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Old 02-11-2017, 04:40 AM   #76
Mason Malmuth
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blunderer View Post
Its quite an interesting discussion. I suspect both sides are right in their own way.

I'm not good enough at poker to know what the answer is.
Hi Blunderer:

There's no way this is correct. I've stated very clearly why I disagree with much of the poker psychology information that's out there and have given specific reasons why it's wrong.

Quote:
That said I have done a huge amount of exams in my day. Based on Mason's arguments (I think) he would suggest its just about how well you have studied. Cartner's view would be that there are other angles to it.
The way I understand what Cardner and some of the other poker mental coaches advocate is that they go to the sports psychology world and apply things that may help speed, timing, and coordination to poker and probably other endeavors that are based mainly on knowledge. So I don't buy the other angles idea.

However, I do agree with your how well you have studied statement. The toughest test I ever took was my oral exam to get my Masters in Math degree. Before the exam I studied at least 12 hours a day for about two and a half weeks straight with no breaks. (I wasn't the most dedicated graduate student and my professors made it clear that my oral examine would be a real test and I took them seriously.) Anyway, even though I was quite physically tired, all the work paid off.

Quote:
My sense is that the debate is being made artificially mutually exclusive.

You will always do better at an exam by knowing the subject better.

But you will also do better coping with the stress, having self belief, being able to access the knowledge.
I agree that these things are nice, but stuff like reducing stress and having self belief has to be far more important when speed, timing, and coordination are involved. Thus my dismisal of much of what the poker mental coaches, of who I'm critical, advocate.

Quote:
I don't think this always comes from just studying harder, although this also helps (a lot).
When I play tennis, even though I have significant knowledge of how to play the game, I need a warm up toplay my best. Do you need a warm up before sitting down at the poker table. I doubt it, and even if it helps a little, it won't be the same as an athletic sport.

Quote:
Even if it did, there are those that go into the hall who haven't studied hard enough who will do better because of their ability to cope with that stress (or who have the better mental game)
I can accept this. If you take a test and are stress free, perhaps you'll do a little better than if you're not. But the people who do the best are those who are very knowledegeable on the subject, and if this is not the case, don't expect to do well on the test. In addition, and this is very important, if you know the subject matter well, you'll most likely enter the testing room confident and virtually stress free.

Quote:
Both sides are right (kind of)
Again, I don't agree, but thanks for an interesting post.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:29 AM   #77
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

Apparently, top tier schools like Virginia Tech instill wanton disregard for prior knowledge. The volume of research Mason ignores is breathtaking; if one of my students submitted work of this quality, he would earn a c- at best.

I'm actually a little embarrassed for you, Mason.
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Old 02-11-2017, 08:56 AM   #78
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Originally Posted by Blunderer View Post
That said I have done a huge amount of exams in my day. Based on Mason's arguments (I think) he would suggest its just about how well you have studied. Cartner's view would be that there are other angles to it.

My sense is that the debate is being made artificially mutually exclusive.

You will always do better at an exam by knowing the subject better.

But you will also do better coping with the stress, having self belief, being able to access the knowledge.

I don't think this always comes from just studying harder, although this also helps (a lot).

Even if it did, there are those that go into the hall who haven't studied hard enough who will do better because of their ability to cope with that stress (or who have the better mental game)
The "mental game" of exams becomes important cases like you state, people of all roughly the same level (having qualified for and completed the same class) taking an exam explicitly designed to separate them and magnify the differences.

Let's zoom out a lot and assign people Mathematics power rankings on an arbitrary scale where my professor Goldstein would be +15, someone like Mason Malmuth who has studied to Masters level at a university ranked in the top 300 worldwide would be +5, i might be -5 and maybe my wife would be -50 (she does speak 4 languages though). Now these power rankings are going to be assigned using a test on all levels of mathematics, from elementary level to world-class researcher level. My opinion is that no matter how tired professor Goldstein might feel, his knowledge of all things mathematics would ensure that he would always get a higher score on the test than Mr Malmuth, - though he might drop a point here and there and get +14 instead of the +15 he should get.

As NLHE winrates are also measured on a scale of about +15BB/100 to -50BB/100 that might give us a rough idea of the value of this stuff. So particularly tiredness should not be a reason to avoid sitting in a good game.

