useful nuggets of information test for a legitimate poker book.
It's well written and edited, no need for an errata list that some publishers works require, hi Mason.
It's cheap, 25 bucks list price for what you get is a bargain in the poker publishing world.
It's got heft, useful for a significant other to beat about the head of a degenerate who could at least learn something and lose at a reduced rate.
Finally, the more you buy the more likely a 2nd edition will be published with additional hand analyses so the word advanced on the cover isn't debatable within poker circles, please buy so it stops.
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