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Poker's 1%: The One Big Secret That Keeps Elite Players On Top Paperback – March 15, 2014
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About the Author
Ed Miller is an MIT graduate and an acclaimed author of numerous poker strategy books. He's been playing, coaching, and writing about hold 'em full-time since 2003, and his books have sold over 250,000 copies worldwide.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is for you. Honestly, I think it might even be the best book to be a second book on poker.
All the other effective strategies are actually designed to either A) conform with, or B) exploit deviations from, the central idea. That, and/or they assume that nobody else is thinking along these lines.
The central idea is frequency based play; How often you should be taking each action on each street.
Example abound: "You don't bluff a fish" because his calling frequency is too high(actually, if you ARE bluffing him his game resembles perfect strategy and he sorta destroys you) "Fold your one pair hand to a turn raise" is ONLY correct when/if your villain has little to no bluffing range. Etc etc etc. Every thing I know about poker falls into one of those categories.
I suspect some players start reading this and think, like I did, "My win rate will plummet!" I think they decide early on that this is NOT for them and even if they finish it they read it with this bias and, being human, confirm it.
This, or fundamental failure to understand, is the only explanation for a non-elite player to criticize the book IMO.
If you read on WITH AN OPEN MIND you will find the real use of this book toward the end. In a nutshell it is this:
You make money when your opponent makes a mistake and you capitalize on it(i.e. exploit them) and EVERY MISTAKE YOUR OPPONENTS ARE MAKING IS A FREQUENCY BASED MISTAKE.
(Perhaps that's too sweeping but perhaps not)
If you understand the correct frequencies, and it's NOT easy, you will see ALL the ways to take their lunch money. You'll be a beast at your stakes.
Also, as he points out, you'll beat tougher and tougher games. And, it is certainly true that you could NEVER be elite without it.
As Ed points out relentlessly, you have to do the work. It's very specifically laid out for you. If you don't do the work, this book will probably get you in trouble. This accounts for a lot of the less-than-stellar reviews, I'd bet.
Anyway, it's my estimation that I you've read a bunch of poker books and you feel like each one gives a few (and decreasing) nuggets of information then hold on. This is not that. This was all new info to me (almost) and I've read a bunch of poker books.
I've been putting of buying this book for a while. I regret that. I already know it will probably have the best and longest lasting effect on my game.
That's my opinion. Hope it helps.
I feel Ed struggled to get to 200 pages, the flow of the book certainly could be improved upon but there is just not a lot there to discuss. The book is written from Ed's brainstorming but he never developed it further. I suppose it is a difficult task, but that is the job of the author. David Sklansky mentions the concept in his books (not letting a better bet any 2 cards for a profit) that Ed wrote 200 pages on, but only in a sentence or two. The task of translating this concept into 200 pages was too daunting.
There will be smug reviewers who will claim I do not understand the book well enough to write the review as they did other 1 star reviews. I bought into their rebuttals and still purchased this book. This is my 2nd book from Ed, the first was NL Holdem with him and David. That book is a great foundation on NL poker. I am starved to learn more about the game but I am too hesitant to purchase another book from Ed after reading Poker 's 1%. I could care less about the price of Ed's books, and am very interested in Playing the Player, but just unsure what I am getting for my time investment.
First star goes cumulatively for the words "big secret" in the title and the fact that most of the work behind the concepts was done in Applications of No Limit by Janda. The current book, therefore, seems a bit like a marketing pitch.
Second star is for overusing the word "math". Since the author claims the mysterious mathematically optimal strategy doesn't take opponents' actions into account he must be referring to Nash equilibrium for NL. But, at least, at the time of the writing Nash equilibrium for NL was not computed, not even close. The game tree is prohibitively large. Therefore, we can only guess what the optimal strategy is (we do know it exists).
When was the last time you saw Ed in any serious NLHE'm game or tournament?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing book and crazy ideas. But it works.
Thanks Ed Miller :)
I lost interest after starting the Janda application book,
But have gone back after completing this.Read more