Of course if professor Goldstein "tilted" (in the wider sense of the word) and got angry with the invigilator and refused to answer any questions, he could score -50, which suggests the self-discipline side of the mental game is most important.

The question is, what is the effect on winrate of sleep/alertness etc. in poker? Mason's estimate of 0.2BB/100 sounds too low at least for NLHE. As poker psychology aspires to be a scientific discipline rather than a pseudoscience it will conduct experiments to quantify this I'm sure.

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Rankings have literally no alignment with the actual quality of an institution. They are simply reputation metrics, no matter how USNWR wishes to portray otherwise. I've spent a LOT of time digging into rankings metrics, and they are easily manipulated.
There's a lot of talk about American football teams. My own pet measure of the culture of a university is it's position, if any, in the world universities debate rankings,

http://wudc.yaledebate.org/wudctemp/?page_id=27

which certainly seem to be correlated with the actual world university rankings

https://www.timeshighereducation.com...asc/cols/stats

but perhaps they are being manipulated by the same people.
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Old 02-12-2017, 12:14 AM   #79
Mason Malmuth
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Originally Posted by LektorAJ View Post
The "mental game" of exams becomes important cases like you state, people of all roughly the same level (having qualified for and completed the same class) taking an exam explicitly designed to separate them and magnify the differences.

Let's zoom out a lot and assign people Mathematics power rankings on an arbitrary scale where my professor Goldstein would be +15, someone like Mason Malmuth who has studied to Masters level at a university ranked in the top 300 worldwide would be +5, i might be -5 and maybe my wife would be -50 (she does speak 4 languages though). Now these power rankings are going to be assigned using a test on all levels of mathematics, from elementary level to world-class researcher level. My opinion is that no matter how tired professor Goldstein might feel, his knowledge of all things mathematics would ensure that he would always get a higher score on the test than Mr Malmuth, - though he might drop a point here and there and get +14 instead of the +15 he should get.

As NLHE winrates are also measured on a scale of about +15BB/100 to -50BB/100 that might give us a rough idea of the value of this stuff. So particularly tiredness should not be a reason to avoid sitting in a good game.

Of course if professor Goldstein "tilted" (in the wider sense of the word) and got angry with the invigilator and refused to answer any questions, he could score -50, which suggests the self-discipline side of the mental game is most important.

The question is, what is the effect on winrate of sleep/alertness etc. in poker? Mason's estimate of 0.2BB/100 sounds too low at least for NLHE. As poker psychology aspires to be a scientific discipline rather than a pseudoscience it will conduct experiments to quantify this I'm sure..
Hi LektorAJ:

I thought this was a good post that puts a lot of things in perspective. However, I do want to point out that rating me a +5 compared to Professor's Goldstein's +15 would probably only be accurate if I was much younger. But today, my command of advanced mathematics is not what it once was.

I also want to address the following. You wrote:

Quote:
The question is, what is the effect on winrate of sleep/alertness etc. in poker? Mason's estimate of 0.2BB/100 sounds too low at least for NLHE.
I'm fairly sure I never said this. If this is wrong, can you point me at what I may have said.

However, in the "Conclusion" of my book is the following relative to exactly what I think much of the current poker psychology information is worth:

Quote:
From Real Poker Psychology: On a different tact, I want to take a moment and reexamine the idea of much of this poker psychology stuff. Is it really as bad as this book indicates? Or is my attitude too negative? I think the answer goes something like this.

Poker psychology, as presented in much of the recent material that has made its way to market, probably has a little value. It certainly won’t hurt to be a little more confident, to pay attention to a higher degree, to have a good diet, or to even get a good night’s sleep. But if it means that you as a poker player latch on to this stuff and neglect to do those things that can improve your understanding of all things poker, and this includes the strategic concepts that govern sound play, then it really is quite detrimental to your long term results.

