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Professional No-Limit Hold 'em: Volume I Paperback – July 20, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
A lot of amateur players seem to believe that no-limit hold'em is a game dominated by feel and aggression instead of mathematical rigor and brutal rationality, but this powerful new book dispels that notion in no uncertain terms. "It's not the one gut-wrenching decision for all the chips that counts most," the authors write. "It's the thousands of small strategic decisions that the pros get right and the amateurs don't."
Don't misunderstand. Feel and aggression are critical to success in no-limit hold'em. But the most consistent winners use analytical skill to complement their decision making, and in no-limit hold'em, the math is a lot more difficult than it is in the limit game. In limit, you're playing for one or two or three more bets; in no-limit, your entire stack may be on the line in every hand. And that makes the analytical aspects of no-limit hold'em a lot more complicated.
No surprise, then, that the book includes a lengthy discussion of stack sizes, which "are critical to most no-limit decisions." Stack size effectively determines your risk/reward possibilities, and that idea prompts a long and very valuable analysis of "commitment." "'Am I committed?' is the first question you should ask yourself on every street," write Flynn, Mehta, and Miller. If you understand the concepts in this book, you'll know how to answer that crucial question. But here's the real challenge: You have to make the all-in decision before you play a large pot. You must know if you're at the "commitment threshold" and how you're going to respond if you're facing an all-in bet.Read more ›
The writing is very clear and direct. It is an "easy" read, even if some of the concepts require thought to digest. Kudos to Ed Miller, whom I am sure is at least partly responsible for the imminent readability.
The first half of the book breaks no new ground, but is an excellent primer for NLHE play. Basics, Fundamentals and REM (Range, Equity Maximize) should be nothing new to, but a good refresher for, experienced players. It will be excellent material for beginning players who don't think much beyond their own two cards. These sections account for pages 1-138.
Pages 140-295 include the Commitment Threshhold/Planning and Stack to Pot Ratio discussions. This is the groundbreaking material which I have never seen written about. Some of it is intuitive. Some of it is not. But it is explained in clear terms, and based on my limited experience employing the ideas, it provides an excellent framework to guide your actions at the table.
I was generally aware of building pots and exercising pot control and implied odds, but I had not thought explicitly of stack to pot ratios, nor what types of hands preferred what ratios for what purposes.
Same for "pot-committed." I generally knew when someone was pot-committed, but the commitment threshhold and planning hands around it is new to me.
I shudder to think how many bad spots I have put myself in by making the "standard" play.
This book will get you thinking about the right things. Which will make you money. Kudos to Matt and Sunny for the new ideas presented in the second half of the book.
Looking forward to Vol 2 in '08.
I have played online, mostly single-table tournaments, for about 4 years. But have found that because of the time commitment necessary for those, I have been migrating to the ring/"cash" games. I dominated the $10 to $30 tournaments for a solid ROI, but found that even at the $2/1 cash games, I kept being "pushed around". It felt like I was always up against a group of pros, not knowing what to do on the flop or turn.
Now, after getting through this book a SECOND time in a month's worth of reading, I find that it feels like I'm playing against a bunch of children. It feels so easy. They key has been to plan the hands from before the flop.
This book is the first of about 20 NL or PL Hold-Em books I have read that really, really explains what is meant by planning your hand and manipulating the pot size to your advantage. You will find out how to position yourself in situations so that you'll know in advance what to do when the flop comes. It gives an excellent explanation of the target Stack-to-Pot ratio you need to aim for depending on your cards (are you going for top-pair, or is it a drawing hand: Suited ace, connectors, small pair...)
You'll find yourself constantly NOT CARING how your opponent acts on the flop. The play of the hand has already been established. You will either commit or fold. And rarely will there be a Turn decision.
If you pair this book with a decent online tool to track your opponents (so you can tell the set-farmers, from the action-kids, from the tight-rocks) you will find that you can easily play 3 or 4 tables at once and NOT be a predictable player yourself.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
one of the best poker books ever written, I used it when learning and often go back to it when i reach new plateausPublished 2 months ago by Lorne A Thompson
Excellent book. The best one I've read so far. Gordon's "little green book" gave me an edge over beginners and trial and error players. Read morePublished 7 months ago by uglypony
Book came with the bottom cover page torn apart and held together by tape !!Published 10 months ago by G. Mirza
Practical book. Requires multiple reads to digest. I am looking forward to volume ok. I will purchase. Thank u. UPublished 12 months ago by Tracy
Excellent poker book that really does a good job do presenting real strategies and philosophies of playing.Published 13 months ago by Ron Hollis
I went through a variety of other books. Some were fine, but too vague; some rambled on with run-on sentences to the point where you could barely follow it; and one was actually... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Funkychicken