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Old 04-11-2016, 10:53 AM   #1
TheDefiniteArticle
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Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual



With The Grinder's Manual, Peter Clarke aims to provide a 'comprehensive mega-course in No Limit Holdem cash games'. Perhaps 'comprehensive' is too strong a word for any poker book, given the sheer depth of the game, but The Grinder's Manual comes closer than any other poker book of which I'm aware. A hefty tome at 540 pages, the Manual is possibly the first book to truly bridge the gap between the facile introductions to the game perhaps best epitomised by Crushing the Microstakes, the transitional works which focus on covering a small number of topics with a good deal of substantive advice (Easy Game, Small Stakes No Limit Hold'em), and the heavily mathematical books aimed at those who already have a sensible understanding of core strategic concepts (Expert Heads Up No Limit, The Mathematics of Poker).

It does this by covering the common spots which make up 99% of the game, providing a fundamentally sound thought process to use in those spots, and, crucially, explaining why each element of that thought process makes sense. This allows the user to adapt the thought process to suit their own games, and also to refine it where game conditions change to render the thought process provided a little over-simplistic (in 2016 games on PokerStars, this would typically start to happen in some spots around 100NL). Thought processes are presented in a clear, logical way by way of flowcharts – a representation which allows for quick and clear reference.

A great boon to the book is that it is structured in a way which presents a logical progression through the stakes – starting through the what, why and how of preflop opening ranges, and ending up considering the equilibration process and the effects of various SPRs on postflop strategies, without exception, less fundamental material is positioned after more important material. This allows new and experienced players alike to begin at an appropriate stage for them, and nullifies the need to refer to other sources to gain a core understanding of topics up to an appropriate stage. On a similar note, the reader is also able to test their own understanding with the numerous hand examples provided – which avoids, to as large a degree as possible, the potential pitfall of a reader believing they have understood something when, in fact, they haven't.

Perhaps most importantly, nothing in this book is ostensibly wrong – which certainly sets it apart from many competing products. While I may not, for instance, agree with playing as tight as recommended preflop in many instances (especially insofar as defending the BB is concerned), this is much less concerning than errors in other books, since a reader who uses this strategy will only be forfeiting, at most, a negligible amount of EV. Further, since this book is targeted at a broad spectrum of players including rank beginners, it does make some sense to recommend a tight range in a number of spots leading to playing OOP postflop, as it reduces the possibility of making severe mistakes postflop. I would, however, have liked to have seen more in the way of noting the difference between the preflop ranges players should tend to be playing after two weeks and six months respectively.

I have little in the way of other criticisms. There are some omissions of material I would have liked to have seen – especially more in-depth HUD use (working out appropriate frequencies and statistical significance in general rather than numbers for both given for specific stats), bet sizing theory in greater detail, and perhaps consideration of 4bet pots in more detail – but it ought to be noted that these are peripheral topics which rely generally on more complex maths than is used in this book, so Clarke's discretion not to include these should not be the subject of too severe criticism. There are also one or two points at which a number of points are at odds with my understanding of concepts – for instance, the indifference principle – but these are minor problems which I suspect may be due to simplification for the target audience rather than misunderstanding on the part of the author; for the most part, simplification is insignificant and done in a manner to shed only irrelevant information.

The Grinder's Manual is perhaps best seen through its section on value betting. Of course, as a topic which is absolutely fundamental to every poker player, close to every poker book ever has covered value betting, but none have done so in a way which is as clear and accurate as TGM. Flowcharts cover the entire thought process in the abstract (e.g. in a way which is applicable to every hand on every street) in depth, every stage on the flowchart is explained and justified by reference to poker theory, and hand examples are given which encapsulate perfectly the essential distinctions being drawn. Much of the rest of the book is at the same standard. I can confidently say that detailed study of this (expect to use it much like you would a university textbook – not as a skim-read while sat on the toilet) ought to bring most readers at least to the stage of being a solid winner at 50NL on PokerStars, based on the state of the games in 2016. There are not many, if any books for which that can be said. This book has to be regarded as a steal at £39.99.


