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Professional Poker: The Essential Guide to Playing for a Living Paperback – July 1, 2005

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About the Author

Mark Blade has a B.A. from UCLA and an M.B.A. from USC. After attaining his M.B.A., he did what any other young man who is highly educated and hotly pursued by the corporate world would do. He decided to play poker full-time instead. He has made his living from poker for over 10 years.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Brownfield Publishing; 1 edition (July 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0976595788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976595786
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #839,684 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Michael Cardella on July 18, 2005
Format: Paperback
I stumbled across the author's website and read the rave reviews by some big poker names so I bought a copy. I was still a little worried because I had never heard a thing about Mark Blade before. Now that I've read the book, here's my reaction. It absolutely exceeded my most hopeful expectations. It's packed with useful info for any poker player, not just pro wannabes. There are a bunch of clever techniques on how to always stay mentally sharp while you play and not let bad beats affect you. Everyone can use these. There are some playing strategy tables that I've never seen before and I've read a lot of poker books. One table about card combinations turns something that is very tricky mathematically into something that I can definitely use with some practice. I was considering taking a shot at the WSOP this year and I think this table could really help my chances if I decide to. The only negative reaction you might have is if you think that this book will teach you every single thing about playing the game, such as starting hands. It gives a lot of advanced tips on some things but it's not exactly a `how to play holdem' book. But it really teaches all the things that those other books don't teach you like picking the right games or tables or if you should play in tournaments or not and which ones. There's a super advanced course on bankrolls that is a real eye opener. I could go on and on about all the other things covered. I just can't imagine that anyone who is into poker won't be into this book.
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Chapin on October 7, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an excellent example of the market working to meet the needs of the customer as more and more people are considering giving up their day jobs to become professional poker players. It's hard to argue with some of the financial numbers. Word of Prahlad Friedman's deeds as Spirit Rock on ultimatebet.com have dazzled many into wishing they could play full-time. The glamour of constructing your own life is self-evident. You make your own hours, you have no boss, and you work at a game you love. Heck, even the course of study is enjoyable as many of the poker texts are highly entertaining. Many of us salivate at the thought of leading the type of life we see guys like Gus Hanson lead.

Our author, Mark Blades, a former valedictorian who opted for a career in the card room, is a voice of sobriety when it comes to the issue of "quitting your day job." He is a professional who has excelled at the game and continues to do so. Here, he provides us with sage advice. Not making it is a very real possibility and Blades has run across more than his share of bust outs while making the big bucks. In these pages, he examines every iota of what being a pro is and how you'll know if you're ready (if you'll ever be). He isn't afraid to share with readers that if they're don't meet certain standards and conditions, they shouldn't even bother.

Blades has a lot of important things to say. He speaks both to the online and brick & mortar player. Of course, the lighter rake and the fact that one does not have to tip provide the internet with an advantage over actual casinos. However, the games in a casino can be much easier. The 2/4 game at the Tropicana is nowhere near as difficult as the ones you'll find at fulltilt.com.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christoph A. Ressa on January 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
First of all nobody read the LyingThief's post. I have nothing against criticism but he gives no informtion to back his thoughts up. All he says is that if you are experienced you shouldn't read this. I find that rather foolish, I've heard many of the biggest names, Barry Greenstein, Dan Harrington, Howard Lederer, etc. constantly read poker books (much of which I'm sure they already know) but its great to look at things from a different point of view. Anyway, Mark Blade goes over in detail what you need to do to play for a living. His bankroll and money management sections I've never seen written in such depth. Teaches you how to come up with plan if you are going to do this for a living. Instead of just getting a few thousand and moving to vegas to go on a run. Its much more detailed. After you've developed a good strategy on how to win at poker you need to get this book so you can learn to make money in poker. Thats what the differnece is about htis book just because you knwo how to win at poker doesn't mean you know how to make money at poker. If Doyle Brusnon isn't your uncle and annie duke not your mom's tea buddy then you need to get this to learn how to make money in poker.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Honest Review on August 2, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book about 3 months ago. And it is definatly a must have for any poker player who is serious about making poker a profession. The book itself doesn't really dicuss on poker stradegys, but more on insist of a professional poker player. It starts with a chapter theme called "So... You want to quit your day job?" Which is a great slap in the face for everyone. I have read the book many times over, and has improved not only my game... but also my money management techniques.

I recommend this book to people who are already above-average poker players, because some of the topics are advanced. I'm currently a semi-pro living in Japan, making about $15-20k a month. I'm going to step up when I get back to the states. This book has greatly increased my chances for success!
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