Put another way, as long as this recent poker psychology material doesn’t hurt you, if you’re someone who plays live, in my opinion, it might be worth as much as one-tenth of a bet an hour. But if it causes you to neglect those areas of poker where you need to improve, then its negative effect will lower your potential future win rate by much more than one-tenth of a bet per hour. And if it encourages you to participate in games where your expectation is negative, then it’s beyond bad.
Notice that I'm taking aim at much of the recent poker psychology advice since I believe it has little value (for the many specific reasons I've given on this website as well as in my book) and are not addressing what you're talking about. Also, and this is important, if a qualified psychologist came into the poker field, and in my opinion was able to address the issues correctly, then my estimate of its value might be much higher. Unfortunately, I haven't seen this yet. But in time I suspect this will happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LektorAJ View Post
There's a lot of talk about American football teams. My own pet measure of the culture of a university is it's position, if any, in the world universities debate rankings,

http://wudc.yaledebate.org/wudctemp/?page_id=27

which certainly seem to be correlated with the actual world university rankings

https://www.timeshighereducation.com...asc/cols/stats

but perhaps they are being manipulated by the same people.
While comparing football teams is nice, I did write that as a joke. I suspect that your way of comparing the quality of education that a student might receive is a much better approach.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-12-2017, 04:31 AM   #80
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Winning Poker Systems by Norman Zadeh

Mason
+1
It's probably overlooked and obscure nowadays because it has no hold'em in it, but it teaches basic concepts every poker player should know through games like 5-card draw, lowball and 5-card stud. Since I consider it one of the best poker books ever, it's severely underrated by most.

As I recall, I bought it specifically to learn how to beat the 5-card stud game online, but I learned a great deal about every poker variant from the book's general principles.

Regarding "Play Poker Like the Pros," yes, the limit hold'em strategy is out in left field, but I really think the general public piles on this book less because of the content and more because the author is so easily despised.
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:16 AM   #81
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
I'm fairly sure I never said this.
Sorry, I think that's me converting the 0.1 Big Bets to 0.2 Big Blinds and then getting confused with winrates on an hourly or a per 100 hands basis.

Also I know your estimate was originally meant for FLHE - certainly Pokerstars 8-game halves the blinds for NLHE as it plays bigger (even with the cap), so that would double it again to get us already to 0.4 BB.

Ultimately though, the significance or otherwise of these effects needs to be confirmed experimentally rather than cribbing from work done in parallel fields. And the rules of science are such that the person claiming the significance of a phenomenon has to present evidence for it, rather than the onus being on the the person holding a sceptical view ... so it looks like we're in for a long wait

Back to main topic of the thread - I like "Education of a Poker Player by Herbert Yardley" which again is about games not played often but has one or two strategic points I remember (particularly on play with wild cards).
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Old 02-12-2017, 05:53 AM   #82
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Wimp View Post
+1
It's probably overlooked and obscure nowadays because it has no hold'em in it, but it teaches basic concepts every poker player should know through games like 5-card draw, lowball and 5-card stud. Since I consider it one of the best poker books ever, it's severely underrated by most.

As I recall, I bought it specifically to learn how to beat the 5-card stud game online, but I learned a great deal about every poker variant from the book's general principles.

Regarding "Play Poker Like the Pros," yes, the limit hold'em strategy is out in left field, but I really think the general public piles on this book less because of the content and more because the author is so easily despised.
Hi Uncle Wimp:

Your comments about Winning Poker Systems are absolutely correct. It's a book that David and I have talked about for well over 30 years.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-12-2017, 06:03 AM   #83
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Originally Posted by LektorAJ View Post
Sorry, I think that's me converting the 0.1 Big Bets to 0.2 Big Blinds and then getting confused with winrates on an hourly or a per 100 hands basis.

Also I know your estimate was originally meant for FLHE - certainly Pokerstars 8-game halves the blinds for NLHE as it plays bigger (even with the cap), so that would double it again to get us already to 0.4 BB.
Hi LektorAJ:

The point was that the material coming from the current crop of poker mental coaches at best is worth very little, and, in my opinion, it's certainly not worth the prices they're charging.

Quote:
Ultimately though, the significance or otherwise of these effects needs to be confirmed experimentally rather than cribbing from work done in parallel fields.
Yes and no. I'm not sure what parallel fields there are. For instance, if a study shows that on a certain diet a runner will go a little faster, it's so far removed from poker that a good statistician, again in my opinion, would consider it worthless for poker players.

Also, and this is very important, poker has a large short term luck factor which should make it extremely difficult to do any study that can produce meaningful results (relative to poker). So I'm highly skeptical when any of these poker psychologists try to point at studies. For poker they either don't exist or would have little value.