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Old 04-11-2016, 06:08 PM   #2
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

How can I reach the author? I'd like to ask whether he has plans for a kindle version
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Old 04-11-2016, 07:19 PM   #3
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Hey guys I'm the author. There are plans for a kindle version. I'm currently touching up the formatting then the book will be available on kindle (I hope within the next few weeks). For now it's available on PDF here at my website where there's also a preview of the book. https://carrotcorner.com/the-grinders-manual/

If anyone has any questions about the book on this thread please feel free to ask.

Pete.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:52 PM   #4
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by Carroters View Post
Hey guys I'm the author. There are plans for a kindle version. I'm currently touching up the formatting then the book will be available on kindle (I hope within the next few weeks). For now it's available on PDF here at my website where there's also a preview of the book. https://carrotcorner.com/the-grinders-manual/

If anyone has any questions about the book on this thread please feel free to ask.

Pete.
Hi Carroters:

First off, we have "no self promotion rules" on this website. Normally we do not allow links to websites that have headlines like Buy The Grinder’s Manual Now. We'll let this one stand but please make sure you keep our rules in mind. With that said, we do welcome authors (and publishers) to come on here and answer questions about their books.

And now for my questions. Are you aware of the book Harrington on Online Cash Games: 6-Max No-Limit Hold ’em by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie? When comparing the Tables of Contents, it seems like it covers essentially the same topics you're trying to cover, was published in 2010 (so this material has been out there for a while), and is 531 pages making it essentially the same size as your book.

And assuming you were aware of the Harrington Online book, how does your book differ from it.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-13-2016, 06:20 AM   #5
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Carroters:

First off, we have "no self promotion rules" on this website. Normally we do not allow links to websites that have headlines like Buy The Grinder’s Manual Now. We'll let this one stand but please make sure you keep our rules in mind. With that said, we do welcome authors (and publishers) to come on here and answer questions about their books.

And now for my questions. Are you aware of the book Harrington on Online Cash Games: 6-Max No-Limit Hold ’em by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie? When comparing the Tables of Contents, it seems like it covers essentially the same topics you're trying to cover, was published in 2010 (so this material has been out there for a while), and is 531 pages making it essentially the same size as your book.

And assuming you were aware of the Harrington Online book, how does your book differ from it.

Best wishes,
Mason
Hi Mason,

Thanks for the leeway there on the promotion rules, I wasn't aware and I appreciate having this space to address questions. Let me address yours:

I think it's very normal that our two books cover similar areas as any text that strives to provide a complete course in this format of the game must cover the same bases. In fact this can be true of almost any instructive text. Two books on horse riding, for example, could be expected to cover the same topics, but one could cover them in a more relevant up to date or detailed way than the other. I think there are many major differences between The Grinder's Manual and Harrington On Online Cash Games: 6-Max no Limit Hold 'em.

1. The Grinder's Manual is extremely up to date and approaches the game as it is seen by the top online professionals in 2016. I think that honestly Harrington's book is very outdated now given how far poker theory has moved along since it was written.

2. The Grinder's Manual is a much more academic textbook. The figures and logical thought processes it uses in conjunction with example hands are laid out in a way that is not at all dissimilar to something you would purchase to accompany a university course. I believe poker is every bit as rigorous a subject as any you might study seriously in further education.

3. The Grinder's Manual is written by a professional online poker player who has devoted his career to grinding and teaching exactly this format of the game. I therefore believe my expertise as an author to be completely suited for the subject matter of the book.

4. Finally I think the Grinder's manual has a much steeper progression than the Harrington's book. It quickly moves onto subject matter which is in my opinion much more complicated but totally essential for a strong enough game to succeed at 50-100NL on pokerstars in 2016 and at least the near future. I was very committed to not scrimping on any necessary detail and so the book provides a significant challenge to the newer player right from the start and quickly challenges stronger players by the second and third chapters.

Any other questions I'm more than happy to answer. Thanks again.

Peter Clarke (Carroters).
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:35 PM   #6
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Sounds like a welcome addition to the market, particularly as the games have changed somewhat since Harrington/Robertie's online book. I'd potentially buy a Kindle version, but I'd like to see more reviews first, so I hope this thread gets some responses.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:30 AM   #7
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

I bought the book about two weeks ago found it very good indeed.

