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Old 10-30-2010, 01:42 PM   #51
venice10
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Re: Recommended Reading List

I've not read the book, but he has several chapters on his website. Read those to get a flavor of the book as a whole.

As an aside, I'm going to put a link to this thread in the master sticky.
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Old 10-30-2010, 06:28 PM   #52
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Re: Recommended Reading List

so that's how to get 10,050 posts
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:25 PM   #53
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so that's how to get 10,050 posts
Like poker, I'm only mediocre at driving up my post count. There are people who do "Burma Shave" posting to really get their counts up.

Of course, admins can actually modify your post count arbitrarily.
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Old 10-30-2010, 07:44 PM   #54
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Re: Recommended Reading List

Review: Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo
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There are probably better poker books out there, but I have never enjoyed reading one as much as I enjoyed Tommy Angelo's Elements of Poker. It's a delightful read, alternately light and weighty, funny and stern, but a lot of my enjoyment came from the realization that I was getting better at poker from reading it. I was thinking about things I had never considered before, and I was thinking about things I had considered before in a new light.

Elements of Poker is like no other poker book on the market. For the most part, it isn't about pot odds or percentages or hand ranges or bluffing or raising or any of that other stuff that other books tell you how to do. Technically, it does include a pre-flop starting hand chart for hold 'em, but- well, you'll see. Elements of Poker is about how to play poker, literally how you should be while you are playing. It's about where and how you should sit, what and how you should think, when and how you should act, how and to whom you should speak, and even how and why you should breath.

Angelo begins by explaining that you have three poker games: "Your A game is when you play your best and feel your best.... Your B-game is everything between your A-game and your C-game.... Your C-game is when you play poorly according to you." By his reckoning, most poker books tell you how to improve your A-game. That's all well and good, but as he makes clear, poker is a stressful, psychologically and physically brutal game. No one can play his A-game all the time. Most of Elements of Poker, and all of the best parts, is about how to lop off your C-game and spend more time playing your best. Whereas fiddling with the margins of your A-game may improve your win rate by .5 BB/hour or so, getting out of your C-game is usually worth much more. Often, it's the difference between winning and losing.

For Angelo, profit stems from reciprocality. That is, it flows from all of the things that you do better than your opponents. If you get Aces on the button and raise, you haven't won anything yet, because anyone can raise with a pair of Aces. But if you fold those same Aces to a check-raise on the turn, in a spot where your opponent would have lost his stack, then you have turned a (theoretical) profit.

But it's not just about how you play your hands. Every decision you make is an opportunity to decide better than your opponents will. You can eat better, choose your seat better, pay more attention at the table, and quit better than they would. Quitting is big in Angelo's world. Players more prone to tilt than myself will probably find his advice on this point especially valuable. Personally, I struggle to find time to play as much as I should, so I'm more interested in ways to recover from the C-game mentality or even to improve my C-game rather than ways to quit. Still, it's a good section and a powerful idea.

The underlying theme here is self-control. The reader certainly gets the sense that this book is the product of a long, perhaps ongoing struggle between Angelo and his tilt. He's been a professional poker player for a long time, and what he reveals in Elements of Poker are the paths that he has taken to acquire greater control over his thoughts and greater discipline in his actions. What worked for him may not work for everyone, but it at least makes for instructive examples:

Don't set expectations: "When you feel disappointment or relief, you have painted the Ace with your desires and fears- you attached."

Avoid entitlement: "You are not entitled to play bad just because they are playing bad. You are not entitled to tilt on the grounds that anyone would tilt with the terrible luck you've had.... If you have time and money, you are entitled to a seat at the table. That is all."

Don't think in terms of streaks: "All of my good streaks and all of my bad streaks... have had one thing in common. They did not exist in your mind. They only existed in my mind."

Ignore the chat box when playing online: "Let's say you wanted to make it more likely that you will make misclick mistakes. And that you wanted to increase the probability that you will be distracted from the game and miss something important. And let's say you wanted to disclose information to your opponents about yourself that will help them play better against you. How might you achieve all these goals with one action? Chat."

Keep your reads flexible: "If you have an inflexible image in your mind of an opponent, then whenever he changes, your evaluation of him will be wrong."

Breathe. Damn near an entire chapter is devoted to this one.

When he's at his best, Angelo seems to tell you things that you already know, except that he states them so simply, clearly, and powerfully that you attain a new and deeper sense of their importance. Pay attention. Play your position. Find games you can beat. Everyone knows this stuff, yet everyone gets it wrong all the time.

At its worst, Angelo's writing devolves into gross oversimplification or mystical mumbo-jumbo. When you know you want to get all in on the next street, bet 1/3 of the effective stacks on this street. No matter what. Guy with a $1000 open raises to $40 and you've got Aces? Make it $300. That's an actual example from the book.

