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Old 02-01-2017, 06:17 PM   #1
Donovan
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Books to def NOT read;

I think it would be good to give players who are new to the game or new to studying the game some advice on books to absolutely NOT read.

I can think of many many books that are not WORTH reading but how many books actually have negative value? I mean, not just time wasting but actually threaten to make the reader a worse player than had they not read it at all?

I can only think of a couple books that I think would be likely to literally do damage to a beginner's understanding of poker.
#1) The Poker Tournament Formula (this book is absolute nonsense. It gives a completely ludicrous game plan for how to think about poker situations. The method of thinking thru tourney decisions in this book is so bad that the only way you could draw correct conclusions and make good decisions based on a reading of this book would be if you actually misunderstood the book and were lucky enough to misapply the info in a way that accidentally made money. This books is complete crap. Please do yourself a favor and read literally any other book or none at all.

and I want to nominate a second book for honorable mention; here's the thing though.. i have never actually read this book so i can't be completely sure.
2?) Post Flop Poker;
I have listened to the Post flop Poker podcast a few times and the author of the book talks about hands and situations and concepts and he goes over some of the content from the book and it's BRUTAL to listen to. It's somewhere between frustrating and LITERALLY FUNNY to hear these two (sometimes three) guys babble on about how to play hands. So, if the book is anything like the podcast or if any of the crap that passes for logic on the podcast made its way into the book then i'd say it could actually be a danger to the reader.

"I called a raise pre-flop with Ac5c and see a flop of 722r. I check to the raiser and he leads the flop. I figure that I could have lead myself but i thought it would be a better idea to go ahead and give him some rope so he can bet and I can make it look like a trap and go for the check raise. Afterall, my opponent is very passive. Since my passive opponent bets I think I can check raise and since he thinks that I think that he is passive and won't bluff very often then i think he would think that this would be a bad spot for me to bluff so I decide to bluff since it looks like a spot that I should not or would not be bluffing and because I think he is going to be suspicious of a big raise I should use a small raise size that makes it look like I am going for value. Also I think that my hand has show down equity and so I don't want to make the pot too big but I also could have the best hand, in which case raising is that much better. I also have the ace over card and I have runner runner straight and a back door flush draw so I have good show down equity. When you have good show down equity against a passive player who is going to suspect you to play straight forward because they are passive then you should make a lot of check raises especially when you have a hand that is likely to be the best hand but that you don't want to bet and get raised off of or check and call cause you could be put in a lot of tough spots without the initiative. So I went for the check raise, which also protects my hand better than check calling does, and he raised me back so now I know that we are leveling because he would not play a huge hand this way. I would expect him to expect me to slow play a big hand too so now I think that he thinks I think he doesn't believe me so when i raise and he reraises I can come over the top because he is going to have so many bluffs that my Ace high could still be the best hand and if not he could fold so it's kind of a value bluff in that I may actually have the best hand and he will also fold a lot of hands that are better than mine."

I mean it is absolutely dizzying to hear these two goof balls go on at length about "he never thinks I'm bluffing so I can bluff but then he thinks I think he thinks that I know he never has it so i use this super small bet for info and protection and to make sure that he has to check next week if he is in the big blind with blue jeans on because he needs to be balanced against the dark side of the Pepsi challenge...

Seriously, listen to the "Post Flop Poker Podcast" and you will LOVE to hate it. It's like my guilty pleasure to listen and just lol. Every single strategy discussion could be replaced with the scene from The Princess Bride where the guy has the two glasses, one with poison and one without and goes on and on about how he can not take this cup but you'd think I'd think that so I surely cannot take that cup but, since you would know that I am smart enough to know that I clearly cannot take this cup but if you knew...

I mean it IS BAD!!!

So, DEF don't buy the Poker Tournament Formula because it's maybe even worse than useless
and
listen to the PFPPC before not buying the book because it's actually pretty hilarious.



Any other advice on what NOT to read?
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:24 PM   #2
Popetman
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

So did the A5cc value bluff hold up - or did the donk call down with an over pair?
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Old 02-02-2017, 02:38 AM   #3
BroadwaySushy
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

"The poker Tournament Formula" isn't that bad.

Maybe it's not for absolute beginners, but it's quite useful for the kind of tournaments it was written for. i.e. Fast structure tournaments.

Last edited by BroadwaySushy; 02-02-2017 at 02:46 AM.
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Old 02-02-2017, 12:04 PM   #4
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

I didnt mind either vol of the poker formula and Synder did enlighten me to just cover my cards and play the table. Something I might need to go back and practice that

You didnt like Synders player characteristics the boat people, the canasta ladies Lol

Dunno if i read right on amazon, it looks the book has been reissued or something in 2016
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Old 02-02-2017, 05:00 PM   #5
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

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Originally Posted by OutTaGetMe View Post
I didnt mind either vol of the poker formula and Synder did enlighten me to just cover my cards and play the table. Something I might need to go back and practice that

You didnt like Synders player characteristics the boat people, the canasta ladies Lol

Dunno if i read right on amazon, it looks the book has been reissued or something in 2016
It is an update as it has more strategies to get you to the final table. At least according to Amazon. I have the update on my shelf unread.

