91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2007
The long awaited sequel to 'Kill Phil' has finally been published. Where 'Kill Phil' provided an effective long-ball strategy for neophyte tournament poker players to compete against expert players, 'Kill Everyone' takes the 'Killers of Phils' [who by now should have had a lot of playing experience] to another level of play.
This second book by Lee Nelson and his new collaborators [Tysen Streib and Kim Lee] details some very advanced tournament poker concepts and strategies. It is also based on the modern game [also sometimes called the 'new school'] of very strong aggression. Where 'Kill Phil' emphasized a long-ball strategy due to its target audience being beginning tournament players, this book teaches small-ball play in the early stages of a tournament, and provides further analysis of the long-ball tactics introduced in 'Kill Phil'. Thus, you now have both strategies in your arsenal to be utilized as befits the situation.
The book identifies two key phases of tournament play - the early game, where the objective is to accumulate chips, and then the end-game [when the blinds are escalating, and players are generally in the `move-in' stage], where the goal is to win it all. It is this last phase where the book excels. It is also the most useful, as this is the situation that most players find themselves in - short-stacked or average-stacked. It not only provides detailed guidelines and tables for the strategies to be used but the discussion is strongly backed up by sound game-theoretic analysis. A particularly useful discussion is equilibrium play when far from the money, .i.e. you become short stacked early in the tournament, and you can no longer play `cash poker' - how do you play your short stack optimally? The authors present a non-exploitative `jam-or-fold' strategy with adjustment guidelines to exploit your opponents should they not follow an equilibrium strategy against you. The end-game and equilibrium strategies discussion is a detailed expansion on the work presented in `Kill Phil' except that this latter work presents a deeper analysis and allows the [hopefully] now more experienced `Kill Phil-ler' to really grasp what he was doing by rote, and adapt to his opponents.
The next major section of the book presents a new and very important concept in tournament poker - `bubble factor' [new in that I don't believe that is has been discussed and developed to the extent that it has in this book]. This is defined as the `ratio of the cost of losing vs the gain from winning' when you're all-in and approaching the money in a tournament. This concept is important because it significantly affects your decision making, e.g. when would you fold aces pre-flop? Bubble factors are strongly tournament-strategic rather than poker-strategic - what is the prize pool and how is it paid out, the tournament structure, how many players are left, what is your stack size relative to other players, what is your relative position, how far from the money are you? Experienced pros have an intuitive feel for some of these issues, and now, thanks to this book, the `secrets' backed by solid mathematical analysis, are available to the rest of us. The discussion concludes by offering practical guidelines on utilizing `bubble factors' [`bubble factors' are calculated using the Independent Chip Model which makes it a tad difficult to work out at the table]. A good understanding of your opponents' bubble factors also allows you to apply `fold equity' more effectively. Chapter 7 of the book, `Specific Strategies for Different Tournament Types' then applies bubble factor strategies to different tournament types, including SnGs, MTTs and super-satellites. I have personally applied the concepts discussed here to dig myself out of trouble and end up at the final table.
And should you be fortunate enough to get heads-up against Gus Hansen, `Kill Everyone' presents you with information to not only hold your own, but to win the tournament. It has the most detailed heads-up strategy that I have seen in a poker tournament book. Again, it provides an equilibrium short-stacked strategy that would not be exploitable by the pro. It also presents a practical strategy for when the stacks are deeper.
The book then applies the concepts discussed in a detailed analysis of the Full Tilt Monte Carlo Invitational SnG. It is interesting to see how difficult it is, even for pros, to play optimally. The authors conclude by presenting a potpourri of topics including recent changes in modern tournament play, e.g. UTG steals, playing against the pros etc.
All in all, an exceptionally good book on a winning approach to the modern game of tournament poker. I personally find the chapters on equilibrium play, bubble factors, and heads-up to be very useful in my own development as a tournament player.
