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Middle Limit Holdem Poker Paperback – January, 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a great book on holdem, and deserves to come from a guy who calls himself 'the coach.'
Each chapter covers a particular issue (pre-flop play from early position, turn play, etc.), with a brief but useful introduction and then adds numerous extremely useful examples, with correct play pointed out and explained for each example. Useful to read straight through or just go to problem parts of your game (value betting on the river, for example).
My only warning is that this book is probably not for beginning players. It has no easy charts on what to play and when and assumes some basic holdem knowledge. That said, for any player beyound the beginner stage this is an excellent book. You won't be sorry (but I might).
One of his first (p. 67) was this one: the flop is Kh, 7c, and 5s -- what is your action with each of these hands Ad,7d; 8d,7d; Qh,5d; 6c, 5d; 8c, 4d; and 9h, 2c. Or two hands with middle pair, two hands with bottom pair, and one gutshot straight dra and one abomination. Ciaffone argues that the same action is correct with all these hands--you try to steal the flop since there are not too many opponents and you only have to win one out of three to break even.
The 2+2 books are great for theory, but poker players need to see plenty of examples of theory in practice. Ciaffone's book gives you plenty of problems. It's one of the few poker books I think could give a guarantee it WILL improve your play. Perhaps if it was entitled "Think Like a Poker Pro" (taking a page from a chess classic by Kotov), it would get more attention. That's fine. The fewer people that read it, the better perhaps!
Why is this book so good? In the first place, BC devotes a lot of space to the discussion of flopping two overcards, overpair/top pair, or an OK draw. Properly tackling these unromantic but common situations, in the long run, separates the good players from the mediocre.
Second, BC uses a ton of hand scenarios to illustrate his points. And they're good ones. Not a unique approach, of course, but the difference here is that you begin to get a sense of how even a slight variation in your hand, your position, or the flop can change the right play in one situation to the wrong play in one almost exactly the same.
Third, BC shows an uncommon (at least in poker books) amount of depth to his writing. Sure, by now everyone knows about the value of deception and looks forward to showing the monster hand to his bewildered opponent. BC talks about deception, but also discusses how deception can work against you --i.e. that it comes with a cost.
Lastly, I get the sense that BC is professional gambler who is also a good writer. Do you ever get the feeling that your poker/gambling book was dictated into a tape recorder and then transcribed into print, all over the period of a couple of hours? Not here, the writing is smart and solid.
I rate this a must-have for your poker collection.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has really improved my poker game. It gives you situational instances and rationale for which play is the best and why. Highly recommend!Published 9 months ago by Neha
Uses a lot of examples in which they break down the reasoning of what to do. Near the end you will start answering the new examples right, so you know it worked.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
One of the very best books on Limit Holdem perhaps the most in depth. All of the books written by Bob Ciaffone as well as Pot Limit and No Limit co authored with Reuben are must... Read morePublished 16 months ago by John J Moschetta Jr.
I learned much about holdem poker. Most of the info also applies to no-limit. I'll have to read it twice!Published on April 25, 2014 by Dan Rizzo
Full disclosure: I enjoy poker books. But this was probably the clearest and most empowering poker book that I've read. Read morePublished on December 25, 2013 by Russell Ponce