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Old 03-21-2012, 10:22 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Smashing Fewer Holes in Your Computer Desk: Written Insights on Modern Internet Poker

Smashing Fewer Holes in Your Computer Desk: Written Insights on Modern Internet Poker , by Jon Tannen

Note: I have been a friend of Jon’s for years. I’ve enjoyed his strategy contributions in SSNL and his blog, and expected the same quality in this instructional product. Jon asked me to review this product a few days ago, so here it is:

Smashing Fewer Holes in Your Computer Desk: Written Insights on Modern Internet Poker by Jon Tannen is a full package product. What I mean by this is that it is not strictly an e-book or purely a video product, but both. It is comprised into two sections: the strategy articles and the video analysis of three students. There are several download links and it took me about an hour to download the video package (your results/internet speed may vary).

This product is not a step by step book on poker. You won’t find dozens of starting hand charts or descriptions on basic poker terminology. The audience for this book would probably be $50NL-$400NL players (obviously with some exceptions). You are expected to have a basic, fundamental understanding of poker in order to take full advantage of this product.

Strategy Articles:

There are 10 strategy articles in the package. The topics are commonly asked questions for many players- “c-betting vs. checking behind flops”, “pocket pairs vs. habitual 3-betters”, “determining when to 3-barrel”, and others.

I thought all of these were well written. The articles themselves are not tremendously long; maybe a few pages apiece. They are concise and to the point, and potentially very valuable to those learning these concepts for the first time.

Jon is very heavy on math in his approach to poker. Though I’m not fantastic at the math involved with poker (funny story: It was actually Jon who helped me figure out some EV calculations years ago/coolstorybro), Jon explains the math in an easy manner.

Note: One thing I might have liked a bit more in the strategy articles are some hand histories to accompany the analysis. It could be personal preference, but I know I learn things easier when given visible examples with analysis. That’s not to say that these articles lack hand histories entirely (because they don’t), but I wish there had been a few more.

All in all, the articles are informative and to the point. I enjoyed reading about some of the common problems that many players have questions about.

Videos and Analysis:

The meat of this package is seen in Jon’s video analysis. The process for this instruction is:
-Open the videos from the zipped file.
-Open the corresponding video analysis document.
-Follow the time stamp and hand analysis, pausing frequently while you read the notes/analysis.

-There are 3 videos in this analysis, 1 of them 50NL, the next a 50NL/100NL hybrid, and the other 200NL. They range from 45 minutes – 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Warning: Reading and following along with the videos is a very long process. You’ll need to continuously pause and play the video in order to read along with the analysis as it occurs. This is a product for a serious student who is willing to dedicate time and effort in this process. I know this much should be obvious, but I just wanted potential buyers to be aware of this.

This is the primary learning tool in Jon’s product. Jon dissects nearly every situation in his student’s video. He discusses alternate lines, why the play was good or bad, the EV calculations, the psychology of his opponent, and many other elements involved with the poker hand. Jon frequently references his strategy articles accompanied in the product in order to further hammer a point or concept home. Outside strategy articles, music links (such as this- ), and funny low content articles are also linked within the analysis.

I quite enjoyed this section of the product, as there are a variety of situations that Jon’s students encountered. There was also a Q/As written in the first video, which was informative.

Criticisms and Questions

There were a few minor things that I think would help a bit. I already mentioned that I appreciate a few more hand histories in the strategy articles. One reason why Jon probably didn’t include as many of these is because he frequently referenced the articles in the video analysis.

I believe this product to be strictly strategy oriented. What I mean by this is that there aren’t too many alternate articles or advice pertaining to the other elements in poker (being bankroll advice, psychology, and others). Personally, I would have appreciated a few alternate articles concerning other elements in poker, but again, this could just be personal preference.

I would have also liked a few more articles in the strategy section. There are many topics that Jon could go into further detail on. At the top of my head, a ‘donking’ article, ‘deep play primer’, and others all would be beneficial.

With regards to the videos, I sometimes found myself a bit lost trying to reference the videos at the exact points to the analysis. The reference is written in this manner:

(21:20 (T3)) (In reference to Table 3). I feel like this would be MUCH easier to reference if Jon wrote the actual hand next to the reference. Something like this:

21:20 (T3) (AA)

Would be much easier to find the hand. This COULD just be nittery though.

In all poker products that I’ve purchased or read in the past, one section I’ve always enjoyed was the ‘Hands played by me’ portion. Though I obviously had a great deal of hands shown to me in the analysis portion in this product, they weren’t played by Jon. Having something like a 20 hands played by Jon (and analyzing said hands) would be pretty cool. He probably didn’t include this because this product IS primarily a hand analysis package from his students…but yeah.


I enjoyed this product and feel that it can definitely benefit a 50NL-200NL player immensely. The primary reason being that Jon approaches many problems and questions that micro/small stakes players have.

Be prepared to work through this product. As stated previously, it is very time consuming and very in-depth. You’ll also need to account for the external strategy articles that Jon frequently links as well in order to supplement your learning. And again, this product is not for a 10NL player just starting out in poker. It is for higher micro and small stakes players (perhaps some MSNL as well) who have a good grasp on the fundamentals in poker.

Before people buy this product (and other poker products; be it coaching or instruction), they need to understand a few things first: This is not a magic elixir that will turn you into Phil Ivey, nor is it a guarantee that you will even turn into a winner at your level. It is merely something to push you in the right direction for further poker education. Jon introduced you to EV calcs? Good, now go learn more about it. Jon walks you through a simple hand reading exercise? Great, now go read more on the subject. And so on.
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