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Hold'em Excellence: From Beginner to Winner Paperback – January 31, 1999


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lou Krieger has been playing poker since childhood. He has been the author of a popular column called On Strategy in Card Player magazine since the early 1990's.

Lou lives in Long Beach, California and can regularly be found playing mid-limit games in the cardrooms of Southern California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Conjelco; 1st ConJelCo ed edition (January 31, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886070121
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886070127
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #922,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
Lou Krieger's analysis of the fundamentals of Hold 'em is rock solid. A great book for the amateur Hold'em player who wishes to add some solid basic strategy to their game. The "Start Chart" presented in the book is a very good (and pretty easy to remember) set of starting standards for Hold'em play, and Krieger does a good job of pointing out the necessity of adjusting your starting standards based on position and the texture of the game. This is a good book for the average low-limit casino player or home player looking to play in a casino. If you don't already play Hold'em, this book will probably be above your head. If you're already playing at mid to high limits and don't know the stuff in this book, don't read it, just keep donating.
You can't control luck, but you can control your money. Discipline!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Scott R. Dukart on January 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Let me start with what this book isn't. This isn't a good first book for beginnning hold'em players. A more appropriate book for a newbie would be Lee Jones' excellent "Winning Low Limit Hold'em" (especially with the new 3rd edition that I haven't had a chance to read yet, but it's almost twice the thickness of my 2nd edition). This isn't a book that gives the reader a fleshed-out system on how to play limit hold'em. It's subtitle, "From Beginner to Winner" really isn't true. I don't think this book would take a complete newcomer and turn them into a winner.

All that being said, now let me say what this book is. This is a book that will help a new to intermediate player to start to think actively about low-to-mid limit hold'em. The above-mentioned Lee Jones book gives a new player a system that helps him or her to play "good" poker. That is the "how" for a beginner. "Hold'em Excellence" gives the reader ideas to think about, and actively debate. This is the "why" and the "what if" for a beginnner.

To put it another way, this is a beginner course in poker theory. Many of the more experienced players have probably read (or should read) Phil Gordon's "Little Green Book". Gordon's book helps an advanced player creatively and actively think about no-limit hold'em. Hold-em Excellence helps a beginnner-to-intermediate player creatively think about low-to-mid limit hold'em. This book helps a player to start to think about questions such as when should I raise? How do I start to analyze the other players? How do I change my play based on table conditions? How strong is my hand, really? It helps players to understand why to do what they are supposed to.

I should list a few caveats. The writing isn't stellar, and the grammar is at times bad.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "mccormickkjm" on February 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a good book if you are just getting started. Lou will take you from the very basic start to a few common plays that come up often in a holdem game. This book also tells you how to become a great player but one must be devoted and have great discipline. This is a great book for starters. It is also a good book to have in your libaray if you are an advanced player. Like Lou says if you only find one thing useful and it helps you win a pot then your investment was worth it, as you can use it many times over.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By banian on June 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is a solid compliment to other starting Hold EM books. I would suggest this as a second or third book for the interested player (winning Low Limit Hold'em might be a better first book) It gives sound advice on positional play, and reading the board. I noticed Mike Caro's influence on this book as well, and he is undisputadely one of the best authorities on the game.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Obrien on October 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
I read this after Lee Jones' excellent "Winning Low-Limit Hold'em". Krieger's book was not nearly as useful. And although it's a short book, it's not concise.

I'm not sure what the target audience is for this book:

- It's not for beginners, because it skips a lot of basic stuff.

- Not for intermediates, because it doesn't offer anything beyond Jones' book.

While the writing style is decent and the organization is promising, the content is rambling with a bunch of dead-end special cases.

And the publisher really needs to hire an editor. I've never read a book with so many typos.

If you haven't read Jones yet, that's the one to get for starting out in hold'em. You could probably do worse with this book, but Jones is a lot better (and shorter to boot).
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be useful, very clear and very well written and is as much about why as what. I would ignore the previous reviewer. He cites Lee Jones as though Mr. Jones were the last word in Poker advice. Apparently, he's unaware of the fact that some of the starting hand recommendations promulgated by Mr. Jones are highly questionable from a probabilistic standpoint. So many poker books are poorly written and are mechanical in nature discouraging the reader to think for himself. A very nice poker book.
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