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Heads-Up Tournament Poker: Hand-by-Hand Paperback – February 5, 2013


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Annie Duke won a World Series of Poker gold bracelet, the $2 million top prize in the WSOP’s Tournament of Champions, and, in 2010, the NBC Heads-Up Championship, taking home the $500,000 winner’s purse. As an industry advocate and proponent of online poker, she has appeared as an expert witness before the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary and Financial Services committees. She also gained international recognition through her appearance on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice in 2009, finishing as runner-up to Joan Rivers. She is the author of two other books, Annie Duke: How I Raised, Folded, Bluffed, Flirted, Cursed and Won Millions at the World Series of Poker, and Decide to Play Great Poker. Learn more about Annie at her website, www.AnnieDuke.com, or follow her on Twitter @AnnieDuke. Vanessa Rousso, one of the most visible women in poker, has won more than $3 million in poker tournaments, including more than $1 million at the €25,000 buy-in High Roller event of the PokerStars EPT in Monte Carlo, and more than $700,000 in the PokerStars World Championship of Online Poker Main Event, both in 2009. She also finished second to Huck Seed in the 2009 NBC Heads-Up Championship, winning $250,000. Learn more about Vanessa at her website, www.VanessaRousso.com, or follow her on Twitter @VanessaRousso. Josh Doody has extensively studied poker theory and has been a winning recreational player for 10 years, focusing primarily on no-limit hold‘em tournaments. Learn more about Josh at his website, www.JoshDoody.com, or follow him on Twitter @JoshDoody on Twitter.
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William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace
"William Shakespeare's The Phantom of Menace"
Join us, good gentles, for a merry reimagining of Star Wars: Episode 1 as only Shakespeare could have written it. Learn more | More in Humor and Entertainment

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Cardoza (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580423205
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580423205
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,504,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Tom Ewall on July 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm rating this 5 stars because I think for $9.99 it's a great value. There's a lot of material, and it's entertaining.

The play at small blinds was atrocious (at these levels, GTO - "Game Theory Optimum", has been worked out in great detail; other books go into this). However the psychology, in general (at all blind levels), was interesting. I was surprised the effect of a hand being televised was not more discussed, as it seemed clear to me that this had an impact on the play.

I wouldn't recommend this book highly from an instructional standpoint, but from an entertainment/value standpoint I would.

Update: I've read more of the book now, and my overall impression is the same. I was very generous giving it 5 stars, but I'm sure I was motivated by the price; and it is entertaining. But my goodness, how bad the short-stack play is! And both authors are absolutely clueless about this.

There's a hand where Vanessa had QT with stack size of only 9 blinds, which is a no-brainer push, but she makes the comment that "My Q-10 isn't quite strong enough to ship here ...", but if one looks at a chart, one can see that even Q2 is strong enough to shove (12.7 BB's). QT is 20+. Anyone who is serious about playing heads-up should have this stuff down cold. At lower stack sizes, Math dominates.

I can only guess that her opponents (some of whom I'm sure know the math, like Phil Ivey and Paul Wasicka) were purposely playing too tight so as not to wake Vanessa up, content to take an equity edge in not playing as badly as she was. And Annie's play is way too tight as well. Not just pre-flop, but many opportunities to shove on the flop, with small blinds, were missed as well by both. The idea of trying to get a hand strong enough to trap with once the blinds start to get small, is a horrible idea.

Not to take away from them that they're good players, with deep stack sizes, and their observations are interesting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By HAMsmoke on January 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While I can understand some readers liking this book, it is simply too shallow to impart any real knowledge to the reader. It reveals not how to play, but how the authors think. In this regard however, it is aimed more at a beginner level heads up player. There are no deep secrets revealed, and the strategy points are not discussed in sufficient depth.

If you have read Gus Hanson's book on tournament play, you get the idea (but Gus' title is superior). What is nice is that almost every hand is presented, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Televised hands are indicated as such, so you get a good idea of how little you actually see in a televised game.

It's an easy read, but I can't imagine anyone really learning anything by reading this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was really excited to hear that Vanessa and Annie was working together on a book on heads-up poker. Was slightly disappointed that it wasn't in the vein of "Choose to play great poker" but was a hand-by-hand analysis of past games. I dug in anyway and was quite pleased.

It shows that even the most seasoned pros make mistakes and I love how they own up to these mistakes. By having two voices involved, it shows some of the contrast and how not everyone agrees on how to deal with the same situation. It also shows that even the pros can second guess themselves, play badly, and just do stupid things.

I love the honesty and explanations of what went wrong and how things went right. The bits where they do an aside lesson was very valuable and greatly added to the book. It isn't a book that will teach you the step-by-step on how to play heads up. Remember, heads up is a much different game than regular holdem, even tournaments.

I recommend this book to anyone that is looking to improve their game. Realize that this is very high end poker and may not always reflect the types of heads up contests you may see on the internet sites. Some of the things they do would only work well against pros. Average Joe wouldn't see the subtle bits and would be oblivious. This is where you get into "fancy play" syndrome.

Great book. Increased my respect for the authors and really cleared up some questions. Very well done. I am so glad I bought it the first day it came out on the kindle.
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By Darrien on February 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another great book from Annie Duke. Haven't you always wondered what the pros are thinking when they play a hand a certain way? This is your chance to find out. Annie and Vanessa Rousso describe their thought process behind over 600 hands. It has changed the way I play heads-up and has even improved my ring game play. You should add this book to your library.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Carmine on March 6, 2013
Format: Paperback
It is ironic that Annie Duke can write any book on tournament poker being that she hasn't had a legitimate cash since 2010; but more importantly, the fact that she considers herself skilled enough to write a book on heads-up play is laughable... I don't know why Vanessa Rousso agreed to co author this book; perhaps she was signed onto the project before Annie destroyed her reputation with the poker community during her epic poker debacle. Regardless, there is nothing Annie Duke can teach anyone about poker. She is not a poker player, the game has past her level years ago. This book is a joke!
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