Quote:
And the rules of science are such that the person claiming the significance of a phenomenon has to present evidence for it, rather than the onus being on the the person holding a sceptical view ... so it looks like we're in for a long wait
I agree completely.

Quote:
Back to main topic of the thread - I like "Education of a Poker Player by Herbert Yardley" which again is about games not played often but has one or two strategic points I remember (particularly on play with wild cards).
This was also a good book, especially for its time. But it still gets some attention now and then.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-12-2017, 09:58 AM   #84
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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I'm not sure what parallel fields there are.
Another poster alluded to another study involving doctors' decision-making. I think it's the same as with Air Traffic Control and Mathematicians though...

We need a scoring system so let's organize the World Series of General Practice - perhaps we would present entrants with 100 videotaped consultations with patients (and medical histories) and they are to decide what action to take - they score a point each time if their decision matches that of a medical association panel.

It occurs to me that entrants without medical training would be a severe disadvantage in such a competition - we might get 20 points perhaps if we were lucky, my own strat would be to prescribe antibiotics to anyone who seemed to have an infection and morphine to the rest so at least they'd stop complaining. Professional doctors would (hopefully) score in the high 90s, and would maybe drop a point or two if they were tired. They would certainly still be streets ahead of us anyway due to their greater knowledge of all things medicine.

Of course with the massive stakes involved in medicine - even a small difference can be important, which is why the topic of doctor's decision making is studied presumably in a way that seeks to zoom in on those few differences, rather than taking a zoomed out view on a scale from rank amateur to top professional.

Incidentally, I'm not aware of studies showing the fight or flight mechanism ever makes doctors "tilt" and deliberately prescribe medicines they know to be harmful to the patient, but perhaps this happens.
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Old 02-18-2017, 06:39 PM   #85
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

If anyone is looking for older poker books, I find Barnes and Noble to be an easier site to navigate than Amazon. With BN, you can search from oldest to newest while with Amazon, publication date is only newest to oldest.

Once I have a name of a book I want, I see if Amazon has it and order it from them, however.
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Old 02-19-2017, 03:01 PM   #86
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

I find myself drawn more to older books nowadays and I came across one that I am hoping Mason can shed some light on as googling does not return much info.

The book is Poker Night With David Sklansky: Special Strategy Edition and any info would be appreciated. Specifically, if the information is present in other books by the same author.
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Old 02-21-2017, 09:13 AM   #87
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

Don't know if it is/was underrated, but I just got Fighting Fuzzy Thinking, am up to Skill , Luck, Tortoise, Hare, and I am liking it.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:59 AM   #88
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

Hi Everyone:

For those of you very mathematically inclined you may want to try The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic, Revised Edition Second Edition by Richard A. Epstein:

https://www.amazon.com/Theory-Gambli...dp_ob_title_bk

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:07 AM   #89
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Hi Everyone:

For those of you very mathematically inclined you may want to try The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic, Revised Edition Second Edition by Richard A. Epstein:

https://www.amazon.com/Theory-Gambli...dp_ob_title_bk

Best wishes,
Mason
I am going to check WorldCat to see if a library near me has the book as well as some textbooks on probability and inductive logic. They are all beyond what I like paying for any one book.

I am awaiting arrival of a copy of Winning Poker Systems.
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Old 02-26-2017, 01:48 PM   #90
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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I find myself drawn more to older books nowadays and I came across one that I am hoping Mason can shed some light on as googling does not return much info.

The book is Poker Night With David Sklansky: Special Strategy Edition and any info would be appreciated. Specifically, if the information is present in other books by the same author.
I found a cheap copy of this book and bought it. It is a book that was published in connection with a computer game titled Poker Night With David Sklansky, but I think the book is mistitled as it is a combination of a reprinting of Fundamentals of Poker and a reprinting of some of Slansky's ideas. Even though Mason's part is larger, I can understand why the game and book were named what they were. Sklansky was probably the more well known at the time among the target audience.