Like many players I have (desperately) read most available Poker books from Harrington onwards. Some very good ...Harrington, Tendlar, Moorman, Caro etc etc as well as a plethora of poor or outdated books.

I find the best books (Top 10%) are all always focused on a single area of poker development or expertise such Harrington 1 for basics, Moormans book for Online MTT and Tendlar/Caro for the mind games...plus many others eg for Poker math etc etc

Poker has become much much more sophisticated and knowing just to be aggressive does not make you a winner any more across the board as it did 5 years ago.

This book is bang up to date and provides a base to beat Online Cash games - I am only about half way through it yet - but the content is excellent and I'm pretty sure if I can find the time to put the work in I can move up the stakes from 25NL where I currently reside marginally profitable! This is not a wishy-washy book and Peter is not afraid to say what people needs to do and always has a strong opinion. I actually find this quite refreshing! :-)

Strongly recommend this to anyone who is prepared to put the work in :-) Can't really understand the earlier reference to Harrington on Cash - the books are light years apart in the detail.

Hope this helps the guys asking for reviews.
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Old 04-14-2016, 11:37 AM   #8
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Sounds really interesting!
I read the aforementioned Harrington book and it is interesting to see a few readers claiming that this one goes further in the concepts (the Harrington one was only OK in my humble opinion) while keeping the same "general course" mindset. To me, it looks like I could get a great refresh + more in-depth information all-in-one!
I will wait for the Kindle version though
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Old 04-14-2016, 01:38 PM   #9
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carroters View Post
Hey guys I'm the author. There are plans for a kindle version. I'm currently touching up the formatting then the book will be available on kindle (I hope within the next few weeks). For now it's available on PDF here at my website where there's also a preview of the book. https://carrotcorner.com/the-grinders-manual/

If anyone has any questions about the book on this thread please feel free to ask.

Pete.
Hi Carroters. Love your podcast, man. Keep them coming. I will definitely be buying a copy.

Are you playing on twitch at all? I've shown up a couple of times during the times you're supposed to be playing and haven't seen anything.
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Old 04-14-2016, 04:53 PM   #10
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

My review:

I have read a number of poker books in the past what really sets this apart is that rather than give you instructions on what to do in certain spots it instead gives you the considerations and lists them in order of importance (where applicable) which really gives you the tools you need to help you work out the dynamic spots that occur in day to day games.

The concepts range from basic to more complex, but even the basic advice and first couple of sections provided new tit-bits of information that I had never previously read in any books or articles, or training videos that I have seen, so new content and thought patterns are really appreciated.

One new concept for me for example was the 'ISO triangle' which gives you weighted decision making considerations for potential isolation spots pre-flop. Rather than list these factors in bullet points like in other texts which are easily forgotten, the concept is presented graphically which helps you to remember it and how important each factor is.

There are a lot of diagrams/flow charts/decision trees that help you visualise the thought processes outlined for the topic at hand, and I really like that. Using the PDF version of the book I have been able to screen shot the tables and figures of importance and create study notes and quick reference guides. Every topic gives you example hands where you are tested on the concepts just learned and in some cases the decisions are quite close so it really makes you think hard about the correct answer.

I disagree with TDA about there being a lack of HUD stat data referencing, as we are introduced to many throughout the book as each topic is covered, and yes in many cases these are basic, but I am more of a novice than TDA so I found them useful. For each HUD stat that is listed we get a range of 'number of hands' that shows how useful that particular stat is, and bands of percentages that categorise what we can glean from the data, i.e. 0-20% means X, 20-30% means Y, 30-50% means Z, etc.

There is a good balance between explaining exploitative strategies and how to implement them, and protecting our long term EV through balance. Some concepts are explained by the author taking us 'into the vacuum' and then 'coming back out again'

I am still working through the book as I have read through once from beginning to end and now I plan to go through again and revise the topics in more detail.