A lot of the more traditional poker advice tends to veer off track like that. Most of the Tournaments chapter, for instance, is an argument for the importance of survival backed up by numbers the author seems to fabricate out of thin air. I do sympathize with his reasoning for giving up tournaments, though: "the pain equation is way out of whack." Busting out of a $100 tournament can feel as bad, or worse, than losing ten times that in a cash game.

Angelo's discussions of ethics may prove controversial as well. We're not talking about marking cards or multi-accounting here, but rather some genuine gray areas related to whether you should point out a dealer error in a pot that doesn't involve you or when and how you should reveal your hand at showdown. He admits that what he advises can result in your revealing more information than is necessary about your hand and maybe even open yourself up to angel-shooting. Ultimately, though, he offers a compelling, almost Nietzschean justification: "In the grander scheme, you could say that the reason your opponents say, 'I missed' is because they are weak, and the reason you say don't say 'I missed' is because you are strong, which means you are competing for money when you are strong and your opponents are weak. How fair is that?"

And that brings us back to reciprocality. Every time you make a better decision than your opponents, even when you're deciding about something seemingly tangential like what to eat or how much to sleep, you profit as surely as you do when you make a heroic call or amazing fold. The former a lot easier to address, though, and there's generally a lot more room for improvement there. So while the other poker books will tell you how to make even better decisions on a few key points (betting, folding, calling, raising, checking) that you probably understand pretty well already, Tommy Angelo's Elements of Poker will help you recognize and take advantage of the many other opportunities for profit that exist all around you.
...this book sounds like a good read (I'll let everyone know)
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Old 10-30-2010, 08:58 PM   #55
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Re: Recommended Reading List

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Originally Posted by KneedUrDough View Post
Review: Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo

...this book sounds like a good read (I'll let everyone know)
It is, and you can take it a page or two at a time, easy and funny read. Take your time, sometimes it takes some time for things to really sink in, understand what he is getting at.
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Old 10-30-2010, 11:08 PM   #56
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Re: Recommended Reading List

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There are people who do "Burma Shave" postings
You are dating yourself here sir.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:02 PM   #57
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Re: Recommended Reading List



Yeah, I actually remember seeing them.

These though, you can still see along back roads if you look.



I'm done derailing the thread.
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Old 10-31-2010, 11:55 PM   #58
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Re: Recommended Reading List

I've learned a lot from reading poker books.

However, given how quickly games change now, reading the internet>>>>>>reading books.

Also, none of it matters unless you really, really activate your brain at the same time. Seems obvious, but as a teacher I encounter so many adult students who are thoroughly unwilling/unprepared to do that I think it is worth saying.

Basically, how much effort are you really making?
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Old 11-17-2010, 04:51 PM   #59
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Re: Recommended Reading List

Has anyone read "Play Poker, Quit Work And Sleep Till Noon! or The Complete Psychology, mathematics and Tactics of Winning Poker?" It was mentioned by Limon on Bart Hanson's podcast on Deuces Cracked. It sounds real interesting. The only problem is the cheapest copy I can find is like $99. Does anyone have a copy or willing to photocopy it for me and mail it to me? I'll ship someone $15 or $20 if they are willing. Anyone have any reviews about this that has read it?
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Old 11-17-2010, 05:33 PM   #60
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Re: Recommended Reading List

I've always wanted to read that book as well.
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Old 11-18-2010, 08:35 PM   #61
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Re: Recommended Reading List

+1. someone buy a used one!
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:50 AM   #62
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Re: Recommended Reading List

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"Ace on the River" by Barry Greenstein is excellent and teaches a lot of valuable lessons about how to carry yourself as a poker player. It's kind of wisdom rather than knowledge, but essential for anyone playing live a lot.
+1 for barryg1 book. It's great for all the things you might want to know away from the table. I think he writes pretty well and is overall a very classy player.
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Old 02-10-2011, 04:04 PM   #63
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Re: Recommended Reading List

Has anyone read Ed Miller's "Small Stakes NL Hold'em"? Is there much applicable for live play? I only ask since he devotes an entire section to online 6-max.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:42 PM   #64
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Re: Recommended Reading List

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Has anyone read Ed Miller's "Small Stakes NL Hold'em"? Is there much applicable for live play? I only ask since he devotes an entire section to online 6-max.

anyone writing a book on 6max is attempting an act of futility. 6max and HU require constant adjustment. Book content will be just enough to get you broke.
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Old 02-10-2011, 05:53 PM   #65
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Re: Recommended Reading List

Ssnl is for limit correct?
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:59 PM   #66
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Re: Recommended Reading List