I wish 2plus2 could reprint this as it would make a nice gift for someone just starting out.
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Old 02-27-2017, 03:17 PM   #91
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

I just want to pop my head in where it totally does not belong. I think Mason is right and Little (did NOT want to misspelled his name) is wrong.
Sorry Fiery J, I'm sure you're a good dude and maybe I'm just sore from the scads of inconsistencies and errors in your first book and the fact that I really really wanted your podcast to be good and kept wasting time listening to it hoping it would get better. I don't know man, MM is such a Poker God IMO, and I am not just a fan boy I have found errors in his work on limit hold em and even discussed them on his own site (actually that sounds like a bit of a dick move now that I think about it).
I'm on a rant now, sorry, I just think you should be respectful to a guy when you are in his home.
I just don't know where one would get the stones to just be like "I know this is your site and we have you to thank for it but, blah blah blah negative stuff" It makes me embarrassed for you to read your posts.
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Old 02-28-2017, 12:00 AM   #92
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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I just want to pop my head in where it totally does not belong. I think Mason is right and Little (did NOT want to misspelled his name) is wrong.
Sorry Fiery J, I'm sure you're a good dude and maybe I'm just sore from the scads of inconsistencies and errors in your first book and the fact that I really really wanted your podcast to be good and kept wasting time listening to it hoping it would get better. I don't know man, MM is such a Poker God IMO, and I am not just a fan boy I have found errors in his work on limit hold em and even discussed them on his own site (actually that sounds like a bit of a dick move now that I think about it).
I'm on a rant now, sorry, I just think you should be respectful to a guy when you are in his home.
I just don't know where one would get the stones to just be like "I know this is your site and we have you to thank for it but, blah blah blah negative stuff" It makes me embarrassed for you to read your posts.
As this is a public site, I don't think you don't belong.

Besides being wrong about that, you are wrong about a couple of other things.

What would you call someone who thinks someone else is a poker god and thinks discussing errors on the author's site is "a bit of a dick move"?

I don't think someone needs to be respectful to a homeowner if they feel the homeowner is being disrespectful.

Can we get back to the thread subject now?
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Old 02-28-2017, 01:33 AM   #93
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

Here's another interesting book: Poker Faces -- The Life and Work of Professional Card Players by David Hayano.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:11 AM   #94
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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...I have found errors in his work on limit hold em and even discussed them on his own site (actually that sounds like a bit of a dick move now that I think about it)...
Just want to point out that this is not a "dick move." It is expected and, I am betting, appreciated.
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Old 02-28-2017, 01:21 PM   #95
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Johnathan: You're just making a fool out of yourself
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It's our policy on 2+2 not to insult other people and this includes Little.
Hmmm.

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the insults need to stop.
Hmmm.
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Old 02-28-2017, 02:45 PM   #96
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

What Mason said to Jonathan in your example is not an insult in my opinion. Now, if Mason had called Jonathan a fool, that would be an insult.

Or, if Mason called someone an idiot for doing a review of a book, that would be an insult.

Or, if Mason asked someone if being affiliated with a website was why simple concepts were hard to grasp, that would be an insult.

But what you posted was not an insult.
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Old 02-28-2017, 06:53 PM   #97
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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Hmmm.

Hmmm.
Well. let's see. Here's something Little wrote in Post #30 in this thread:

Quote:
Do you think this is a reading comprehension issue? You can't even be bothered to spell my name right and your most recent book was littered with typos.
Cardner has also made this reading comprehension remark.

Here's a link to my psychology book on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Real-Poker-Ps...sap_bc?ie=UTF8

If you go there, you'll see that Amazon has a "Look Inside" feature where you can read a substantial excerpt from the book. And if you do this, you'll see that the book is well written and is not littered with type-0s.

Mason
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:25 PM   #98
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

I scanned the thread and it seemed to be almost exclusively about strategy books. What about some obscure poker entertainment titles that had some bona fides of one kind or another, so well worth a read?
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Old 02-28-2017, 09:42 PM   #99
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

I have two for you The Little Book of Poker by David Spanier and No Limit The Rise and Fall of Bob Stupak by John Smith.

Just thought of another one The Hand I Played by Spanier.

Last edited by Alternate Identity; 02-28-2017 at 09:54 PM.
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Old 02-28-2017, 10:26 PM   #100
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Re: underrated poker books?? most obscure?

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I scanned the thread and it seemed to be almost exclusively about strategy books. What about some obscure poker entertainment titles that had some bona fides of one kind or another, so well worth a read?
The book I recommend in Post 93 is not a strategy book.

Best wishes,
Mason
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