For me at my level of thinking this text is perfect for taking my game to the next level, well probably up a few levels to be honest by the time I can implement the thought processes in game and I would highly recommend it.
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Old 04-14-2016, 07:36 PM   #11
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by kravean View Post
My review:

I have read a number of poker books in the past what really sets this apart is that rather than give you instructions on what to do in certain spots it instead gives you the considerations and lists them in order of importance (where applicable) which really gives you the tools you need to help you work out the dynamic spots that occur in day to day games.

The concepts range from basic to more complex, but even the basic advice and first couple of sections provided new tit-bits of information that I had never previously read in any books or articles, or training videos that I have seen, so new content and thought patterns are really appreciated.

One new concept for me for example was the 'ISO triangle' which gives you weighted decision making considerations for potential isolation spots pre-flop. Rather than list these factors in bullet points like in other texts which are easily forgotten, the concept is presented graphically which helps you to remember it and how important each factor is.

There are a lot of diagrams/flow charts/decision trees that help you visualise the thought processes outlined for the topic at hand, and I really like that. Using the PDF version of the book I have been able to screen shot the tables and figures of importance and create study notes and quick reference guides. Every topic gives you example hands where you are tested on the concepts just learned and in some cases the decisions are quite close so it really makes you think hard about the correct answer.

I disagree with TDA about there being a lack of HUD stat data referencing, as we are introduced to many throughout the book as each topic is covered, and yes in many cases these are basic, but I am more of a novice than TDA so I found them useful. For each HUD stat that is listed we get a range of 'number of hands' that shows how useful that particular stat is, and bands of percentages that categorise what we can glean from the data, i.e. 0-20% means X, 20-30% means Y, 30-50% means Z, etc.

There is a good balance between explaining exploitative strategies and how to implement them, and protecting our long term EV through balance. Some concepts are explained by the author taking us 'into the vacuum' and then 'coming back out again'

I am still working through the book as I have read through once from beginning to end and now I plan to go through again and revise the topics in more detail.

For me at my level of thinking this text is perfect for taking my game to the next level, well probably up a few levels to be honest by the time I can implement the thought processes in game and I would highly recommend it.
Just to respond to this, what I mean is that I think teaching people how to fiddle around with binomial distributions and giving rough estimates of the rate of accumulation of samples would've been a much more useful way of going about it, but I accept that's more for the mathematically inclined and so I respect Pete's judgment on the matter.
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:32 PM   #12
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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1. The Grinder's Manual is extremely up to date and approaches the game as it is seen by the top online professionals in 2016. I think that honestly Harrington's book is very outdated now given how far poker theory has moved along since it was written.
Can you be specific? For this statement to be true there must be some things that you are saying which are very different from what is written in Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold 'em, and this implies that there must be some hands where your advice on how to play them must also be different from what the Harrington Online book states. Can you give an example or two?

You need to understand that you're on another publisher's website and when you make statements that imply that what we publish and sell is out of date you're implying that our products should not be purchased. Now I'm not saying that you're wrong and perhaps you're correct, but you really need to be specific.

Mason
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Old 04-14-2016, 08:44 PM   #13
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Strongly recommend this to anyone who is prepared to put the work in :-) Can't really understand the earlier reference to Harrington on Cash - the books are light years apart in the detail.
Hi Steve:

I didn't reference the two volume set Harrington on Cash Games. The reference was to Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold 'em, which is only one volume; and when looking at The Tables of Contents, this book and The Grinder's Manual by Peter Clark look very similar.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:30 PM   #14
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Mason,

Even if HoOC were up-to-date when it was released (which is questionable), given the games have developed tremendously since then, surely you cannot possibly be claiming that it is still a useful text for aspiring online cash players? Likewise, TGM won't be relevant in a few years. Such is the lifespan of a non-theory-heavy poker book.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:29 AM   #15
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Everyone who has reviewed so far seems pretty advanced so this is a beginner's perspective. I can't speak to the advanced concepts.

I've found this book to be one of the most useful I've read so far. The big difference for me has been in the ease of implementation and understanding the thought processes behind the concepts.

The points are explained thoroughly in each chapter with numerous examples, diagrams, and flowcharts which made it easy for me to internalize the information and put it into play.

I know some of the other reviewers have written above that it's structured like a text book but that's the best comparison I could think of. It reminded me exactly of my university textbooks (even down to his use of colored fact boxes with rounded edges... that took me back a little too far).