Snyder has a, presumably, totally new book coming out this year.
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Old 02-14-2017, 03:23 PM   #6
Donovan
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

If seemingly sane and rational people are saying they read that thing and it wasn't useless maybe I've got it mixed up with something else.

The one I'm thinking of had completely arbitrary ways of dealing with situations that have nothing to do with actual EV or TEV and used some kind of reference to rock paper and scissors that was meaningless. Like; "cards beat chips beat shoe size" or some such goofyiness.

Is that the book/books we are talking about?

Where it advocates playing tournaments of different "speeds" with a different set of strategies that doesn't map on, even loosely, to reality?

Maybe I'm being unfair or maybe I'm just wrong but I remember looking at the book at the store and thinking it looked really interesting, like something very different and then being just beyond disappointed when I realized that it was completely useless and was not just a regurgitation of well known ideas or a slightly antiquated POV but actually just logically incomprehensible in a way that I thought at the time would be detrimental to anyone who read it and didn't know better. I mean I thought that it would actually be better for people who read that if they had read nothing at all instead.

Is this the book I'm thinking of?
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Old 02-14-2017, 04:08 PM   #7
2146north
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

"Play Poker Like the Pros" Phil Hellmuth. A waste of time. Worst book on poker I ever read and it was the first. Too bad for me.
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Old 02-14-2017, 05:15 PM   #8
BroadwaySushy
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
If seemingly sane and rational people are saying they read that thing and it wasn't useless maybe I've got it mixed up with something else.

The one I'm thinking of had completely arbitrary ways of dealing with situations that have nothing to do with actual EV or TEV and used some kind of reference to rock paper and scissors that was meaningless. Like; "cards beat chips beat shoe size" or some such goofyiness.

Is that the book/books we are talking about?

Where it advocates playing tournaments of different "speeds" with a different set of strategies that doesn't map on, even loosely, to reality?

Maybe I'm being unfair or maybe I'm just wrong but I remember looking at the book at the store and thinking it looked really interesting, like something very different and then being just beyond disappointed when I realized that it was completely useless and was not just a regurgitation of well known ideas or a slightly antiquated POV but actually just logically incomprehensible in a way that I thought at the time would be detrimental to anyone who read it and didn't know better. I mean I thought that it would actually be better for people who read that if they had read nothing at all instead.

Is this the book I'm thinking of?
Yes. Sounds like the same book.

You have to understand what it was written for though. It was specifically written as a strategy guide for playing fast tournaments. Also it has a very useful formula for calculating the speed of different tournament structures and how to adjust your strategies accordingly.

He does recommend playing slow structure tournaments in the more normally accepted way, but they are not what the book is about.

That was my take on it anyway. Others may disagree.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

yeah but he skips over ICM concepts that are super important and he has logic that is so flawed that it's hard for me to think he actually believes it. I think it's more likely he came up with a "cool idea" from a marketing stand point and he jostled the facts and the reason and the logic/ideas around in order to make them fit his cool idea about rock paper scissors. The book has ideas that I think are actually nefarious, not just poorly thought out but actually crafted in spite of being bad in order to make them fresh, new, and interesting regardless of how much EV and, therefor, money he costs the people who take him seriously and apply his sideways approach in-game.

I wanted it to be real..
like big foot..
or the stop n go play

but its just not.
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Old 02-14-2017, 06:24 PM   #10
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2146north View Post
"Play Poker Like the Pros" Phil Hellmuth. A waste of time. Worst book on poker I ever read and it was the first. Too bad for me.
The Holdem advice is bizarre but he actually did a good job with the other chapters imo. I think the O8b chapter is really good for a newbie.
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Old 02-14-2017, 11:09 PM   #11
BroadwaySushy
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
yeah but he skips over ICM concepts that are super important and he has logic that is so flawed that it's hard for me to think he actually believes it. I think it's more likely he came up with a "cool idea" from a marketing stand point and he jostled the facts and the reason and the logic/ideas around in order to make them fit his cool idea about rock paper scissors. The book has ideas that I think are actually nefarious, not just poorly thought out but actually crafted in spite of being bad in order to make them fresh, new, and interesting regardless of how much EV and, therefor, money he costs the people who take him seriously and apply his sideways approach in-game.

