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The Mathematics of Poker Paperback – November 30, 2006
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"For those who think poker math is only about probability, pot odds, and straightforward, rote play, think again. Chen and Ankenman do a terrific job explaining how math can, among other things, show you exactly how to mix up your play in such a way that even champion players cannot get the best of you. Especially those who don?t read this book." -- David Sklansky "Rear Cover"
From the Inside Flap
"If I ever find myself teaching a poker class for the mathematics department at UCLA, this will be the only book on the syllabus." Chris Jesus Ferguson, 2000 World Series of Poker Champion. "In the same way that quants and mathematicians took over Wall Street in the late 80s, mathematical methods will dominate poker in years to come. Chen and Ankenman have written the book that every serious poker player must read." Jeffrey Yass, Founding Partner, Susquehanna International Group. "For those who think poker math is only about probability, pot odds, and straightforward, rote play, think again. Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman do a terrific job explaining how math can, among other things, show you exactly how to mix up your play in such a way that even champion players cannot get the best of you. Especially those champions who dont read this book." David Sklansky, Author, The Theory of Poker.
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This is one of my current favorite books. I play online and download my hands later. I then like to analyze my plays. This book showed me the tools needed to analyze those hands.
If you like poker and want to learn more about the underlying math involved then this is the book for you. It is not for the timid. It will challenge most people.
I learned poker by using my instincts, not math. So I expected to disagree with a lot of what this book would present. On the contrary, the opposite took place. Not only was I agreeing with the authors, it also reinforced what I had figured out intuitively on my own. Instead of contradicting my play, it reinforced that what I was doing was usually correct.
I haven't taken a math class since high school pre-calc in 1998, and I did alright. I didn't understand ALL the math in these pages, but one doesn't need to. As long as you get the gist of what they're saying and can apply it to poker, which an intelligent person should be able to do, you'll be fine. If you find yourself lost without a map (which you probably will at some point in the book), take a break and come back to it.
Flipping through this at your local book store, you might be intimidated by all the charts, graphs and equations. Don't be. Just buy it, read it with an open mind, and watch your poker game soar.
Overall, I would recommend this book to help you develop the math side of your game and take yourself to the next level....especially if you're an online player where math is more important since that's the primary way you gain your edge.
I would encourage anyone who seriously wants a better understanding of how to play this complex game to take a look at this book, but be forewarned, it isn't a quick read. You will get out of this book in proportion to the amount of work you're willing to put into it.