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Playing The Player: Moving Beyond ABC Poker To Dominate Your Opponents Paperback – May 21, 2012
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The organization of the book is poor as well. It's a collection of various exploitable situations and common betting lines or player tendencies he's observed. It lacks the usual flow and theoretical underpinning we're accustomed to from Miller. I think he could have said a lot more about "playing the player" but the various errors, short length and $50 price tag make me think he's given up and just wants to make as much money with as little effort as possible. He even plugs his other book a couple times and at one point says jokingly (but you get the sense mostly serious) you'll have to buy his next book for further explanation.
I still give the book 4 stars because applying the information should make you much more than $50 and it really gets you thinking about when and how to adjust your game to exploit your opponents, which I think is the most important skill you can have in no-limit.Read more ›
Ed has written a series of books to teach poker to low limit players, Small Stakes (Limit) Hold-em and Small Stakes No Limit are already widely considered the best ever for those games. They are great for the new player who wants to become a winner. He has now turned his attention to getting a low limit player to the next level. First, by writing How to Read Hands at No-Limit. This books goes deep into hand reading, a skill which separates the good players from the great ones.
Playing the Player is in many ways a companion book to How to Read Hands. Playing the Player applies the knowledge in recognizing the specific plays that low limit players make and then to exploit them. You don't have to read both, although I would recommend it. If you only have patience for one, then get the Playing the Player Book.
What separates Ed from other poker authors is that he:
1) Genuinely wants you to crush the games you are playing in and encourages you to make the leap in how you play.
2) Gets to the point quickly, logically, and concisely, most poker books meander.
2) Live and breathes low level games, he knows them in and out.
Applying these principals, I recently had a live 2-5 no-limit session in which I booked at $1,800 win. In the five hours, I played, I never had a full house, flush, or flopped trips. Just taking away pots from players who were making the plays Ed showed me how to exploit.
So while Ed's books are more expensive than others, usually they are of much higher value. You will easily make up the cost many times over in the first few games you play.
However, it _is_ possible to find flaws in an opponent's game within one session. You have to watch hands in which you are not involved. You have to watch them carefully. You have to realize, as was pointed out in Ankenman and Chen's _The Mathematics of Poker_ that you can make good approximations of how someone plays on only a few pieces of evidence.
Before you figure someone out, you can follow the advice that Miller gives in his book about the one percent or whatever your usual tactics are.
By the way, it would be useful if Miller would advise us about the order in which to read his books.
Playing the Player is a book about categorizing your opponents’ strategic tendencies and then setting out to exploit those tendencies.
Miller starts out with an examination of a theoretical game-theory-optimal poker strategy. A game-theory-optimal (GTO) solution to poker (which doesn’t yet exist) would be an unchanging strategy; it would play the same way against every player. It would not be exploitable by any one player, but it would also not maximize its winrate against the worst players.
For example, a GTO strategy might dictate making a big bluff against a player who never folds. While the GTO strategy will win (or at least not lose) in the long run against every player, it also loses a lot of opportunity by not exploiting the mistakes (imbalances) of its weak opponents. Miller’s book is all about these exploitive adjustments you can make to extract more money, or save money, against your most imbalanced opponents.
I think Miller’s book is a good one and will definitely be valuable to almost everyone. I think its most value will be to $2-5 and $1-2 NLHE players who are solid but who perhaps play routinely, without thinking about their opponents’ styles. It will probably also be useful to even very experienced online players who are fairly new to live and don’t know about some of the more exploitable live player tendencies. I myself found it very useful for examining some of the mistakes I could be making or opportunities that I didn’t really take full advantage of when playing live.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have been playing poker many years, but that is the first time I tried to write a book. The examples he mentioned I had seen many times in my poker life. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Longsheng Tan
Another excellent Ed Miller book. He never fails to provide some new insight that makes me say "Wow"!Published 10 months ago by Lynn Wellman
Easily the best poker book I've read in years. Miller's approach to low stakes cash games is clear and easy to understand (after you re-read some sections a few times), yes it... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Scotty Wayne
Loved the way the author simplifies complex concepts of altering ones play not according to ones cards, but a whole lotta other factors that count.Published 15 months ago by Padmendu Sachan
Great book...learned some new moves. However, like he says in the book, you have to be smarter than a bear to understand it...Published 18 months ago by Ronald E Martinek