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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
This is a very solid and sound book. I have read well over 30 poker books and I like the way she thinks through hands. Not only did I read it once, I referred back to it a few times over the last year. I'm really writing this review because most of the 1 star reviews are irresponsible and I wanted to reply. If you read the 1 star reviews you will notice a few things. First, most of them did not read the book. Second, most of them are angry at her brother and simply wrote an angry comment. Also, most of the comments are completely meritless. Several reviews said that she is not qualified to write a poker book because she does not win. This is incorrect. Annie Duke has won over $4,000,000 in poker tournaments and cashed over 40 times. If this is not winning, I want this level of failure. One of the 1 star reviews is clearly just a promotion for 2 plus 2 books. He not only complained about this book, he managed to complain about all of the Gordon books as well. One of the reviewers actually tried to claim that all 75 five-star reviews must be fake. So this one mean that got 75 people that live in different places to write long and detailed reviews (some over 300 words) that are all fake. What seems more realistic, that 75 people are lying or that 12 people that gave the book a bad review have their own agenda's. I don't know Annie, but I would really hate if my work was insulted because of something my brother was involved with. If you are a low to mid level player you will get some good ideas from this book. Its worth the price. It's not perfect, but I have gotten a lot out of it and I have definitely applied things I learned in this book to my game.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 2012
I was very impressed with Annie Duke's "Decide to play great poker."

I have read upward of 20+ books on poker, nmostly before the online teaching sites came out. For my money the bext book I ever read on Poker was, and still is, Sklanski's "The theory of Poker." Mostly, because Sklanki is not trying to tell you how to play each hand, but rather how to think your way through a hand. Annie is very similar in her approach, and thus I would rank it right up their with "Theory." This is a very accesable book those with a poker background, and Annie writes well in a very conversational tone.

I would liken Annie's book to a decision model that I used to put put together to organize masses of information in law school to prepare for a test, or a logic flow chart a programmer may put together to understand a program she is working on. Annie tries to analyze many situations you may encounter such as Top pair in position with the lead, vs. one oppenent. She discusses what you do, and more importantly WHY? The answer to the why question is so important, because this allows you to adjust her advice to the way your particular oppent(s) is playing under the situation she has analyzed in the book.

For example, if she gives you some advice to raise with top pair on a bord of A77, because someone who has three of a kind is not likely to bet out in fear of losing a customer, if you know your opponent is caplable of betting out with the set you may decide to pay differently. Just an example of the cocept, not of her particluar advice.

The best things I found in the book, and their are many good things to choose from, is her discussion about suited cards (0ver rated), and how she thinks trough many situations, and demonstrates that often the best play is the same whether your oppopnent has the high end of his/her range or the low end making your decision much eqasier than you would have thought. Her discussion of starting hands, and pre flop raise sizing are close seconds to the discussions above.

If I had one complaint, and it really isn't much of one, would be more Annie, give me more similar analysis of more situations. Though this is a game with infinint situations, many similar situatins repeat themselves over and over again. She covers a great deal of those common situtations, but would love to seem more explained in future work. (Are you listenining Annie?)

As I tweeted Annie a few weeks ago, the book changed the questions I ask myself when I am in a hand.

bisogno
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2011
The joke has been made in other reviews...don't buy this book! It'll make you to good to play against! All joking aside, I don't want to do anything to help my opponents, but that's exactly what I'm doing now by giving Decide five stars. I am serious about poker, and out of respect for the game, I have to give credit and thanks to Annie. This book was exactly what I needed at my stage of development as a player. Some reviewers have mentioned the current debacle in online poker -- I can't speak to that, and frankly, don't much care about it. I play live. Whatever else may be going on, this book is genuine.

That being said, this book is not for everyone. It's not for beginners. You need to come to this book with some basic understanding of the game and some experience. I mentioned I play live -- process that any way you like. A lot of comments get made that live games are full of fish. Players who talk that way make me wonder because one thing I know for sure is if you approach the game with a cocky attitude, you will be humbled. Guaranteed. Annie does occasionally advise the reader to take a read of their opponent, which would lend itself to a live game, but it seems there's little in this book that wouldn't apply online. Also, poker theory is tough. If you're not willing to reread, you won't get it.