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Ssnl is for limit correct?
You're thinking of SSHE (the bible for live small stakes limit).
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Old 02-10-2011, 06:59 PM   #67
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Ssnl is for limit correct?
You're thinking of a different book. This one was just published late last year. It's supposed to be aimed at the $1/2 NL player.
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:01 PM   #68
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Re: Recommended Reading List

Ahhhh ok gotcha
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Old 02-10-2011, 07:32 PM   #69
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Re: Recommended Reading List

I liked Beyond Tells: Power Poker Psychology by James McKenna

somewhat repetitive but it really got me thinking of the "why does this person play" line that is helpful in low stakes NL.

the basic thrust of the book is tells mean nothing independent of why the person plays.

There's one solid tip I've used many times. If you have a player categorized solidly as either a calling station or a tight nit (and only solidly), if you suspect they are about to do the opposite of what you you want, you do SOMETHING while they are observing you. They will often "see" what they want to see. Conversly, dont give them a reason to see what they want if that's what you DON'T want them to do.

I don't feel like I'm explaining this well, but suppose we've made the nuts on the river and we make a nice value raise. We want a call, but it looks like the player is about to fold. He's a HUGE calling station. Either say something (anything) or if he's looking, make some movement. What do you have to lose?

Similarly, a massive nit is about to call and for some reason you tried to bluff him. Again, say something, move, whatever. it doesn't really matter.

This sounds stupid (and each time I've tried it, I thought "this will never work"), but it often does.
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Old 02-22-2011, 02:17 PM   #70
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Re: Recommended Reading List

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Poker books are strange. Nobody can seem to get it all in one book. Prolly never will.

Harringtons book and Professional NL Holdem books are very good, and im sure took a lot of time putting together. But that said, they are both semi outdated. (they still should be read, but just use your own thought for these days instead of using them as a bible without question)

If you dont believe that, then purchase Andrew Seidmans EASY GAME off the internet and you will begin to understand how NL should be viewed from basic level to nosebleed levels.

EASY GAME and Cole Souths book LET THERE BE RANGE are the first two works which finally put into print what online players have been using to excel so quickly at NL. All other books in print dont come close IMO.

Most everything is solved in NL Holdem these days, with only villain range and tendencies being the variables left up to hero to accurately access.
butbutbut. the memoirs of aejones are even better. LTBR and the NLHE workbook combine for about about half the content of the memoirs.

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He insisted on doing coaching only over AIM, where it was painfully obvious that he copy/pasted material to me live over
and howthefux would you go about coaching over AIM? that's retarded. you're paying them hourly and you/they have to type (or not) everything?
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Old 02-22-2011, 04:53 PM   #71
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Re: Recommended Reading List

I cannot emphasize enough how good Prof. No Limit Hold Em is for the beginning live player. I read Harrington on Cash Games, Vol I soon after and found it a great complementary framework to begin my serious poker-minded days.

However i mistakely hesitated several months before reading HOC Vol II. Please, dear reader, don't make my mistake: be sure to treat Harrington Vols I & II as a unit before you begin play at any serious level. PNLHE and HOC I are the bomb--but, even taken together, they admitted only get you ready to see a flop! I'm learning in my second year of playing "serious" poker how inept I was having an advantage that goes UP TO the flop. Postflop poker is where the edge is!
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Old 03-02-2011, 09:57 AM   #72
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Arrow Best book for Live 1/2 cash games?

I play mostly 1/2 NL Live cash games and I wanna learn as much as possible. Im 25 and have been playing for 3 yrs, would not really consider myself a beginner because I study the game often.

What books would you guys recommend that pertain soley to cash games, in particular 1/2 NL. Been looking at buying Harrington on cash games Vol. 1 & 2...but just wanted to make sure there isnt a better book before I make this purchase?

Thanks,

Ryan
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Old 03-02-2011, 10:47 AM   #73
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Re: Recommended Reading List

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butbutbut. the memoirs of aejones are even better. LTBR and the NLHE workbook combine for about about half the content of the memoirs.



and howthefux would you go about coaching over AIM? that's retarded. you're paying them hourly and you/they have to type (or not) everything?


hehe, yeah im going thru the memoirs now but a lot of folks here are just not going to embrace the $5k pricetag (if thats still what it is).

And admittedly, lots of the material would "seem" more focused to online play, however transitioning online play to live is a pet project of mine and why im building a site dedicated to it. I think its an awesome topic.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:36 AM   #74
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Re: Recommended Reading List

TTT
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Old 03-03-2011, 05:29 PM   #75
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Re: Recommended Reading List

"The Mathematics of Poker" is pivotal in understanding poker.
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