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Harrington on Cash Games: How to Win at No-Limit Hold'em Money Games, Vol. 1 Paperback – March 14, 2008

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  • Harrington on Cash Games: How to Win at No-Limit Hold'em Money Games, Vol. 1
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About the Author

Dan Harrington began playing poker professionally in 1982. On the circuit he is known as Action Dan, an ironic reference to his solid but effective style. He has won several major no-limit hold em tournaments including the European Poker Championships (1995), the $2,500 No-Limit Hold em event at the 1995 World Series of Poker, and the Four Queens No-Limit Hold em Championship (1996).

Dan began his serious games-playing with chess, where he quickly became a master and one of the strongest players in the New England area. In 1972 he won the Massachusetts Chess Championship, ahead of most of the top players in the area. In 1976 he started playing backgammon, a game which he also quickly mastered. He was soon one of the top money players in the Boston area, and in 1981 he won the World Cup of backgammon in Washington D.C., ahead of a field that included most of the world s top players.

He first played in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold em Championship Event of the World Series of Poker in 1987. He has played in the championship a total of 15 times and has reached the final table in four of those tournaments, an amazing record. Besides winning the World Championship in 1995, he finished sixth in 1987, third in 2003, and fourth in 2004. In 2006 he finished second at the Doyle Brunson North American Championships at the Bellagio, while in 2007 he won the Legends of Poker tournament at the Bicycle Club. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest and most respected no-limit hold em players, as well as a feared opponent in both no-limit and limit hold em side games. He lives in Santa Monica where he is a partner in Anchor Loans, a real estate business.

Bill Robertie has spent his life playing and writing about chess, backgammon, and now poker. He began playing chess as a boy, inspired by Bobby Fischer s feats on the international chess scene. While attending Harvard as an undergraduate, he became a chess master and helped the Harvard chess team win several intercollegiate titles. After graduation, he won a number of chess tournaments, including the United States Championship at speed chess in 1970. He also established a reputation at blindfold chess, giving exhibitions on as many as eight boards simultaneously.

In 1976 he switched from chess to backgammon, becoming one of the top players in the world. His major titles include the World Championship in Monte Carlo in 1983 and 1987, the Black & White Championship in Boston in 1979, the Las Vegas tournaments in 1980 and 2001, the Bahamas Pro-Am in 1993, and the Istanbul World Open in 1994.

He has written several well-regarded backgammon books, the most noted of which are Advanced Backgammon (1991), a two-volume collection of 400 problems, and Modern Backgammon (2002), a new look at the underlying theory of the game. He has also written a set of three books for the beginning player: Backgammon for Winners (1994), Backgammon for Serious Players (1995), and 501 Essential Backgammon Problems (1997).

From 1991 to 1998 he edited the magazine Inside Backgammon with Kent Goulding. He owns a publishing company, the Gammon Press, and lives in Arlington, Massachusetts with his wife Patrice.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 418 pages
  • Publisher: Two Plus Two Publishing LLC; 1 edition (March 14, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880685426
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880685426
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (78 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

209 of 225 people found the following review helpful By obediah on April 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
"Harrington on Cash Games" is a two book series that deals with full ring no limit cash games. Volume I deals with general concepts, preflop play and flop play. Part one of the book begins with basic ideas. Harrington recommends skipping this section if you are already familiar with the fundamentals of no limit hold 'em and I agree. This section of the book does not cover any new ground. Part two of the book deals with broad elements of no limit cash games. The section on stack size is excellent and explains how different stack sizes call for vastly different preflop and postflop strategy. The section on hand reading is good as Harrington goes through some of the thought processes required to break down and analyze a hand. There's a very brief discussion of metagame. This involves exploiting your image and making small costly plays which you expect will reap greater dividends in the future.

Part three is about tight aggressive preflop play. This is where the book starts to lose some of its shine. The book is stuck in what is conventionally referred to as "level 1" thinking, that is "What cards do I hold in my hand?". Different types of opponents require different strategies but the book plods on with many pages of "I have X hand in Y position. What should I do?". As a trivial example an opponent who is a "rock" and rarely tries to steal your blind requires a different strategy from a maniac who tries to steal your blind every time it is folded around. The book does not really address tailoring your play to your opponent preflop.

Part four of the book is about tight aggressive flop play. Once again the book falls short in a number of areas.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Smith on May 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
While expectedly falling short of the tournament series which was always going to happen do to cash games being a much more complex topic, these books are perfect for someone wishing to start the transition to cash games from tournaments from a tournament player's perspective.

I for one have been reasonably successful in tournament play for 2-3 years, but have always struggled with cash game play and could never figure out why. This book was very helpful to me in that it explains WHY the two types are different, and the adjustment in perception that has to be made.
If you are a tournament player this will definitely introduce some ideas that you will not be comfortable with and hands that you have been quite happy to get all in with in a tournament are now hands that are very often beat by the turn and beyond. But if you are open minded and try the concepts introduced here, I think you will see an improvement in your results...As with the previous Harrington books, the hand problems are fascinating and provide a lot of insight...
These books will likely not help the experienced and successful cash game player much, but everyone else should learn a lot. Coupling reading thse books along with Professional No Limit Poker Vol 1 will improve your understanding. Well worthwhile
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jon on April 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Dan Harrington's three volumes on no limit tournament strategy became instant classics in the world of poker literature. No one before had ever attempted such a comprehensive discussion of optimal tournament strategy, with unique and extensive hand examples drawn from real-world play. Certainly no one with Dan Harrington's record and reputation had done so. Now, in this planned two-part series, Harrington tries to tackle cash game play in the same style and manner as his tournament books. In doing so, he has written a good, solid book, but not a great one, and certainly not another classic.

Harrington was destined to fall short tackling this subject matter. To begin with, no limit cash game play has been written about extensively, starting with Doyle Brunson in 1979's Super System and carrying on through a plethora of Sklansky's 2+2 books throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Thus, while Harrington was able to discuss several unique and unfamiliar ideas on no limit tournament strategy (including the importance of blind structure, the M number, chip management, inflection points, among many others), there's not much new ground here to cover. In fact, this book only contains two new "Harrington Laws", and both of them are lifted from Sklansky (the gap theory of calling an early position raiser and the unimpressive observation that more people in the pot means that a player needs a stronger hand in order to bet).

So basically there's nothing exactly new here. I agree partially with the review by Don Nguyen below; the book does indeed focus way too much on level 1 thinking (i.e. how strong a hand do I "need" given a particular flop and position).
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By John Watkins on January 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bottom line -- I was a break-even Cash game player (and a winning tourney player) when I bought this book and now I'm a winning Cash game player.

Yes, this book is for CASH game ***beginners*** and if you're past that stage, you shouldn't be reading (and criticizing) the book for being what it is -- a beginner's book that lays the foundation of your knowledge of how to play cash games.

But let's be real -- everyone who masters anything must first be a novice and must first learn the basics, the foundation, the mundane details of the subject.

And that's exactly what you get here -- the foundation. And it does an outstanding job of doing exactly that.
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