Two Plus Two Publishing LLC Two Plus Two Publishing LLC
 

Go Back   Two Plus Two Poker Forums > >

News, Views, Gossip and Books For poker news, views, gossip and books.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-04-2021, 08:58 PM   #101
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,960
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Though not actually an "error", the math would be more true to life if I said the game was pot limit holdem rather than Omaha. It will be changed next printing.
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 10:35 AM   #102
jmurjeff
veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: United States
Posts: 3,348
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Ok here is my review.

The way the book is mostly structured it gives theory to a particular situation, some examples, and then some key points. David Sklansky's book takes the theory of poker and applies it to no limit. Now he pretty much talks about all different topics. He doesn't advocate for the massive overbet like some pros advocate. Now the slowplaying topic I think is really good because I see many mistakes made by players slowplaying in big pots. Now there are no charts in this book so if you need more visual representation to learning than this book might not be for you. However the information is really well organized and will improve your poker game. There are some examples that might not apply to your poker game. In one chapter 20 the book states that raising might have a decent chance to get a set to fold in PLO. Now I think you should probably state that if you are playing micro stakes they more likely than not are not folding. But the mid and higher limit games this is more applicable. Of course this isn't what the whole concept is about, as it is about maximizing EV with calling as now certain hands you still have can prevent your opponent trying to bluff with cards they don't have on the river. But just thought that most players I find are bad and don't fold sets in PLO.

Many topics that apply to no limit do apply to other big bet games. There is a decent amount of statistics as well if you like that sort of thing. The book is geared more for deep stack poker as he states that when you get to smaller stacks it becomes like limit poker. Overall a good read that will help your game.
jmurjeff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 02:08 PM   #103
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,960
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

I think you are alluding to one of the few times I recommend considering an unusual/controversial play. PLO. I'll mention it in a future post.
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-07-2021, 02:24 PM   #104
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,960
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

There is a typo on page 145 that people seem to have missed. Sixth line. "calls" should be folds". Hopefully its obvious since the sentence says "Typically increasing bluff size past a moderate amount will not result in enough extra calls to be worth it."
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2021, 07:56 PM   #105
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,960
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

The PLO situation alluded to earlier, involved heads up on the turn where your opponent bets the pot, stacks are deep, the board has draws, and you have top set which is presently the nuts. I wrote that against a certain type of player you should just call. The type of opponent I am speaking of is one who is capable of folding bottom set if you raise, but if you don't raise will not only sometimes call more money on the river but also not bet when a scare car comes unless he has it (because he is worrying about you) whereas he would have bluffed with near GTO frequency had you raised the turn and a scare card comes.

The example was in the Inducing and Stopping Bluffs chapter and the general principle was that it is worth playing less than what appears correct if it will turn your opponent from a GTO bluffer to a non bluffer.
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2021, 03:52 PM   #106
monikrazy
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
monikrazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 26,774
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Thanks for the book. Writing a quick review, since something went wrong when I tried positing a longer one.

ToP applied to NL could be a good book for beginner and intermediate NL players, but will be less attractive to advanced players. The writing and logic are easy to follow, and chapter recaps effectively summarize the key points. New players will be able to identify many areas to improve their game and transform the way they think about poker.

While I enjoyed reading ToP applied to NL, I think there are a few issues that hinder its accessibility:

ToP applied to NL is an adapation of a previous book and mirrors the structure, making it a little less attractive to new readers. The organization may also be less conducive to a pure NL book than for all poker variants like the original.

The book includes many references to poker variants like PLO and single-card draw, which may be hard for beginner players to relate to.

Hand histories/examples in the book are short and non-descript. The book teaches a poker methodology that can be viewed as intuitive and general, and does not necessarily expose readers to the high-level thinking that comes up in tough spots against strong opponents. This feels like a lost opportunity. While there is still a lot to learn from this type of analysis, readers are not given an introduction to some of the scientific methodology and theory found at advanced and expert levels today.

