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Applications of No-Limit Hold em Paperback – May 20, 2013
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About the Author
Matthew Janda has had an interest in card games his entire life, and began playing poker with friends in high school before playing online cash games in college. While originally studying business economics at UCLA, a game theory course sparked his interest in poker theory and optimal play.
Currently, Matthew continues to make poker training videos for CardRunners and all of his videos are theory based and designed to teach players the math necessary for improving their play without going into unnecessary or impractical details. He s never been one to discuss what line is best with a specific hand, but rather uses computer programs to display what action he thinks is best with each hand in his entire range.
Matthew is applying for medical school in 2013 and hopes to be a physician one day. He s currently finishing up his required science classes and volunteering, but poker remains his favorite hobby.
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Top Customer Reviews
For this year I have to say this book is the book to read. But it is not for beginners. This book is for those who have the discipline and do better than the typical winning players @ 3/5 and 5/10. Many think level 2 in a 1 dimensional form - "he bet weak on the AAx flop, he must be weak, I can bluff him" and not "why did he beat weak on the AAx board and with what part of his range" There is a distinct difference between the two statements. If you understand the latter you are ready for the book. If you don't understand the difference between the two you are not ready.
This book covers lots of important and useful concepts for how to structure your play in an optimal fashion against tough/experienced opponents both before the flop and post flop. I'm confident that it will help me be very successful at higher limits ($5-$10 and above) in the very near future.
P.S. I live in Las Vegas and play 5 days/week in casino poker rooms. I consistently win at $2/$5 NLHE.
This book would be in my top two favorite and most useful poker books, with the other one being Will Tipton's "Expert Heads Up No-Limit Holdem".
His discussion on how to reason balancing has been vital to me. Also, I've found a major leak in my game when playing out-of-position. I'm generally a very aggressive player and almost always prefer betting out monster hands instead of trapping, since it grows the pot. I think a common rookie mistake is to get too sneaky-trappy, resulting in smaller pots than monster hands deserve. In general, my choice of aggression vs. trappy has worked out to my advantage.
But he makes some very compelling arguments where trapping is clearly superior. My major leak is that my aggressive "play big hands big" results in my checks universally being weak. The out-of-position disadvantage clearly needs to be balanced by properly trapping in the right spots.
Also, he turns the calling decision of pot-odds on its head. He concludes that you should defend (i.e. call) 60% of bets on the flop (when heads-up). This should surprise most players, I think, since generally we only call if we hit, and fold if we miss. You only hit 33%, so how to call the other 27% successfully, especially dry flops? Well, it only works if your opponent is "properly aggressive", like GTO. Against straightforward players, 60% is clearly a loser. But if you fold more than 60%, then opponent's "bluff 3/4 pot always" strategy simply has +EV against you. So pot-odds thinking must be compared to "don't give bluff-always any +EV".
Starting with the triple-barrel value play (balanced with some triple barrel bluffs) as a backbone of his analysis, you can understand the game much deeper. This triple-barrel play is really central to deep-stack poker. Once you've worked this out, you can reason how to shallow your strategy as stacks get shorter (like 30 Big-Blind tourneys).
I would recommend more approachable books (like those by Ed Miller) for beginner and intermediate players. Then check this one out when you're ready.
Lots of math. All linear equations, but won't make sense to an inexperienced player.
Getting through this book takes a lot of work. Each situation in the book takes you through the math and the strategy. He discusses the optimal play based on minimizing the expectation of your opponent.
This is great training for playing better poker. I recommend it if you are a strategic, mathematical player who wants to up their game.