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Poker Books

The Education of a Modern Poker Player Positive Poker Expert Heads Up Volume 1 Expert Heads Up No Limit Hold'em Play, Volume Moorman's Book of Poker
Nov 2013 Dec 2013 May 2014 Jul 2014 Nov 2014

Total Poker
by David Spanier


Winning at poker is not just analysis and clever tactics, not even inspired bluff, although Total Poker examines in great depth what makes up these various elements. Ultimately, luck works out the same for everyone, there really is no such thing as good cards or bad cards; winning is a psychological decision and up to each player. This is not a "how to" book. It is a work celebrating the game of poker which places it skillfully within our cultural milieu. It is more a cultural history than a manual for novices. However, I believe that it should have value for all as there are a great many technical works but precious few David Spaniers.

David Spanier book 'Total Poker' Is a very interesting read. The book is packed with storys of former Presidents poker games and he reviews poker movies such as 'The Sting' and many others. This book is about poker culture and not really an instructional book on the game but there are many things to be learnt from this book.


Hardback 256 pages (August 1, 2002)   £7.19    U$12.00

One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, the World's Greatest Poker Player
by Nolan Dalla, Peter Alson and Mike Sexton (Foreword)


Begun as an as-told-to by Dalla with Stuey Ungar, this biography tells in painful detail the story of the poker and gin superstar. Ungar is certainly a fascinating subject. He was prodigiously dysfunctional, a manic sports bettor and cocaine addict who won an estimated $30 million during his life, but who, after his death in 1998, needed a collection from his friends to pay for his funeral.

Unfortunately, the complexities of Ungar's personality aren't satisfactorily unraveled by the authors. They offer stories from the likes of poker legend Doyle Brunson and Mike Sexton, television's reigning poker guru, of Ungar's fabulous skills as a card player and spectacular need for "action," but few insights into the source of Ungar's self-destructive demons: he died prematurely at age 45 from the ravages of drug abuse. Without any analysis, the repetitious account of years of poker ups and downs, sports gambling losses, manic acts of generosity and descents into drug abuse, as tragic as it is, becomes tedious. Still, without distorting or downplaying Ungar's depredations, this is a heartfelt, respectful and accepting biography.


Hardback 316 pages (June 30, 2005)
 UK Amazon £11.29
 U$16.50 from Amazon USA

Doyle Brunson's Super System II
by Doyle Brunson


The original Super System, written and edited by Doyle Brunson, the acknowledged "Babe Ruth of Poker," is hailed by all players as the single most influential book ever written about the game of poker. Now, Super System II, pushes the envelope further, expanding on the original with new games, new strategies, and new experts. This is a brand new book-not an update.

The who's who all-star studded lineup for SSII includes Chip Reese, who Doyle recognizes as one of the top three players in the world, if not the best; Johnny Chan, two-time WSOP champion and tied with Doyle for the most world series bracelets with 9, Doyle Brunson himself, two-time WSOP champion and the greatest poker player of all time, Lyle Berman, founder of the World Poker Tour, the world's best Omaha player, and owner of three WSOP gold bracelets; Bobby Baldwin, former WSOP champion and CEO of the Bellagio; Mike Caro, the greatest poker theorist and best-selling author; Jennifer Harmon, the best woman player in the history of poker and one of the top 10 overall; Todd Brunson, winner of more than 20 tournaments and the future successor to Doyle's throne; as well as Danny Niegro, and Barry Greenstein,. Super System II covers the essential strategies and advanced play on the most popular games played today-No limit Hold 'em, Limit Hold 'em, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud 8 or Better, 7 Card Stud High-Low Split, No Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, Limit Lowball Draw, High Draw Poker, Chinese Poker, Triple Draw Lowball-as well as important sections on professional poker play and poker psychology


Paperback 624 pages - February 1, 2005
expected price $23.07 
 U$23.07 from Amazon.com

Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour
by Phil Hellmuth


A nine-time World Champion of Poker provides an entertaining and informative insider's look at the world of high-stakes poker, with a step-by-step description of top poker matches, practical advice on strategy and techniques, and tips on bluffing, betting, and more. Original. 60,000 first printing.

Contributions by Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Annie Duke, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, Ted Forrest, Jennifer Harman, Layne Flack, Men Nguyen, John Bonetti. The book is ultimately an entertaining read and it should certainly be considered light reading.