Last edited by monikrazy; 06-21-2021 at 04:20 PM.
monikrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2021, 12:43 PM   #107
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,960
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Thank you for the review. I believe that even advanced players will find enough tidbits they haven't thought about to make the book well worth buying. However the players the book is mainly targeting is the four hundred thousand or so who bought the original book and are trying to figure out the best way to extrapolate the information contained in it to big bet games. (Those who never read the first book will find find summaries of the relevant concepts in this book.)
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2021, 01:23 PM   #108
DooDooPoker
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 11,795
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

I'm 150 pages through the book but wanted to write my review of what I thought about it so far. I bought the book initially when it came out in 2019.

I went page by page for easier access to what I am talking about:

Page 36: You advocate calling JJ in MP vs an UTG+2. Only in really weak games would this be okay - it is a 3bet spot only.

Page 65: I'll quote the book. "Raises in no limit are almost always quite a bit bigger than the original bet."

This isn't true in a few spots in no limit:

In Single Raised Pots - we check-raise small (merged) on paired boards
In 3bet pots/4bet pots when the stack to pot ratio is low - we also XR small.

Page 71: Good points about stack size mattering when we have a decent hand- Bet if we have a small or large stack and check if we have a medium stack.

I think you should have gone more into how SPR's affect bet sizing.

Page 80: Lots of hand examples with preflop leaks. Calling Tight Opens with A9ss is a negative EV play.

Page 95: When someone bets into you before it was your turn to act - They call that a Donk bet.

Page 112: Hand Example: You advocate XRing AI with KsTs on AsTd6c with ~6 SPR.

I ran this through a solver with reasonable MP opening ranges. We never XR all in with any hand. KsTs does XR around 25% of the time but we use small sizing (low SPR = small XR sizing)

Shipping KsTs has a big EV loss here.

Page 112 Hand Example: Qs6s3h I'll quote the book here - "If instead he only had half that much in front, come out betting all in."

This isn't a thing. We don't have Donk lead jamming ranges. If you donk lead it is only small sizing at 3 SPR.

Page 118: AKo OTT after flop cbet gets called on Ks9h7d2s - opponent is OOP and has JJ/QJ. You advocate checking turn on the 2s with your AKo.

If we assume 100BB stacks and the SPR anywhere from 10-20. A solver would almost always Overbet turn here. You say a hand like 9c7c could XR us OTT but that logic doesn't follow from the flop.

1) 97cc will XR us a large % of the time OTF
2) If we use Overbet sizing OTT - OOP has no turn raising range and 97cc would just call.

Further down, you say hands like JJ might call a bet/X/bet line or QJo would bluff river if we X back turn.

Those statements are definitely correct. But OBing turn is still higher EV with our strong Kx. If you want to check turn - you would use a hand like KTs/KJs. Top of range hands are never slow played on blank turns.

I would discard descriptors like TAG/LAG and instead use VPIP/PFR/3bet.

page 133: You can tell you are an expert in Math but I think there are easier ways to communicate poker strategy.

page 144: I disagree that you bluff less often vs weak opponents. We should be bluffing and bluff catching more vs weak opponents. The reason for this is because they will call too many hands preflop and get to the river with weaker holdings - which makes us both want to bluff catch and bluff more.

Overall I think the first half of the book is good but a little dated. With the advent of solvers and computer programs like PT4/HEM. You might be better served studying those in more detail - especially with how tough online games are nowadays.
DooDooPoker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 12:27 AM   #109
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,960
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Thanks for the detailed comments. I'll wait until you comment on the second 150 pages to look at your points in detail. But I would like to point out that when I give an example to help illustrate a point, I don't go out of my way to make sure all streets are played correctly. So, for instance, in your first example I did not "advocate" calling with two jacks. The example concerned a play on the river.
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 01:35 AM   #110
AmazingErvin
Pooh-Bah
 
AmazingErvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: twitch.tv/amazingervin
Posts: 5,949
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

I am a poker professional who has read over 20 2+2 books among a plethora of other literature. Small Stakes Hold 'em was the 2nd book I read(after Hellmuth's "Play Poker Like the Pros" ) and it immediately turned me into a winning player many years ago. I credit a lot of my development to 2+2 and the community remains the gold standard to this day.

