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Doyle Brunson's Super System Paperback – December 31, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
There is more than a little truth to this accusation. Poker is an ever-evolving superset of games with the individual games changing over time as the players learn how one game and then another should be played. Write a revealing book and the old games disappear more quickly and the "rocks" have to learn the new game in order to continue to make a living. Today's most important games are hold'em and seven card stud. Both are covered in this book, hold'em quite extensively.
What sets Brunson's Super/System apart from other poker books is first the prestige and celebrity of the writers, especially Doyle himself, but also Bobby Baldwin (also a World Champion); David "Chip" Reese, Doyle's expert on seven-card stud; Joey Hawthorne on Low-Ball; David Sklanski on Hi-Low; and Mike Caro (MJC) on draw poker. I used to play with Sklanski and MJC back in the sixties in Gardena when the only legal game in the California clubs was draw poker, both lowball and jacks or better. Sklanski has gone on to be one of the game's great theoreticians and the author of several excellent books on poker. Caro, known as "the Mad Genius of Poker," has formed his own "Poker University" and is partly responsible for this book's republication, and has become quite a poker entrepreneur.Read more ›
As for the lessons in this post-graduate school of poker, some really are of historical value only. I suppose Caro's lecture on Draw might be of use in home games but Skalansky's on hi-lo has been out-flanked by time - the qualifier did for it. Baldwin's chapter on limit hold'em is also of no value - not only has the game changed (they used to play it with a single blind and antes from every player - to make things easier and quicker in casinos they changed to the big & little blind structure) but there are five or so more books that today to a better job.
Two chapters retain value. Firstly, and often overlooked, is Chip Reese's chapter on Seven Card Stud. Its not particularly profound and I feel Chip gives away less than the others, but its still a very good starting place. Seven Card Stud hasn't changed much since the 1930s so this chapter retains value.
But the the real gem is Brunson's own chapter on no limit Hold'em. Its extremely interesting and given the greater freedom no limit gives the change in the game structure matters less. No limit is not a war of fine percentages like limit, it is a game of great psychological violence. Brunson's system is VERY aggressive. I think very few people would feel so comfortable playing so many connectors out of position in no limit games so they can stage all-in bluffs. You would need to be up against a very timid rock garden to play just as Brunson says. But it remains, undisputedly, the best guide to no limit cash games (but not tournaments - see Cloutier and McEvoy).
Buy it. You'll thank me.
However, as I would advise the book only to advanced players with significant experience and the desire to vary their play. The authors system really only works for a super agressive player who is not only extremely talented, but very disciplined. Not many people can emulate this style, and most who try WILL LOSE MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF MONEY!!!
With that said, at this price (I bought the hardcover version long ago for $50+), you really can't lose. It's a great addition to any poker library.
I read the hold'em section of the Super System several times. It helped me immensely and improved my game (and my winnings.) The Super System, however, is not a system. It is a variety of loosely connected thoughts, observations, plays, advice, and reminiscences. Doyle Brunson gives you all the knowledge he accrued over years of poker in a few hundred pages, but it is written and organized poorly.
The statistics and advice are immensely helpful. If you read through the book and collate all that he says, you could use his advice to make a very good system yourself. Just don't expect too much from the book on the first reading.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm a much better poker player for having read Brunson's book. Definitely recommend.Published 14 days ago by Mike
Super System Classic is still the best book out there for a variety of games. SS2 is not really necessary; stick w this one. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Curt
Okay, maybe not a millionaire, but at least I understand how to keep from getting fleeced on a regular basis. Excellent expert advice.Published 5 months ago by DespondantDespot