For beginning players like myself it immediately offered the rationale behind +EV plays and gave me structures to assess my actions in these spots. The chapter on end of action spots in particular has DEFINITELY saved me money.

I think what sets the book apart from others I have read is that it doesn't just give you a chart or a checklist, it encourages you to think of the thought processes behind what you are doing and Peter explains in detail what he thinks are the important factors and how to weigh/rank them.

I would, and have, recommend it to anyone starting out. I'm by no means a good player. But I have so many more tools in my arsenal and I feel like I'm beginning to THINK in a structured way for the first time.

I haven't read the Harrington book people are talking about above but before buying this if asked I would tell people to read Miller's Small Stakes NLHM or Belugawhale's Easy Game. Now I tell them to check out TGM (not that I didn't find the other two useful, I've just gotten a lot more out of TGM).
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:27 AM   #16
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

ive read harringtons books and in my uneducated opinion this manual is much more relevant and useful for todays 6 max online players especially those on tougher sites like PS.

For the price, you cant go wrong.
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Old 04-15-2016, 02:59 AM   #17
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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ive read harringtons books and in my uneducated opinion this manual is much more relevant and useful for todays 6 max online players especially those on tougher sites like PS.

For the price, you cant go wrong.
Hi max85:

I'm not saying this is not a good book. I haven't read it so it would not be appropriate for me to comment one way or the other. But the author did say that Harrington Online, which appears to cover many of the same subjects, and by the way is also written like a text book, is out of date while his book is current. So I'm interested in some specific examples where the advice in his book would lead you to a different play than the mentioned Harrington text. I don't think this is an unreasonable request and it would give me a better idea as to how the games have changed over the last few years.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-15-2016, 05:22 AM   #18
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

Hi Carroters, from your site:
188 traning videos I’ve made in my career

Where I can find them?

Also, do you have any recent graphs? I saw on your site you post 2 of them, but 1 is from HM1 so I guess it is old, and the other one is from PT4 so I guess most recent, but the hand sample is low

Ty very much
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Old 04-15-2016, 11:50 AM   #19
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Can you be specific? For this statement to be true there must be some things that you are saying which are very different from what is written in Harrington on Online Cash Games; 6-Max No-Limit Hold 'em, and this implies that there must be some hands where your advice on how to play them must also be different from what the Harrington Online book states. Can you give an example or two?

You need to understand that you're on another publisher's website and when you make statements that imply that what we publish and sell is out of date you're implying that our products should not be purchased. Now I'm not saying that you're wrong and perhaps you're correct, but you really need to be specific.

Mason
First off, I’m sorry if I said anything that would potentially discourage people from buying a twoplustwo product. That is definitely not my intention. I would like to refer to other books as little as possible and use this space to inform people about The Grinder’s Manual. I’m not in the business of slagging off other authors and want to collaborate with as many people as possible.

Of course I’m happy to elaborate on what I meant by my first point regarding Harrington’s book being outdated. It’s not so much that I think his advise is largely incorrect and will lead to necessarily bad decisions in the current poker landscape, rather I think the main symptom of being outdated is the way that things are explained; the actual thought processes behind the eventual advised lines. I’ll give a couple of examples:

On Page 42 the author gives his definition of a value bet. I think this definition is outdated and doesn’t capture the true nature of what makes a bet a “value bet” today in NLHE. The author gives two definitions of what makes a bet for value.

The intention that makes a bet for value is given as:

“To get more money in the pot with presumably the best hand”

Today this intention is misleading. A thin value bet could be made with as little as 53% equity vs. Villain’s calling range. Our hand is not anywhere near to presumably best. The modern definition therefore thinks much more in terms of ranges than likelihood of having the best hand as does general poker strategy. Today we would expect to read something more to the effect of: “Our hand has more than 50% equity when called” We certainly don’t presume it’s the best hand.

The second thing that defines a value bet is given as:

“Discouraging your opponents from drawing to beat you.”

