27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
The proverbs of poker,
This review is from: Tournament Poker And The Art Of War (Paperback)
If every single poker book that was ever written were assembled into a bible-like book, David Apostolico's Tournament Poker and the Art of War would fall under Proverbs. Apostolico takes a very different approach to expound the many subtle strategies that any successful poker player should implement by using Sun-Tzu's Art of War as the basis to approach a No-limit Texas Hold-em tournament game. The book is a very quick read and I have prospered greatly from the wisdom that oozes. The book is well written, but contains one fundamental flaw that is easy to get around. Despite this flaw, I will highly recommend Apostolico's Tournament Poker and the Art of War to any student of the game.
The book begins by outlining 10 principles that are gleaned from the Art of War and applied to tournament strategy. This 30-page section on the 10 principles is easily the strongest part of the book and I have read it and re-read it many times. It is worth purchasing this book for this section alone. I briefly summarize the 10 principles below:
1: Understand all of the potential consequences of your actions
2: Play each hand for maximum value and minimum risk
3: Eliminate your opponent the first chance you get
4: Accumulate chips at every opportunity
5: Mix up your play
6: Know thy enemy and know thyself
7: Use your strength to exploit your enemy's weakness
8: Do not wait for pocket Aces to make a move
9: Adjust your play with changing situations
10: Poker is an art of deception
In the remaining chapters of the book, Apostolico does his best to incorporate the teachings of Sun-Tzu by integrating excerpts from the Art of War into the text of the book. It sounds like a good idea, however there are so many excerpts integrated into the text that the book suffers from giving the reader too much information. It is very difficult to remain focused on the topic because there is an interruption after every paragraph. The vast majority of poker players are not academics and this style of writing may not appeal to a broad audience. I have found that this issue is easily overcome by skipping over the Sun-Tzu excerpts and focusing on Apostolico's writings.
I have read many books on poker. I love Sklansky and am not a big fan of Brunson the author. Although I skipped all of the Sun-Tzu excerpts in the latter part of David Apostolico's Tournament Poker and the Art of War, I find that this book remains strong nonetheless, and holds a top spot in my list of recommended books on poker strategy.