Paperback 256 pages - November 11, 2004
expected price £7.19 Buy This Book
 U$10.17 for US residents

Championship No-Limit & Pot-Limit Hold'em
by T. J. Cloutier, Tom McEvoy


The book is focused on both pot limit and no limit, and the advice is split evenly throughout. It offers a ton of strategy, practice hands and different view points (Cloutier and McEvoy play certain hands very differently). The writing is such that you feel that TJ is sitting next to you, telling you how to play. The book ends with tails from TJ, a collection of poker memories from his days traveling from game to game throughout Texas.

This was a very Enjoyable Book. It provides important and useful concepts about the game of Poker. It will identify leaks in your game which can come from anywhere! Leaks can originate from lack of aggression, overcalling raises, misreading opponents and any other number of ways. So this book helps


Paperback 294 pages - April 1, 2004
expected price £16.06 Buy This Book
 U$20.37 for US residents

Read 'em and Weep: A Bedside Poker Companion
by John Stravinsky


A lovely book that all players will enjoy, no matter standard they are. Great extracts from a most complete list of top authors from around the world. This book contains Anthony Holden, Jesse May, John Updike and David Mamet all within pages of each other.

In all there are 39 nine authors here and it reads swiftly and gets you hungry to play. Fantastic value being a hardback at this price!! Entertaining, enlightening, and essential, Read 'Em and Weep is a stacked deck of pure poker-reading pleasure.


Hardcover - 1 January, 2004
expected price £9.59 Buy This Book
 U$13.97 for US residents

Poker on the Internet (second edition)
by Andrew Kinsman


Andrew Kinsman started his games playing career with chess, early on reaching the position of International Master. His has clearly moved on to better things and has done some serious homework on this project.

This book covers all the aspects of poker on the internet that the new or experienced player would want to find out. There are good discussions of the worrying aspects of internet poker as well as site reviews of the main operations world wide. He gives a good comparison of live versus online play and talks quite a bit about how to organise your online play so as to keep yourself in check.


Paperback - 208 pages (October 6, 2005)   £9.09    U$13.57

Play Poker Like the Pros
by Phil Hellmuth


Phil Hellmuth, Jr., a seven-time World Champion of Poker, presents his tournament-tested strategies to beat any type of player, including: The Jackal (crazy and unpredictable) The Elephant (plays too many hands) The Mouse (plays very conservatively) The Lion (skilled and tough to beat)

Play Poker Like the Pros begins by laying out the rules and set-up of each game and then moves on to easy-to-follow basic and advanced strategies. Hellmuth teaches exactly which hands to play, when to bluff, when to raise, and when to fold. In addition Hellmuth provides techniques for reading other players and staying cool under pressure. There are also special chapters on how to beat online poker games and an inside look at tournament play.


Paperback - 1 May, 2003
expected price £7.69  Buy This Book
 U$11.17 for US residents

Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker
by Stewart Reuben, Bob Ciaffone


If you are even considering playing big bet poker, you must read this book. If for no other reason than almost all of your opponents will have read this book. Bob Ciaffone has played professional level poker for many years. He has also written for 'Card Player' magazine for many years. Ciaffone and Rueben cover all the major money games, including Holdem, Omaha, and 7stud.

OK. This is a tough subject that these talented guys have a go at. Have it for the above reasons. There is no end to your research on this subject.


Paperback - 1 March, 1999
expected price £12.02  Buy This Book
 U$25.00 for US residents

Big Deal
by Anthony Holden


To some extent this is the seminal poker volume. Many before have tried but relating the fluorescent light world of poker and gambling to the uninitiated is not easy. It took Holden's classical background to weave narrative into the green baize and create a work that could be read cover to cover. This is not to say however that this is a true depiction of life in the poker world because it is a special one. It is an honest vision of how a worldly wize man of words spent his time playing poker at the top level. This is a great journal that you can live through in a vicarious way.

If you do, you'll sometimes feel luckier than you ought to.