Today competent players call this ‘protection.’ Making a bet, the primary purpose of which is to fold out worse hands that may have significant equity, is now known as a protection bet and is a totally separate reason. The notion of protection correctly applied was less prominent in poker thinking in 2010. This is just a natural evolution of the way we differentiate reasons to bet today (bluff, value and protection are now the main three)

Pages 67-68 concern a hand where Hero has flopped a flush draw, called a bet on the flop and then faces a turn shove. This is what I call an “end of action spot” in that Hero’s decision is between calling and not calling and whatever action he takes will be the last of the hand. Harrington gives a good analysis of the exact EV of calling the shove. The author shows us the EV of calling and proves that it is substantially negative. This is fine and true but it doesn’t help the student make a very quick and accurate choice in game as much as it should; it’s long winded and unnecessary for solving the spot. We don’t need to know the EV of calling, we just need to know whether or not calling is +EV.

The way most authors and coaches would explain such a spot today would be simply calculating RE (required equity to call the shove) by using Amount to Call / (Amount to Call + Total Pot). Hero then sees that he needs X equity to call the bet and knows that a flush draw does not have this much equity. Alternatively Hero could estimate RE using a table of milestone values (eg. Pot size bet requires 33% equity) This allows for instant decision making in-game. Harrington’s full EV calculation is correct and well explained, but it’s not the accurate modern way of assessing the situation.

I could give more examples of what I meant when I used the word ‘outdated’ but again I meant only to address your first question to me in this thread, not to devalue any other book or author or to discourage anyone from purchasing any other book. Perhaps this is an unavoidable consequence of giving any answer at all. I couldn’t possibly expect a book from 2010 to be as relevant as the one I’ve just published in 2016. This doesn’t make the earlier book bad, but if my book achieved nothing that the earlier title hadn’t, I’d certainly have failed as a poker author.

I have no problem with you removing anything that you feel threatens possible sales. My purpose here is to answer questions about TGM.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:01 PM   #20
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by 4-Star General View Post
Hi Carroters, from your site:
188 traning videos I’ve made in my career

Where I can find them?

Also, do you have any recent graphs? I saw on your site you post 2 of them, but 1 is from HM1 so I guess it is old, and the other one is from PT4 so I guess most recent, but the hand sample is low

Ty very much
Hi thanks for the questions. I fear that to provide details of my videos publicly here would be a breach of twoplustwo's advertising policy so unless Mason or another mod advises me that it's okay I'll refrain.

I have been writing and teaching full-time for the last year. As you can imagine TGM was an enormous task for a one man machine like me and I used coaching to support myself during this time as it is a less stressful and for me much more rewarding occupation than grinding. That said I've played around 30k in the last few months simply to stay current with the state of the games and am winning at 6BB/100 at 50NL zoom, but this sample is of course pretty irrelevant.

After I'm fully done with TGM (publicity and getting the kindle version out there) I'm leaving the option open of playing semi-professionally like I have in the past and should have some newer graphs in the near future. I'm very confident that my abilities are more than capable of beating 100NL Zoom on pokerstars and with a little rust removal, higher. I coach people who player higher and always stay very up to date with modern poker theory. You kind of have to in order to write a book I guess! Thanks again for the interest in TGM.

Last edited by Carroters; 04-15-2016 at 12:13 PM.
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:28 PM   #21
lafauriea
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by Carroters View Post
Hi thanks for the questions. I fear that to provide details of my videos publicly here would be a breach of twoplustwo's advertising policy so unless Mason or another mod advises me that it's okay I'll refrain.

I have been writing and teaching full-time for the last year. As you can imagine TGM was an enormous task for a one man machine like me and I used coaching to support myself during this time as it is a less stressful and for me much more rewarding occupation than grinding. That said I've played around 30k in the last few months simply to stay current with the state of the games and am winning at 6BB/100 at 50NL zoom, but this sample is of course pretty irrelevant.

