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Harrington on Hold 'em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments, Vol. 1: Strategic Play Paperback – Illustrated, December 1, 2004
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About the Author
Dan began his serious games-playing with chess, where he quickly became a master and one of the strongest players in the New England area. In 1972 he won the Massachusetts Chess Championship, ahead of most of the top players in the area. In 1976 he started playing backgammon, a game which he also quickly mastered. He was soon one of the top money players in the Boston area, and in 1981 he won the World Cup of backgammon in Washington D.C., ahead of a field that included most of the world s top players.
He first played in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold em Championship Event of the World Series of Poker in 1987. He has played in the championship a total of 15 times and has reached the final table in four of those tournaments, an amazing record. Besides winning the World Championship in 1995, he finished sixth in 1987, third in 2003, and fourth in 2004. In 2006 he finished second at the Doyle Brunson North American Championships at the Bellagio, while in 2007 he won the Legends of Poker tournament at the Bicycle Club. He is widely recognized as one of the greatest and most respected no-limit hold em players, as well as a feared opponent in both no-limit and limit hold em side games. He lives in Santa Monica where he is a partner in Anchor Loans, a real estate business.
Bill Robertie has spent his life playing and writing about chess, backgammon, and now poker. He began playing chess as a boy, inspired by Bobby Fischer s feats on the international chess scene. While attending Harvard as an undergraduate, he became a chess master and helped the Harvard chess team win several intercollegiate titles. After graduation, he won a number of chess tournaments, including the United States Championship at speed chess in 1970. He also established a reputation at blindfold chess, giving exhibitions on as many as eight boards simultaneously.
In 1976 he switched from chess to backgammon, becoming one of the top players in the world. His major titles include the World Championship in Monte Carlo in 1983 and 1987, the Black & White Championship in Boston in 1979, the Las Vegas tournaments in 1980 and 2001, the Bahamas Pro-Am in 1993, and the Istanbul World Open in 1994.
He has written several well-regarded backgammon books, the most noted of which are Advanced Backgammon (1991), a two-volume collection of 400 problems, and Modern Backgammon (2002), a new look at the underlying theory of the game. He has also written a set of three books for the beginning player: Backgammon for Winners (1994), Backgammon for Serious Players (1995), and 501 Essential Backgammon Problems (1997).
From 1991 to 1998 he edited the magazine Inside Backgammon with Kent Goulding. He owns a publishing company, the Gammon Press, and lives in Arlington, Massachusetts with his wife Patrice.
- Item Weight : 1.21 pounds
- Paperback : 381 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-1880685334
- ISBN-10 : 9781880685334
- Product Dimensions : 5.25 x 1.04 x 8.83 inches
- Publisher : Two Plus Two Pub.; Illustrated Edition (December 1, 2004)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1880685337
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This classic by superstar Hold'em Tournament player Dan Harrington is well regarded by experienced poker players everywhere. It is a "classic" and a worthy read despite the fact that some of the techniques are so widely known that they have lost much of their effectiveness. There is a multitude of good reviews on the content, which I will not discuss. Instead, I will discuss the merits of the Kindle edition.
This is one of the best Kindle editions of a paper poker book that I've seen so far - most graphics-heavy poker books don't translate that well. (I also own paper copies of this series, so I can compare the two readily). First, the text itself is not plagued by the transcription errors and typos that are common in most Kindle versions. (I don't know why it's so hard for them to proofread Kindle versions carefully before they put them up for sale, but that's another issue.) The text in this book is exactly like the original, without any transcription errors.
Second, the Kindle version does an excellent job of reproducing the diagrams from the original paper book. This book is loaded with diagrams, and some Kindle poker books don't handle these well, especially when you change the typeface size on your kindle. This book is outstanding in this area.
As I write this, the price discount for the Kindle version compared to the paper version is only a couple of bucks, but I can't complain. In fact, the kindle version to me is even more valuable than my paper versions, due to portability. The kindle is shaping up to be a great device for serious poker players, because we can keep our Gus Hansen, Dan Harrington, and other books all in one small package to read during travel time to the casinos.