I wanted it to be real..
like big foot..
or the stop n go play

but its just not.
Well, I got some useful information out of it and I play some of the types of tournaments he was referring to.

You obviously don't agree, but that's fine. We will have to agree to disagree.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:33 PM   #12
Donovan
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroadwaySushy View Post
Well, I got some useful information out of it and I play some of the types of tournaments he was referring to.

You obviously don't agree, but that's fine. We will have to agree to disagree.
in fairness I didn't read the entire book so there could have been some stuff that was not awful but the main point of the book seemed to be some form of logic that just does not seem so realistic to me
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Old 02-15-2017, 06:11 PM   #13
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
in fairness I didn't read the entire book so there could have been some stuff that was not awful but the main point of the book seemed to be some form of logic that just does not seem so realistic to me
Hi Donovan:

I'm wondering. Are you referring to Poker Tournament Formula: Volume One or Poker Tournament Formula: Volume Two?

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-16-2017, 05:40 PM   #14
Poncheezied
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Machiavellian Poker Strategy - How to play like a prince and rule the table by David Apostolico.

I picked this book up for a joke maybe 7-8 years ago. Can't remember too much about it but it's not a serious guide.

The poker tournament formula was the first book that sprung to mind for me when reading the thread title. This was one of the first books i read on poker and it confused me massively. There were far too many rules to follow you would never be able to play exactly as the author prescribed.

The best bit about TPTF would be the descriptions for profiling live players. Absolutely hilarious stuff.

Great thread idea
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:00 PM   #15
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Donovan:

I'm wondering. Are you referring to Poker Tournament Formula: Volume One or Poker Tournament Formula: Volume Two?

Best wishes,
Mason
I read both and have found both to be incredible. Snyder is one of the best blackjack authors and is take is really good.
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Old 02-18-2017, 10:08 PM   #16
Alternate Identity
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Slight derail, but I've ordered Mason and his (Snyder) old Blackjack Essays.
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:34 PM   #17
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

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I read both and have found both to be incredible. Snyder is one of the best blackjack authors and is take is really good.
I gave Snyder's first book a good review. But there were a coupls of criticisms and Snyder got very upset over those. As for his second book, I have not read it.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:36 PM   #18
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

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Slight derail, but I've ordered Mason and his (Snyder) old Blackjack Essays.
Snyder only wrote the forward and had nothing to do with anything else in the text.

Thanks for ordering.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-18-2017, 11:53 PM   #19
Alternate Identity
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Snyder only wrote the forward and had nothing to do with anything else in the text.

Thanks for ordering.

Best wishes,
Mason
Got it from Amazon and I missed the part where it said Snyder contributed the forward.

Will probably be getting Sklansky Talks Blackjack shortly, but from Professional Poker as it is significantly cheaper than Amazon.
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:23 AM   #20
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

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Got it from Amazon and I missed the part where it said Snyder contributed the forward.

Will probably be getting Sklansky Talks Blackjack shortly, but from Professional Poker as it is significantly cheaper than Amazon.
Hi AI:

If you're looking for some bargains, check this link out:

http://www.twoplustwo.com/store/

We should also be changing this every so often.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-19-2017, 12:30 AM   #21
Alternate Identity
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi AI:

If you're looking for some bargains, check this link out:

http://www.twoplustwo.com/store/

We should also be changing this every so often.

Best wishes,
Mason
Thanks for the link, but I actually own all the books with the exception of Harrington's online cash game book and as I don't play online currently, I doubt I will be getting it anytime soon.
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Old 02-19-2017, 04:15 AM   #22
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

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Thanks for the link, but I actually own all the books with the exception of Harrington's online cash game book and as I don't play online currently, I doubt I will be getting it anytime soon.
Hi AI:

It's due for an update, so check back soon.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:43 AM   #23
WhiskeyWild
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

though i play mainly cash, i feel that snyder's book is very helpful for the freeroll tournaments that i earn spots in.

as to the derail in this thread...
i read blackjack essays nearly 20 years ago and enjoyed it quite a bit. the book introduced me to shuffle tracking (though mason called it "card domination" i think). that was certainly the first reference to the idea that i had seen in print.
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Old 02-22-2017, 03:40 AM   #24
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Donovan View Post
I think it would be good to give players who are new to the game or new to studying the game some advice on books to absolutely NOT read.

I can think of many many books that are not WORTH reading but how many books actually have negative value? I mean, not just time wasting but actually threaten to make the reader a worse player than had they not read it at all?
None. If you can work out why the author is suggesting what they do and why you think it is wrong, and then what could be better in the games you play, then the book still has some value. Sure, for a complete beginner that could be dangerous
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Old 02-22-2017, 09:15 AM   #25
Alternate Identity
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Re: Books to def NOT read;

At this point, I read books for the different viewpoints.
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