After I'm fully done with TGM (publicity and getting the kindle version out there) I'm leaving the option open of playing semi-professionally like I have in the past and should have some newer graphs in the near future. I'm very confident that my abilities are more than capable of beating 100NL Zoom on pokerstars and with a little rust removal, higher. I coach people who player higher and always stay very up to date with modern poker theory. You kind of have to in order to write a book I guess! Thanks again for the interest in TGM.
A very good site Grinderschool.com I bought Carroters e-book because I like very much his concept vid on this site
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Old 04-15-2016, 12:41 PM   #22
zahi1974
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by Carroters View Post
After I'm fully done with TGM (publicity and getting the kindle version out there) I'm leaving the option open of playing semi-professionally like I have in the past and should have some newer graphs in the near future. I'm very confident that my abilities are more than capable of beating 100NL Zoom on pokerstars and with a little rust removal, higher. I coach people who player higher and always stay very up to date with modern poker theory. You kind of have to in order to write a book I guess! Thanks again for the interest in TGM.
Hi!

You mention, that you are playing mostly Zoom now, if I understand it right. May I ask why zoom, and why not regular 6max games? And what in your opinion are the biggest differences between those two variants? According your book: Do you think it's rather for zoom or for regular games?

BTW.: I watched some of your videos and liked them (especially "NL by position") and I'm really thinking about buying your book. But as I don't play Zoom, I'm a little bit unsure atm...

Greetings,
zahi1974
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Old 04-15-2016, 10:00 PM   #23
Popetman
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

I would be thinking of buying your book

But I don't think there is a book?

Is it just pdf/ebook [?]

I can't read them - means I can't go to sleep afterwards....

Are you likely to be bringing it out in old school paper book format?
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:34 AM   #24
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by Carroters View Post
First off, I’m sorry if I said anything that would potentially discourage people from buying a twoplustwo product. That is definitely not my intention. I would like to refer to other books as little as possible and use this space to inform people about The Grinder’s Manual. I’m not in the business of slagging off other authors and want to collaborate with as many people as possible.
Hi Carroters:

That's good to hear, and again, we want authors, even those not affiliated with 2+2, to come on here and answer questions about their books.

Quote:
Of course I’m happy to elaborate on what I meant by my first point regarding Harrington’s book being outdated. It’s not so much that I think his advise is largely incorrect and will lead to necessarily bad decisions in the current poker landscape, rather I think the main symptom of being outdated is the way that things are explained; the actual thought processes behind the eventual advised lines. I’ll give a couple of examples:

On Page 42 the author gives his definition of a value bet. I think this definition is outdated and doesn’t capture the true nature of what makes a bet a “value bet” today in NLHE. The author gives two definitions of what makes a bet for value.

The intention that makes a bet for value is given as:

“To get more money in the pot with presumably the best hand”
Well, here's exactly what it says:

Quote:
From Harrington Online: The simplest kind of flop bet is the value bet. After the flop comes, you think your hand is probably best. Usually this will be top pair or better. You bet, both to get more money in the pot and to discourage your opponents from drawing to beat you. If someone calls, you’ve built a pot with what is presumably the best hand. If everyone folds, you’ve won.
Quote:
Today this intention is misleading. A thin value bet could be made with as little as 53% equity vs. Villain’s calling range. Our hand is not anywhere near to presumably best. The modern definition therefore thinks much more in terms of ranges than likelihood of having the best hand as does general poker strategy. Today we would expect to read something more to the effect of: “Our hand has more than 50% equity when called” We certainly don’t presume it’s the best hand.
If you go back twenty years, when last to act, value bet usually meant that when your bet was called it was better than 50 percent to be the best hand but well under 100 percent. That is you're correctly betting a hand which many players would have been afraid to bet. But you're betting it because you know that when called it still has positive expectation even though it will often lose (when called).

But if first to act your value bet may not have positive expectation if called but it still has a higher expectation than a check would. That's because your opponent will call with some hands that would have been checked if you had checked. Notice that this is different than what you stated above.

Now today value bets are generally considered, by most people, to be bets that are not bluffs. This is consistent with the definition from Harrington Online.

Let's put this another way. In the old days, value bets were considered to be high risk bets that weren't bluffs, and this is consistent with what you're saying. But keep in mind, even if last to act, a bet with 53 percent equity may not be a good value bet if your opponent is willing to check-raise bluff.

So implying that a 53 percent shot is always a good bet could be wrong, as is implying that a 47 percent value bet (when first to act) is wrong.