The only parts of the text I didn't spend quite as much time on was the online poker portions of the book and examples. I'm glad that he included it because it made me realize some things about the online poker realm that differ from live games, but at the same time every online example I came from had that glossy.. I don't know, online feel to it. That may sound silly but anyone whose played online versus playing in person knows playing online has a sort of detached feel. When you hear an example of his poker playing days and Harrington goes into specific names and playing styles and insights into each of the players it makes the example that much more intriguing. But, nevertheless that's not related to the quality of the book and is simply a personal observation, you just have to learn to shift your mind's gear to the proper atmosphere for each example. Don't treat his online examples as live examples and vice-versa.
In conclusion, I highly recommend this book. He has a great writing style, a great insight, and quite a sense of humor. If you play poker and you feel that you are having difficulty organizing your thoughts or are unsure what you *should* be thinking about, this is a good book for you. Each player has their own personal flair, and I don't want to make poker play seem like an assembly line, that being said, this book's examples and practice problems eliminated a LOT of my hesitation in live and online play and the algorithms and methods I learned reduce the number of difficult decisions drastically.
(Typed hastily, apologies for poor punctuation, grammar, and run-ons.)
Despite having the word 'expert' in the title, most of the book is literally explicitly for beginners!
And none of it is about tournament strategy!
I am extremely disappointed in this book. If you have any experience playing already this book is a waste of time.
Top reviews from other countries
My one issue is the presentation. At certain points you are presented with a poker scenario. you are given information about what sort of game you are in, what the other players are like, what position they are in and you are in and what action has taken place in the lead up to your decision. you are then asked, do you raise, call or fold? A fantastic learning device as the next bit tells you what you should do and why. Brilliant.
HOWEVER, the answer is right there, immediately after the question. I found myself scrambling to cover the answer with my bookmark, but several times I caught sight of the answer before properly considering the information to come up with my own answer. And sometimes the extremely helpful diagram and other information is on one page and the final part of the information (with the immediate answer) is on the overleaf. keeping the answer covered while referring back is not easy.
The only way to make this book better is to have the complete problem, including all information across two viewable pages and then the answer on the overleaf.
Harrington starts with the basic theory of styles of play, tells and so on, then moves through the progression of a hand - from pre-flop betting, to post flop, etc. What I do like is the mixture of theory, along with examples from Harrington's own experience from a variety of settings; on-line sit and gos, satelite tournaments and final tables of WSOP in Vegas. He also sets exercises at the end of each chapter to explore the concepts he has introduced. I find it doesn't matter if you get them right or wrong, because you learn as you work through each example. Also, the exercises are not the "perfect play" each time. Because the exercises are drawn from Harrington's play, or the play of others he has observed, they often do the wrong thing and then you have to adapt to those "mistakes". This is much more realistic than just highlighting perfection, because in a game of so many unknowns like poker, then adaption is survival.
Harrington also pleads for the reader to ignore the fast pace of TV poker, where the pros seem to go all-in in every other hand. These are just highlights edited for the telly. In real poker you will sit out of the majority of hands, and Harrington spends a good deal of time telling you how to make use of this time for observing opponents and learning about their styles of play.
Take your time, digest the plays inwardly and do the exercises and you will learn a lot.
To take a *really* synical view, because these texts are now so pervasive, you need to read them just so you can play against them when the occassion arises.
This book is indispensible for established beginners looking to make that frustratingly elusive leap to intermediate and higher levels of poker skill. If terms like 'flopping trips' and 'suited connectors' mean nothing to you, then this book is not for you - yet. Other books presumably - and certainly the web - cover the basics of poker and poker terminology; once you have that covered, Harrington's meisterwerk is your next stop. The book overhauls and restructures your game, doing most of its good work as far as I was concerned, within its first few chapters. That said, it still has so much to teach after that, dropping nuggets of bankable poker wisdom with each page.
At the time of writing this, I'm two-thirds of the way through the book. However, those two thirds alone are easily worth the entry fee and the five-star review. I play regularly in an amateur poker league at a local pub, and yesterday's game was the first live 'bricks and mortar' game I played since reading the book. I won. Without a doubt I have Dan Harrington to thank rather than my own natural ability (or lack of it). I can't think of a better personal endorsement than that.
Like Poker? Buy this book.