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Poker: A guaranteed income for life by using the advanced concepts of poker Paperback – January 1, 1980

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 359 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; Completely rev. and expanded for poker in the inflation-ridden 80's edition (1980)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446974552
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446974554
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,853,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Adams on May 18, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Wallace's is surely one of the best books ever written about playing poker. His is not the scientific how to manual that will make you more technically proficient. For that read any of a number of books about specific brands of casino poker (Sklansky, Malmuth, Caro, Kreiger, Jones, Carson can help you there). But if you want the quintessential book about how to take advantage of poor home game players then this is your bible.
Intentionally or otherwise, in the process of showing you how to best fleece your friends and acquaintances at poker Wallace forces the thoughtful reader to examine the underlying reasons we play this game. Do we really want to get friends into feeder low stakes games, dupe them into thinking they're pretty good, convince their spouses that they're doing OK at poker, while luring them into higher stakes games where we can go for the kill? If we do, this book shows us how. But even if don't, by showing us how, Wallace forces us to come to grips with how far we're willing to go to win at this fascinating game.
The book is not without its flaws and holes however. Wallace's statistical tables in the back are in error. Check out Scarne's tables in his books or Caro's from the MCU on line. And Wallace doesn't even touch on tournament poker or playing in a casino or on the now-popular forms of poker like Hold Em and Omaha. But then, Wallace begins his instruction as if you are already a solid technical player. His tutoring is on how an already good poker player can win the most money from other home game players. In that regard his book is a masterpiece.
As a final aside, it's interesting to note that in Wallace's later works -- the whole "Neo-Tech" genre -- he clearly has gone off the deep end. But this book was written before these bizarre excursions into psuedo-science and seems sane, though obsessive.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
This should have been the poker book that ended poker books. At the time it came out, it was far, far deeper and more sophisticated than anything else in the field, and in some ways, despite the exponential improvement in poker literature, still is. When the Jacoby's and Rubens's were telling us to keep stakes down, quit by midnight, and don't let players get hurt, Wallace knocks down those barriers like wooden fences in a category 5 hurricane.
As with Wallace's other writings, he purports theory without many specific examples. that's up to you, which demands a lot of the reader. But this book is the only one I know of which provides a framework for working a maximum-win approach in home poker games, with stark amorality and requiring a tremendous amount of work (and patience, a necessary poker virtue which Wallace severely underemphasizes). That approach isn't what most poker players want, and few of those would work hard enough to implement it decently, but for the handful of others it could work.
The book gets its true greatness at the end, when he explains that for all the possibilities inherent in poker, it's a losing proposition. After teaching us to be "good players," he explains why the "good player is the biggest loser in poker." Why, you'll have to read. This book is no match technically for the products of Sklansky, Malmuth, Zee, and others, but has a vision which stands tall even today. Poker is work - if you want it, you can excel at it. and that's true for a lot of the rest of life as well.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By River on May 19, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is of interest mainly for historical reasons, because it was one of the first "naughty" poker books to receive significant circulation. It made some impression on me when I read it a long time ago, but looking into it now it seems old fashioned and contrived. Basically this is a sort of handbook for small time cheats and grifters. The value that it once had was that it might show you what to look out for. But the situations are outdated, coming long before internet poker and the expansion of the casinos.

The first half of the book explains, complete with many charts and diagrams, how you can get your friends and neighbors into a regular poker game in your home, cheating them out of small amounts of money in the process. Later, the author ventures into the public poker venues of his day. He seems to be a newbie on the casino scene, so I don't think his observations are worth much, even though he backs them up with abundant charts and tables, showing for example, how much he imagines a cheat makes vs. a good player under various conditions. The one part that might conceivably be worth reading has to do with methods of low-life chiseling in California poker clubs.

One of the reviews says this book was "a breath of fresh air" when it first came out. That is true, but it is fresh air that carries a foul odor. If you have ever known a person you would not want to allow into your house to use the bathroom because you are afraid they might steal something while they are in there, then you have an impression of the author and the people he writes about.

Another review says Wallace wrote this book shortly before he went crazy.
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