The chapter on management has been particularly helpful to me. I've read more than once in other poker books that if the game is good, you should stay in it as long a possible whether you're up or running bad. Annie contradicts that advice, and following her guidelines has started to both save me some pain when things are going wrong, and keep me from blowing back wins when things are going well. If you're an otherwise breakeven player, the management chapter alone could make you a winner over time.

Now that I've said what I think is fair, I really do hope you talk yourself out of buying this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2013
Really great poker advice from Annie Duke. Goes against a lot of the books out there, and against "conventional wisdom." A lot of the humor and slightly raunchy language must come from her co-author, and it's terrific. My only problem was trying to wade through the hundred or more pages on playing top pair - with or without the lead, heads up or multi-way, textured or non-textured board, on and on. Sure, if you're going to play top level poker you need to understand all that, but it's a huge pill to swallow. I'm re-reading it now. Anyway, just the advice on raising pre-flop is probably worth far more than the book price. The other sections on playing big hands and on bluffing taught me more than all the other poker books I've read, including Brunson and Harrington. This one is wonderful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
I had read this book before, reading bits and pieces here and there. I thought I was applying it in my play, but I was doing it totally incorrectly and - more importantly - inconsistently. However, I knew enough to recognize that there was something there that was missing from my game that I hadn't learned from the many other poker books I've read.

So - in order to try to really learn it, I downloaded the audiobook version and started listening every day during my commute. I am now into my third listen, and I'm still learning and getting better. My tournament results have sky-rocketed, helped no doubt by a healthy dose of winning races in key spots. This audiobook has paid for itself about 400-500X by my estimate.

However - and WAY more importantly - I am 1000% more comfortable at the table and positive of the moves I make. This confidence is contagious and helps me to project a much more scary table image and get way more respect. No longer am I picked on as the weak-tight fish just hoping to make it into the money. I recently won my first tourney in the local card room, and one of the players in the final 3 told me "I had a feeling early on that it would be me and you in it to the end."

This book had not only made me a better poker player, but it's made me a happier poker player. Now that is a good poker book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2013
This book is well worth its price and will pay for itself the first time you play after reading it. There are many points I could make about the sound logic this book provides but I'll stick to the one that has helped me the most. The discussion on playing top pair is worth the price alone. Not only will it help you win but more importantly it will keep you from needlessly losing. Winning the pot is the only thing more satisfying than losing the minimum to someone holding a set while you had top pair top kicker. Believe me this book has helped me start to repair more than one serious leak in my game.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2013
I have read most of the poker related books and strategies out there. This is by far hands down the Best Poker Book I have ever read. Bar none. The style of writing and the intricate explanations of certain situations you don't want to find yourself in on the felt were truly inspiring and has added to my bankroll significantly. I've been playing most forms of poker for over 40 years and I don't know how I ever made any money in the first 30 years. The last 10 years I've been studying and reading most everything on poker and strategies on the felt and have become pretty successful on a part-time scale. This book is already dog eared and marked up to the extent that I had to buy it again on Kindle now I can refer back to it on certain sections at will.
Thank You,

Big Frank, Chicago, Illinois
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2014
I have read many poker books lately, and this one is the best. I thought about giving it a bad rating to dissuade you from reading it, thus giving me an advantage at the table. But in the end, I decided not to slow play such a monster of a book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 7, 2014
Read it twice ! There is so much good information in this book. Very nicely detailed on step by step different senerios. Keeps you interested with a slant of humor. The author tells you why you should be doing what you're doing with each senerio. Makes you think more about the moves that you make and what the possibilities of what your opponent or oppoenets might be calling you with. Love the book. Highly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2013
This is a sober compendium on real poker and real poker possibilities. No glamour fancy ass poker here. Just the facts. It will help your game and should be restudied and reread often. As a 30 year player with a documented winning cash game record, I say get read it reread it and prosper.
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