... and should you be unlucky enough to get knocked out of the tournament, you can read the bonus chapter on online short-handed cash games provided by the Australian pro, Mark Vos, and head up to your hotel room and login.
39 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2010
I bought this book because I had trouble understanding how many people are playing in the big MTTs nowadays. I had read the first two Harrington books on tournament play, but I felt like the game had changed a lot since the days those books came out. I was puzzled about the way many players were winning lots of chips with mediocre holdigs. This book helped me to understand better what was going on in the tables. I can't say that I've become a better player, but I hope that when these concepts sink in I can start to gain some success in the tables.
The book has lots of interesting topics like stealing from UTG, calling early raises in position with suited connectors and pushing short stacked with seemingly bad cards. Theories are backed with mathematical equations. In the first reading these things were a little too hard to get a grip, but more studying is required and hopefully these things fall into place too. It's also good idea to read about the tournament play after several years of Harrington's books, because those techniques are so common and everyone knows them so they are losing their power. It doesn't mean they're obsolete but just a little too common and well known that something else might work better at the moment.
To me the last part of the book, which is about short handed cash games, is unnecessary. I don't understand why the authors have added that obviously too short section on complex matter which deserves its own book.
So if you're playing tournaments and want to develop your skills to more advanced levels you need to know these things. After reading the Harrington books this is a good supplement, because this is newer and goes beyound the basics. I recommed this to everyone playing NLHE tournaments. However, in order to better understand these ideas, it would be good to have some kind of basic understanding of tournament play. Maybe not the first book you should read about MTTs.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2007
Kill Everyone is an ambitious undertaking by veteran poker player's Lee Nelson and Tysen Streib, with the assistant of master odds-calculator Kim Lee. The combination of the "feel" of successful experienced players set on top of a solid mathematical foundation make this book a very credible collection of strategies that can be applied to help any poker player find immediate and long-term success playing Texas Hold'em. No one book can make anyone a great poker player, but Kill Everyone will clue newer players into what some of the strong players are doing to earn consistent profits playing poker tournaments. Having said that, this is not a book for complete novices, as much of the analysis will be lost of inexperienced individuals. For those folks, I recommend Lee Nelson, Blair Rodman, and Kim Lee's Kill Phil, as that book outlines a simple strategy to keep you competitive against stronger players while you are learning the intricacies of poker.
Kill Everyone is full of meaningful insights that are relevant to today's poker games. Many of the well regarded poker books lose their value as their ideas become mainstream. The continuation bet that the masses learned to use to their advantage after reading Harrington on Hold'em means something very different than it did just a few years ago. Kill Everyone explains how the all-in bet is viewed differently than it once was, while also addressing specific scenarios that you will encounter in tournaments. Page through the table of contents and you are sure to see several topics that address parts of your game where you could improve.
I rated this book highly for it's relevancy to today's poker scene and for presenting some ideas that I had not previously seen in print. My biggest criticism would be that the author's tackled too many topics, and did so with varying levels of success. The chapter on "tells", for example, has been covered in such greater detail in other books that I found little value in what was written here. I also cannot speak to the short-handed cash-game chapter, as I play primarily in poker tournaments. Still, this book belongs in any poker player's library, so I recommend it to anyone who seeks to become the best poker player they can be.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2008
After reading Kill Phil, I knew this book would be really good. What amazed me was the amount of theory and math loaded in this book. Aside from 2+2 books, I have never seen a poker book with so much indepth analysis. The book has solid advice for all stages of any types of tournamenets. The calculations and decisions that have to be made very quickly will likely become second nature over time. I know it didn't take me long to get very comfortable with the KILL PHIL system and it worked out really well.
There are a number of study groups and Q & A forums on the web to help people understand parts of the book. It will probably not be the easiest poker book you've ever read. A lot of people are taking their time to ensure they understand each chapter before the go on to the next chapter. We can always use more books where the authors take the game and their writing seriously in an effort to help the readers. With effort on your part, you will see improvement in your game using the concepts explained in Kill Everyone.
