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Doyle Brunson's Super System 2: A Course in Power Poker Paperback – February 1, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 153 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 672 pages
  • Publisher: Cardoza Publishing; Original edition (February 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580421362
  • ASIN: 1580421369
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (153 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Grapenthien on February 19, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Super System 2 was hyped seemingly forever before it was finally released, with the release date pushed back several times. Was it worth the wait? Not really.

First of all, as another reviewer mentioned, parts of the book, especially the online poker section, read like an infomercial for Brunson's new site - just as blatant and irritating as on TV. He refers to it over and over (and over), with no purpose except as a shameless plug.

Another aspect that's hard to miss is the authors' ego-stroking of themselves and each other. Yes, Brunson's a great player, did a lot for the game, won the World Series twice 30 years ago, etc. Most readers already know that, and don't need to be endlessly reminded. Reading the introduction, one can almost imagine Doyle pausing to allow us time to bow down and worship him. The superlatives flow again before each chapter as he introduces each author, and then most of the others reciprocate by reminding us of Doyle's greatness. In case we'd forgotten.

Some have complained that the book includes other games and doesn't cover hold'em exclusively. I think this is one of the book's strong points. Hold'em has been beaten to death, with several great books on the game and new ones coming out regularly. It's very hard to find good information on some of the other games; for example, this is the first time I've seen Triple Draw covered in print. Also, the original Super System also covered several games, so this shouldn't surprise anyone.

As one might expect from a book where each chapter has a different author, the quality varies substantially from section to section. One thing they all have in common is fairly poor writing.
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Format: Paperback
"The Most Anticipated Book in the History of Poker!" exclaims a blurb on the cover. Well, if so, I can tell you that a lot of people have been, or are going to be, VERY disappointed. Comparing the classic Super/System from 1978 with this book is, to paraphrase Mark Twain, like comparing lightning to the lightning bug.

This book is more of a tribute to Doyle Brunson than it is "A Course in Power Poker." Johnny Chan writes a fairly vacuous Preface in which he lauds Brunson, but doesn't say anything about how to play. Then we have Brunson's Introduction in which he tells us mostly about the contributors to the first Super/System. Next there is an autobiographical sketch by Brunson entitled, "My Story." (If you want a book that gives the real flavor of Brunson's "story," get a copy of According to Doyle (1984). It contains 47 chapters in which Brunson recalls his early days and life on the road.)

Following "My Story" is a short history of Texas Hold'em by Crandell Addington which isn't much, and then there is the first chapter that could actually be considered part of a course in power poker. This would be 43 tips from Mike Caro cribbed from his lectures and books. However the tips are hardly "exclusive" for SuperSystem2 as claimed. Beginning with Caro's cute but now very familiar, "In the beginning, everything was even money," most or all of the tips have been recycled. For example, Tip #18, page 146, "WHEN A FREQUENT BETTOR CHECKS TO YOU...don't bluff" is just about the same as Tip #10 "Seldom bluff if frequent bluffers have checked into you" found on page 137 in Caro's Fundamental Secrets of Winning Poker (1996). In fact Caro even recycles his "exclusive" tips in this very book. Tip #31 says that PLAYERS STARING AWAY...
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Format: Paperback
I think it's a book that belongs on any serious poker player's bookshelf, but it shouldn't be one of your first books.

Let's start with what your expectations should be of the book, because the title is misleading. This isn't a coherent, unified system of approaching poker. Instead, it's a collection of essays from an all-star cast of contributing authors on a wide range of poker games. I think that's a fine thing, and I appreciate the different approaches and insights, but the title could lead you to expect something very different.

I think it's fair to say that I took away a profitable nugget from most every chapter. I play predominantly limit hold 'em, and Jennifer Harman's chapter on the game is fantastic. While most books I've read spend the bulk of their time on pre-flop hand selection (understandable), Harman does a great job of discussing how to approach common flop & turn scenarios. I ended up recouping the cost of the book the day I purchased it by following some of her advice on how I approach catching middle or low pair on the flop.

Downsides to the book:

Personally, I could live without the long waxing on Doyle's life history. Don't get me wrong, I'd happily buy a well written biography of Doyle's life, but I bought this for poker theory and strategy. (And Doyle shouldn't be the one to write the biography... he may be a brilliant poker player, but his writing is so so.)

Another reviewer mentioned this, but it deserves repeating: the plugs for Doyle's online poker site are annoying at best.

In the end I think this is a great follow-up book to any of the great fundamental books on the game.

fyi, by fundamental books on the game I mean...

For general poker theory: Sklansky and Malmuth

For hold 'em limit discussion: Lou Kreiger or Ed Miller

For no limit: Dan Harrington
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