With that, a candid review was requested...and I'm not sure where to start. I did not want to comment on the first half as I thought it was weak and wanted to finish the book - but often just found myself just saying "WHAT?" out loud.

It was a frustrating experience, and not in the good, challenging way. This book doesn't seem intended for someone like me(if you play online may as well toss it), but a beginner/most intermediate players would struggle to comprehend what's even being said. I wanted to finish the entire book before any review, but now that someone has said it - the criticisms in post #108 regarding the first half are very valid.

Personally I got annoyed getting 'Do you see why'd' every few pages or something being obvious(if it's obvious why devote any page space to it?), all while grazing concepts that have already been discussed deeper elsewhere(just read Janda's Applications for example) and frankly are. just. obvious.

Many ideas are presented impractically and are invalidated with slight changes of numbers(anyone capable of bluffraising essentially invalidates the entire book), even to the point of presenting wrong, dangerously incorrect advice. An egregious example is on page 280 - bluffing to stop a bluff - when our EV comes from betting for value.

Realistically change our opponent to never paying off/just calling + winning 20% - we would be torching our EV down to the tune of $60! If villain is capable of bluffing(which is good!![if they only bet value(20%) we could fold all and keep our $80!]) there is no strategy to stop their EV realization of $30 in this example. The idea introduced is an exploit and not a "GTO" concept. I say "GTO" because it is used interchangeably between Nash Equilibrium and MES throughout the book.

In addition to stuff you already knew,

There is no discussion on the nuances of different positions(while we're talking about doing things like perhaps raising AT LJ, calling T8o button vs open, folding KKs to x/r on Q97ss)
There is no discussion about different boards/textures
There is no discusssion of ranges(0 hand matrices in entire book) beyond a quote from ToP

I have always subscribed to the idea of getting 1 concept out of a poker book makes it worth it. *Perhaps* this one will do that(for intermediates with accurate dismissal of incorrect ideas) but would think it's most valuable to an advanced player articulating what is incorrect.

3/10. 2+2 has always been fantastic in my eyes(and remains so) but if this book is supposed to be the holy grail of NLHE theory, this isn't it.

Last edited by AmazingErvin; 06-23-2021 at 01:54 AM.
AmazingErvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-23-2021, 12:49 PM   #111
David Sklansky
Administrator
 
David Sklansky's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 15,960
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

If it is the river and your poor hand has 30% chance of beating your opponent, a bet of one third the pot does better than a check and fold or check and call if a check means he always bets the pot. That's true even if he never calls with a worse hand and always call with a better one, IF he will always bet if you check AND if he will almost never raise bluff. BUT if he often raises the pot with both his good and bad hands that bet of one third of the pot is throwing that money in the garbage since you can't call his raise.

This seems to be a big part of the objections AE and others have with parts of the book. I sometimes use examples to demonstrate the logic of a particular play that are unlikely to occur in a real game. I do that to hone in on the logic of a particular point rather than to give advice on how to play a hand.
David Sklansky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-25-2021, 12:14 AM   #112
AmazingErvin
Pooh-Bah
 
AmazingErvin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: twitch.tv/amazingervin
Posts: 5,949
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

The example in question used a pot sized bet of $100. The previous variables are something else to address but I do not wish to move the goalposts(or multiples of them) for this point.