I'm in agreement with the other reveiwers here, this is a 5 star book and is definitely worth your consideration if tournaments are your thing.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2008
If you play freeze-out tournaments (Anything else played today?) you'll find this book to be an essential source-book and reference. An understanding of the concepts and examples presented will give any player a better foundation from which to make decisions - and from which to approach the optimum decision at critical points.
The discussion of play on the bubble is alone worth much more than the price of the book. For example the authors present analysis of how often you should push as a function of your bubble factor (ratio of equity loss from losing to equity gain from winning the confrontation) and your opponent's calling frequency. Most players know intuitively that you should push more frequently when (a) your bubble factor is greater and (b) your opponent is more likely to call. But a chart showing the results of the calculations gives insight that can't be gotten otherwise.
One short section attacks the myth that the big stack should call liberally to knock out small stacks. That discussion alone can make the difference between just finishing in the money and making a big win. If you have ever called or raised a bit loosely to knock out small stacks only to find that you've doubled up one or more and made them into real competition while crippling yourself then this section is must reading.
I could continue with examples, but the book is only 348 pages - probably shorter than my examples would be.
I do have a single criticism. The authors (properly) use the Independent Chip Model but without fully explaining the assumptions on which it relies. Like most other authors they do explain that it assumes equal skill for all players. However, they neglect to mention that it also relies on two other assumptions: (1) that all players will receive equivalent hands over the limited time of the tournament, and (2) that play is based on only your hand and statistical behavior of your opponents. If you're in the middle of a tournament, assumption (1) probably doesn't apply for the limited number of hands remaining, and in any given hand other things - tells for lack of a better word - frequently become more important than either of these assumptions.
Do yourself a favor and buy this book. But, be prepared to study rather than just read for it contains more, much more, than a list of starting hands and advice to play a tight aggressive game.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2007
This book is one of the very best poker books out there and tells you what the important plays in no-limit tournaments are. It also tells you how to review your situation and when to apply those plays. Through the use of graphs and computer analysis it tells you specifically what your best moves are in every situation. Read it and add it to your library, having the advanced viewpoints and plays in one place is invaluable.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 7, 2012
This book is a great insight into the modern poker game. The author (Lee Nelson) and his team have put together a truly remarkable work that even seasoned players can benefit from. The commentary from Betrand Grospellier isn't simply a bunch of "I agree" he actually does disagree with Nelson on some points and always provides details on why he either agrees or disagrees.
This book will show you how and more importantly WHEN to up your aggression, widen your hand range, or even lighten up. More geared towards tournament players, even cash gamers can benefit from the knowledge.
While the book shows you loose-aggressive play, even players uncomfortable with this style should still read this book to gain insight into how OTHERS are playing.
There is also a section towards the end on conditioning and fitness (who woulda thought you needed to be fit to sit on your butt all day) for long tourneys (some events last for 4-5 days playing 8-10 hours a day). Diet and exercise are important for long term mental function and the author lays out a basic guideline to get you started.
All in all, definitely worth it to read, you'll make your money back on it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2008
All I can say is that after only a month of having this book as my main reference, some real time experience in home games and my willingness to improve my game evolved (from old school to a more aggressive style) and I was able to win a small stakes Hold'em tournament.
This is a sequel to a very popular book titled Kill Phil. I hadn't read it when I decided to give this one a try but it didn't really matter. Although the ideas and mathematical explanations are geared towards intermediate and advanced players I was able to pick up on very useful basic concept and worked my way through more complex strategies. The chapters are well structured with tables, charts and graphs that explain the logic for every decision making aspect be it pre-flop or post-flop. There are additional chapters to tailor the game for Sit N Go tournaments and internet play that has become so popular these days.
