I'm currently reading vol 1 of Jonathan's book - about halfway through. Highly enjoying it so far, finding it appropriately difficult for me. It is not a beginner's NLHE book - it assumes you've played a fair amount. It doesn't explain to you how to calculate hand equity, it says go play with a poker calculator until you have a very good sense how a given hand stacks up against possible opponent holdings. It's not crazy with math (I like that) but it's adamant that there's certain math you absolutely must learn and perform on every hand you get involved in. There are appropriate discussions of core concepts like EV, stack sizing, position, when to bet, etc.
The tone is that of a patient but somewhat demanding teacher, which I like. You know, the ones that aren't going to let you wriggle your way out of actually learning something...the kind of teacher that you only really appreciate later on.
I think this is an excellent book for anyone who's about where I am...I've played poker for years, have won a lot of smaller tournaments ($2k - $10k prize), have read most of the classic tournament NLHE books, but now am getting my (tournament) butt kicked more often than I think I should be and have decided that it's because I've moved up in competition, the competition's gotten smarter, and I've become predictable. So I'm currently trying to figure out what the hell is going on.
Just prior to this book, I read Hansen's Every Hand Revealed - thought it was worthless when I started reading it, but by the end thought it was insightful and useful and also that I was never, ever
going to play exactly that way, but somewhere in there is where my problem is. Looking for another book teaching a loose/aggressive style, I ran into the thread on this book here
, looked around at other commentary on it elsewhere, and got interested enough to buy it.
And so far, I think at least a good part of what I'm missing is in this book, and that it's absolutely worth what I paid for it.
Is it the last book on poker? No, things will change again in a few years.
Is it an excellent book regarding what's going on now? Yeah, so far I think so.
Do I appreciate that Jonathan's a little bit demanding as a teacher? No, but I probably will later.