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Middle Limit Holdem Poker Paperback – January, 2002

4.6 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bob Ciaffone and Jim Brier are both professional poker players and poker columnists. Ciaffone has several other poker books to his credit. In 1987, he captured third place in the World Championship tournament.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Bob Ciaffone (January 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966100743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966100747
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #771,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Of the dozen or so poker books I've bought in the last two years, this one has gotten by far the most repeated use. The writing is clear and logical, and the quiz/explanation format is perfect when I'm wondering whether I played a hand correctly. In the last four months I have gone from someone who was terrified of hold'em to a consistently winning player, thanks in large part to repeated study of this book. I think most people will find it much more useful than Sklansky and Malmuth, simply because the practical examples are such an ideal teaching tool.
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Format: Paperback
The problem is, giving this book a rave review may get people I play with to read it and then I won't make as much money. Still, I must do what I must do.
This is a great book on holdem, and deserves to come from a guy who calls himself 'the coach.'
Each chapter covers a particular issue (pre-flop play from early position, turn play, etc.), with a brief but useful introduction and then adds numerous extremely useful examples, with correct play pointed out and explained for each example. Useful to read straight through or just go to problem parts of your game (value betting on the river, for example).
My only warning is that this book is probably not for beginning players. It has no easy charts on what to play and when and assumes some basic holdem knowledge. That said, for any player beyound the beginner stage this is an excellent book. You won't be sorry (but I might).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
By under-rated, I don't mean the number of stars Amazon reviewers have given it--instead I mean the limited number of references given to it by other authors. Ciaffone's book gives the reader poker problem after poker problem, arranged by themes. There are tons of problems and Ciaffone does a great job explaining the nuances.

One of his first (p. 67) was this one: the flop is Kh, 7c, and 5s -- what is your action with each of these hands Ad,7d; 8d,7d; Qh,5d; 6c, 5d; 8c, 4d; and 9h, 2c. Or two hands with middle pair, two hands with bottom pair, and one gutshot straight dra and one abomination. Ciaffone argues that the same action is correct with all these hands--you try to steal the flop since there are not too many opponents and you only have to win one out of three to break even.

The 2+2 books are great for theory, but poker players need to see plenty of examples of theory in practice. Ciaffone's book gives you plenty of problems. It's one of the few poker books I think could give a guarantee it WILL improve your play. Perhaps if it was entitled "Think Like a Poker Pro" (taking a page from a chess classic by Kotov), it would get more attention. That's fine. The fewer people that read it, the better perhaps!
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Format: Paperback
I recommend this book only after the reader gets a moderate amount of time on the table. The reason for this is that the book teaches by example and it would probably be difficult for a reader who hasn't played before to get the most out of it since he won't be able to relate to the situations given. However, this is what makes this book so strong. Oftentimes, you read a poker book full of concepts, but few examples, and you're left wondering how those concepts would be applied to the situation at hand. The hands given in this book are excellent and very representative of common situations on the poker table. Each example is given with the popular opinion, his opinion (which I usually agree with), and if applicable, a reason why he believes his way is the correct way. Great book to get you thinking and to fill the practical gaps that other poker books have left their readers with. Best in its class!
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Format: Paperback
In a genre typified by poor, sensationalized, even bombastic prose, this book stands out. I have read (and learned from) Ken Warren and Sklansky & Malmuth and think that they are good authors. However, I think that this book is a gem and better than anything I have yet read...I am surprised that it only has a few reviews and am eager to add my own. No one should limit his poker collection to just one book, but this should definitely be added.

Why is this book so good? In the first place, BC devotes a lot of space to the discussion of flopping two overcards, overpair/top pair, or an OK draw. Properly tackling these unromantic but common situations, in the long run, separates the good players from the mediocre.

Second, BC uses a ton of hand scenarios to illustrate his points. And they're good ones. Not a unique approach, of course, but the difference here is that you begin to get a sense of how even a slight variation in your hand, your position, or the flop can change the right play in one situation to the wrong play in one almost exactly the same.

Third, BC shows an uncommon (at least in poker books) amount of depth to his writing. Sure, by now everyone knows about the value of deception and looks forward to showing the monster hand to his bewildered opponent. BC talks about deception, but also discusses how deception can work against you --i.e. that it comes with a cost.

Lastly, I get the sense that BC is professional gambler who is also a good writer. Do you ever get the feeling that your poker/gambling book was dictated into a tape recorder and then transcribed into print, all over the period of a couple of hours? Not here, the writing is smart and solid.

I rate this a must-have for your poker collection.
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