You have to take your time to understand the situations presented in each chapter and how to deal with different tournament structures, table positions and situations (far from the money, the bubble, short handed, heads up). But by the time you finish reading and understanding theses concepts you'll have a great set of tools to develop your game sit at a poker table and be very competitive.
I am now reading the first book to get a better understanding of the foundation Kill Everyone is based on - Kill Phil. It seems the latter is focused on pre-flop strategy, All-In moves and calculating pot odds to make big decisions.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2008
If you have some experience in multi-table tournaments (MTTs) and are serious about improving your game then you can't afford to miss Kill Everyone. IMO there are 2 big reasons to read this book: Eqilibrium Strategies and The Bubble Factor.
An Equilibrium Strategy, as the book explains, is one which is unexploitable by your opponent no matter how well he plays. In the later stages of a tournament it is common to find yourself in situations where you need to either move All In, Fold or decide whether to call an All In bet by your opponent preflop. It requires some study but if you are motivated then Kill Everyone has the charts you need to be able to master this strategy. You can easily save yourself the cost of the book by correcting just one single mistake you would have made had you not learned it.
Even more important is a concept that is very difficult for a cash game player to understand when he plays tournaments, and that is what the authors call the Bubble Factor. Cash players are used to calculating odds based on money where all dollars are the same. Kill Everyone explains why you can't do that in MTTs. In a cash game it would always be correct to call a JT All In bet holding AK because you would be a 62% favourite to win the pot. It is not uncommon to find yourself in the later stages of an MTT where such a call would be INCORRECT (even if the cards were exposed). Kill Everyone explains how to recognize these situations and take advantage of them. Again, correcting just one single mistake you would have made without understanding this idea can pay for the cost of the book many times over.
With the flood of other books out on the market I'm amazed none of them have dealt with these 2 critical concepts to the extent Kill Everyone has up until now. With so many good players emerging on to the tournament scene these days IMO it's impossible to be a long term winner without grasping them fully. A must read for anyone who is serious about MTTs.
20 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2012
There must be a lot of shills writing the reviews because I found this book full of general concepts with no practical applications, aka hot air. I've read many poker books (Harrington, Tri Nguyen, Sklansky, Brunson, Duke, Hellmuth, etc.), and this is by far the worst. Many of the concepts are adopted from well-known ideas, and such concepts are generalized and impractical. The authors provide excessive analysis using analog mathemetical studies and graphs, I mean a lot of graphs, and spend little time on actual play. It's almost like they just want to impress you with calculations and graphs of their concepts. It's not because I don't get the math, in fact, I understand it quite proficiently. But it's like trying to teach you chaos theory and then asking you to apply it to the real world. What's amazing is that at times their concepts are not even supported by math, but they still tell you to forge ahead. For example, they'll end up with a negative EV value and then say go ahead and do it anyway since your CSI (borrowed from Harrington's M value) is so low and you have to push regardless. Really?! Well, what's the point of the doing the math that's actually telling you not to do it. Also, the book has a way of explaining things in the most complicated manner, even for the simplest ideas. For example, they spend exhaustive time and ffort creating a "bubble factor" notion and even provide indices to show when to push, call, fold, etc. In short, all "bubble factor" means is if the tournament closing in on the bubble (e.g., near the money), you play either to make it or to win the tournament, and generally the big stack should push the medium stack, the medium stack should push the small stack, the small stack should jam the big or medium stack and try to double up and stay alive for the bubble. The author then provides a caveat that the big stack should not always push the small stack because there is no inherent equity in doing so all the time, and then another caveat that many professionals, however, will push regardless to take advantage of the bubble situation and to increase their stack because their goal is to win the tournament, not just get in the money. So at the end of the day, the author neither tells you to push or not push, it's simply your call. There you go, that's the entire chapter on bubble factor. An experienced poker player will not, and should not, be performing any such bubble factor analysis in the overly complicated manner directed by the book during poker play. Save your money, this book is poorly written and complicates concepts that leaves you scratching your head why they spent so long telling you so little.