My contention is that the logic on this particular part is poor advice.
AmazingErvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-25-2021, 01:58 PM   #113
that_pope
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
that_pope's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: At Casino AZ Again
Posts: 31,552
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

I haven't read as much as I had hoped, but here is some early feedback:

Too many references to first book early on. Why mention items that are in first book that you aren’t going to explain? Feels like you are just reading the other book chapter by chapter and making the edits to apply to NL as you go similar to how I did a report on James Garfield in 3rd grade by copying from the encyclopedia sentence by sentence with small edits (site note: I thought I was being clever picking a short lived President to do a report on, but when there is a minimum word count, it was foolish).
that_pope is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 04:56 PM   #114
PajamaBottoms
centurion
 
PajamaBottoms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fensal and Aztlan
Posts: 170
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Quote:
Many ideas are presented impractically and are invalidated with slight changes of numbers(anyone capable of bluffraising essentially invalidates the entire book.
Exactly

Quote:
There is no discussion on the nuances of different positions(while we're talking about doing things like perhaps raising AT LJ, calling T8o button vs open, folding KKs to x/r on Q97ss)
There is no discussion about different boards/textures
There is no discusssion of ranges(0 hand matrices in entire book) beyond a quote from ToP
Yea this was a big challenge for me as well when reading it.


Quote:
say "GTO" because it is used interchangeably between Nash Equilibrium and MES throughout the boo
This was also frustrating

Quote:
. I sometimes use examples to demonstrate the logic of a particular play that are unlikely to occur in a real game. I do that to hone in on the logic of a particular point
One place where this is successful is the Mathematics of Poker.

To me, the book here is like a back of the envelope MoP attempt with highly stylized examples and commentary that reads more like a series of forums posts about an older book.

I feel guilty because I wanted to enjoy the book and reply sooner, but ultimately found myself frustrated.

I'm not a professional poker player but I am mathematically literate and I've read a few other 2+2 books as well as MoP when it came out etc
PajamaBottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 05:01 PM   #115
PajamaBottoms
centurion
 
PajamaBottoms's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fensal and Aztlan
Posts: 170
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Quote:
But I would like to point out that when I give an example to help illustrate a point, I don't go out of my way to make sure all streets are played correctly
But you should because that really affects how both players should play. The method that you choose does more to confuse that to educate it seems. At least for some.
PajamaBottoms is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Yesterday, 10:13 PM   #116
thrasher789
Carpal \'Tunnel
 
thrasher789's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Indy
Posts: 6,518
Re: Special Book Promotion "TOP Applied To NL" -Requested Comments- Also Questions Answered

Finished the book a couple weeks ago. I'll be honest it's not my favorite of the 2+2 offerings but I think it's still well worth the price tag for most lower stakes players trying to adjust their game properly to what the game has evolved into. I think if a player had just finished and properly digested NLHTAP and Professional No-Limit Hold'em Vol.1 this would be a decent continuation before jumping into Janda's offerings. It does a decent job of hammering home what the basic idea of GTO is and how it can be applied to No Limit Hold'em while being much easier to understand than Janda's (better but more complex) books.

I do wish you had spent more time explaining how to choose bluffs/bluff catchers as while it's fairly randomized we tend to take into serious consideration blockers. I possibly forgot but I distinctly remember feeling there were a few sections that could have benefited mid level learners to choose hands with good blockers or not having blockers for their decision whether or not to make a bluff or attempt to catch one.

I also think if you ever revise the book taking consideration into realistic opening ranges/defends for low stakes six max online may be a good start. These are the games where players are most apt to try to start learning about GTO play and creating realistic hands would be helpful. You responded to one criticism of this earlier stating that you used those starting hands just in examples showing spots on different streets, but you could certainly find examples that use 'proper' starting hand considerations and still set up the same turn or river play examples. That is a small gripe though as anyone that is reading this book probably isn't going to start randomly playing Q9s in a wrong spot pre just because a hand example had it.

Overall I disagree with some of the other posters who have been somewhat harsh. I thought it was easy enough to follow and the GTO/Nash mixup wasn't an issue for me (that I am aware of). I would say if a smart player came to me and asked if he should get this one or Janda's first book I'd probably just tell him to go to Janda, but if they wanted a more digestible entry to GTO I would happily suggest this one.

This is not a loaded question but actually a genuine curiosity, what games do you play in most often these days David? I was curious throughout reading how often you play these days, and whether it is casino mid stakes NL/PLO or a diffferent setting.
thrasher789 is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply
      

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:51 PM.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2008-2020, Two Plus Two Interactive