By the way, this is all a very small thing. You're not talking about how to play the hand differently, you're just using a different definition for a term.

Quote:
The second thing that defines a value bet is given as:

“Discouraging your opponents from drawing to beat you.”

Today competent players call this ‘protection.’ Making a bet, the primary purpose of which is to fold out worse hands that may have significant equity, is now known as a protection bet and is a totally separate reason. The notion of protection correctly applied was less prominent in poker thinking in 2010.
Gee. I remember talking about protection bets 30 years ago. We didn't use that term in our books, but it has certainly been around for a long time.

Quote:
This is just a natural evolution of the way we differentiate reasons to bet today (bluff, value and protection are now the main three)
Let's put it this way. Hands that are slight favorites with more cards to come when bet are actually in a similar category as semi-bluffs because you usually want your opponent to fold.

Quote:
Pages 67-68 concern a hand where Hero has flopped a flush draw, called a bet on the flop and then faces a turn shove. This is what I call an “end of action spot” in that Hero’s decision is between calling and not calling and whatever action he takes will be the last of the hand. Harrington gives a good analysis of the exact EV of calling the shove. The author shows us the EV of calling and proves that it is substantially negative. This is fine and true but it doesn’t help the student make a very quick and accurate choice in game as much as it should; it’s long winded and unnecessary for solving the spot. We don’t need to know the EV of calling, we just need to know whether or not calling is +EV.

The way most authors and coaches would explain such a spot today would be simply calculating RE (required equity to call the shove) by using Amount to Call / (Amount to Call + Total Pot). Hero then sees that he needs X equity to call the bet and knows that a flush draw does not have this much equity. Alternatively Hero could estimate RE using a table of milestone values (eg. Pot size bet requires 33% equity) This allows for instant decision making in-game. Harrington’s full EV calculation is correct and well explained, but it’s not the accurate modern way of assessing the situation.
If you show a person how to figure out the equity in a certain spot, this should help them to be able to figure out the equity in a different spot. It's just a different way of teaching the same thing, and we at 2+2 think it's a superior way. But if you want to do it in a way that's a little less difficult for some people, that's fine. But the bottom line here is that if you want to criticize Harrington, you need to find errors in his suggestions. That is does he, in your opinion, play some hands wrong or at least differently from the way you would recommend that they be played?

Quote:
I could give more examples of what I meant when I used the word ‘outdated’ but again I meant only to address your first question to me in this thread, not to devalue any other book or author or to discourage anyone from purchasing any other book. Perhaps this is an unavoidable consequence of giving any answer at all. I couldn’t possibly expect a book from 2010 to be as relevant as the one I’ve just published in 2016.
If the 2010 book uses some outdated terms but is better at teaching someone how to play hands well then it would be the better book. If the 2016 book uses some more modern terms, doesn't make mistakes, and teaches how to play hands the same and explains it as well, then it can be considered the better book. But to be the better book, it better make sure that these last two conditions apply.

And for the best example, take The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky. It contains examples from games that no one even plays anymore. But this knock on The Theory of Poker has never been enough to make anyone think they can improve upon it, and I bet you spent a lot of time studying it.

Quote:
This doesn’t make the earlier book bad, but if my book achieved nothing that the earlier title hadn’t, I’d certainly have failed as a poker author.
Again, I haven't read your book and don't know if it contains actual errors. But from the above, you didn't seem to know that value bets can be made with less than 50 percent equity if first to act or that they should sometimes not be made with more than 50 percent equity. Or perhaps for sake of keeping things brief you did know this but left it out of this discussion, and that's fine.

Quote:
I have no problem with you removing anything that you feel threatens possible sales. My purpose here is to answer questions about TGM.
I don't see anything that needs to be removed.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-16-2016, 12:36 AM   #25
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Review: Peter 'Carroters' Clarke - The Grinder's Manual

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Originally Posted by Carroters View Post
Hi thanks for the questions. I fear that to provide details of my videos publicly here would be a breach of twoplustwo's advertising policy so unless Mason or another mod advises me that it's okay I'll refrain.
Go ahead.

Best wishes,
Mason
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