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Tournament Poker for Advanced Players (Advance Player) Paperback – April, 2002

3.5 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Sklansky is generally considered the number one authority on gambling in the world today. Besides his ten books on the subject, David also has produced two videos and numerous writings for various gaming publications. His occasional poker seminars always receive an enthusiastic reception, including those given at the Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas.

More recently, David has been doing consulting work for casinos, Internet gaming sites, and gaming device companies. He has recently invented several games, soon to appear in casinos.

David attributes his standing in the gambling community to three things:

1. The fact that he presents his ideas as simply as possible (sometimes with Mason Malmuth) even though these ideas frequently involve concepts that are deep, subtle, and not to be found elsewhere.

2. The fact that the things he says and writes can be counted on to be accurate.

3. The fact that to this day a large portion of his income is still derived from gambling (usually poker, but occasionally blackjack, sports betting, horses, video games, casino promotions, or casino tournaments).

Thus, those who depend on David’s advice know that he still depends on it himself.


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Product Details

  • Series: Advance Player
  • Paperback: 245 pages
  • Publisher: Two Plus Two Pub.; First Edition edition (April 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1880685280
  • ISBN-13: 978-1880685280
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 16, 2002
Format: Paperback
I play a lot of tournament poker-- about a hundred small- to large-buyin live tournaments, and hundreds online, each year.
David's book has excellent, easy-to-understand explanations of key tournament concepts. His description of why the value of a chip changes during a tournament is clear, concise, and spot-on, and what he calls the "gap concept" is something that every solid tournament player understands intuitively.
"Advanced Players" is a misnomer, though. If you've played a few dozen tournaments, you probably know most of what is in this book. I was hoping to see a mathematical analysis of such things as tournament equity, all-in equities, and special considerations for different games and tournament formats, and it wasn't there. I think the book is moderately good, though technically light.
David isn't really a tournament expert, and it shows. He places far too much emphasis on moving up the payscale, and not nearly enough on playing to win. I understand that he gave exactly this sort of performance in the 2002 WSOP main event-- getting into the money, then basically blinding off his stack without playing many hands.
If you're serious about tournament poker you should read this book, but you should do so with a critical eye-- I believe it does contain some misinformation. It's certainly better than the first embarrassing tournament offering from Two Plus Two.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The ambiguity in the name of this book is something that confuses a lot of people, including some reviewers. The target audience of this book is ADVANCED poker players who have NOT played much in tournaments. Experienced tournament players might get something out of it too, or use it as reference, but they are NOT who the author had in mind. So, if you are looking for advanced tournament tips, skip this one, save some money and aggravation, and drop me a "thank you" note. :-)
This said, the book accomplishes what it is set to do rather well. There is a large number of very solid poker players who almost never play in tournaments simply because the price of learning tournament basics through first-hand experience is rather high. On the other hand, explaining tournament basics to an advanced player is easy, or at least Sklansky makes it seem this way. If you are a good player thinking of playing tournaments, read this book -- it has answers to most of your questions.
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Format: Paperback
Tournaments and cash games require different strategies. In fact, many winning cash players avoid tournaments, and many successful tournament players (including a few famous champions) do poorly or even avoid cash games.
Chris Ferguson, winner of the 2000 World Series of Poker, is one of those champions. With his immense talent he could certainly beat most cash games. However, because he has an ideal tournament strategy, he concentrates on them because he has a bigger edge. Chris has called it: "The best poker tournament poker book ever written."
We've all read that tournaments make unusual demands, but they have never been clearly defined, and nobody told us exactly how to adjust to them. I've read nearly all of the tournament books, and they all disappointed me. Their greatest weakness is teaching basic poker strategy. You and I already know that strategy, but what else do we have to do?
This book answers that question. Unlike other tournament books, it does not try to teach us how to play good poker. Sklansky wrote: "This book ... will explain how your play should differ when in a tournament from how you play in a regular game... This book will show you exactly where strategy changes, compared to normal games, are indicated, and why. What this book will not do, however, is teach you how to play good poker. It assumes that you already do that. The changes that you make in a tournament won't help you much if you don't already play well."
The table of contents clearly shows this difference. There are no chapters on types of games (such as Omaha or hold'em), or how to play on third street, or any of the subjects of most poker books.
Instead, the entire focus is on subjects that matter only in tournaments.
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By A Customer on June 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
The major problem I had with this book was the fact it mostly covered limit holdem. There was only one chart on statistics
and it does not cover no limit holdem in depth like I expected. There was few helpful tips from the book. Introducing the "gap" concept-where you play loose when the table is tight. And strategic betting when you are about to get eliminated from a tournament other that that there isn't a lot of applicable stuff here. I will look to sell this book. For tournament books stick with Mcevoy.
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Format: Paperback
First, some of you may be interested in how this new expanded edition compares to the previous edition. I don't have the previous edition, but in this new expanded edition, there are viii + 346 pages, including the 8-page index. The principal new portion is Part Five: "Additional No-Limit Hold'em Concepts" which runs from page 214 to page 282. The rear cover flatly states that this edition "contains over 100 pages of updated material."

Having read about 1/3 of the text so far, my conclusion is that this book will be helpful to those who are beginner-to-intermediate tournament players, but who are already familiar with the basics of No-Limit Hold'Em (NLHE). This volume contains many useful hand examples, but it is not loaded down with irrelevant mathematics of the "if you have this and he has that or that or that, and he then does this X% of the time, then you should bet Y% of the pot" etc. In other words, this book focuses more on effective strategies at different parts of the tournament rather than on the supercilious "I'm a math genius and you're not" writing that characterizes the NLHE: Theory and Practice volume, also by Sklanksy and Miller.

There is advice on what to do if you want to maximize your expected gain, or what to do if you want to maximize your chance of winning outright with expected gain be darned. Several alternative suggestions are presented on how to play certain hands depending on stack size, stage of the tournament, etc. The advice strikes a balance between being specific and general in nature.

Part Four: "Hand Quizzes" runs from page 156 to page 211. Unfortunately, only 11 out of the 50 hand quizzes are specifically concerned with No-Limit Hold'Em, although maybe another 9 or 10 questions concern Limit Hold'Em.
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