Paperback - 384 pages (5 September, 2002) New Ed
UK Amazon expected price £7.19 Buy This Book
 U$$10.20 from Amazon USA

Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country
by Andy Bellin


Like any other esoteric subculture, the world of poker has its own lexicon. But everyone can read, with pleasure and even edification, his passages about matters of broader interest: the "math-based logic" that, he persuasively argues, is at the heart of poker; the loneliness that eats at "a lot of habitual poker players," for whom "the game functions as a social life" and "is often the only time when their verbal interaction is not limited to talking to their pet"; the story of Benny Binion, a shady character "who would eventually become the greatest influential force on poker's development into the multibillion-dollar-a-year business that it is today"; and the pitfalls of addiction. . There is a long and exceedingly interesting chapter about Dicky Horvath, once an accountant and now a professional poker player, who talks about the "total grind" of his life. Bellin himself does nothing to glamorize the life: . "The luster of this life comes off pretty fast. The petty crooks around the poker scene that appear so sexy at first glance are, in actuality, nothing more than the low-level criminals they turn out to be. It's nice to know a guy named Tips Tripoli, but once you find out that he got his moniker because he's a pickpocket, and every time he bumps into you, you have to grab for your wallet, it gets old very quickly. The same thing is true for all the high rollers that hang around the poker club. From afar their lives seem enviable, but after knowing them for about a week, you see them as nothing more than the degenerate gamblers that they are. It usually takes about three months for a woman to figure all that out about me, for the fascination with the lifestyle to fade, and then the honeymoon ends and she walks out.

Paperback - 272 pages 1 Ed (March 2002)
expected price £7.77  Buy This Book
 U$16.77 for US residents

The Biggest Game in Town by A. Alvarez

Called “the best book ever written on poker” by players and critics alike, The Biggest Game in Town is a sought-after classic that’s finally available in print again. Acclaimed author A. Alvarez delves into the seedy, obsessive world of high-stakes Vegas poker, where “the next best thing to playing and winning is playing and losing.” Uncovering an exotic underground rich in ambiance and eccentricity, The Biggest Game in Town is “a magnificent book ” (San Francisco Chronicle), a real one of a kind.

Paperback - 192 pages (March 2002)
expected price £6.11  Buy This Book
 U$12.76 for US residents

The Psychology of Poker by Alan Schoonmaker

Once more a poker book for the American market but type of game is not so improtant. Good basic approach to all mental aspects of poker and how to recognise your faults. If you can learn then you can gain from this book, if you can't then no book will help you anyway.

Strong players will generally be too far gone for this book but when the going gets tough a dip into these pages may help them to see what has gone wrong.


Paperback - 329 pages 1 (May 2000)  expected price £12.00 Buy This Book

Poker by Al Alvarez
Depicts a subculture rich with legend - from the no-limits Hold'em game to the late 20th-century World Championships in Las Vegas. Its terminology underpins modern life: Alvarez tells us 'passing the buck' came from the baize table, as did 'bluff', 'above board', and 'something up your sleeve'.
This book is ideal as a present for someone who loves the culture surrounding poker. It is not a technical book. It does have great pictures of old and photos of modern players.

Hardcover - 125 pages (5 March, 2001)  expected price £14.00  Buy This Book

The Hand I Played by David Spanier
This book is an unconventional autobiography. The writing craftsman takes you through his gambling experiences, those that developed his attitudes and opinions on his favourite hobby. They say Art copies life and life mimics Art. That in paraphrase was David's work, he loved to write and what better than on something that you do Tuesday night with some friends. He never cared for the technical advances of poker, it was the people thing with him and that is what this book is about.

Hardcover - 224 pages ( 6 October, 2000)  expected price £13.59  Buy This Book

Novel
Shut and Deal by Jesse MayShut Up And Deal by Jesse May

An experienced Poker players book, May writes with a no-messin' style that puts all people onto the same level. Anthony Holden, author of the great Big Deal, says "Few poker players can write and even fewer can play poker. Jesse May is a rare master of both infernal arts."

The plot, like poker itself, is a transitory affair. "I been playing for over six years now," says Mickey, the narrator of Shut Up and Deal, "and I still try and start each day as a new day, pick myself off the floor and get focused." This works fine when you're sitting at the poker table, where no given hand means anything in the context of any other given hand, but readers who enjoy traditional narrative, where events have a causal relationship to the events immediately preceding, will face a stiff challenge in the unrelenting cycle of hands won and lost with no visible grander scheme of things in which player--and reader-- might take solace.


Hardback 256 pages (August 1, 2002)   £5.59    $7.49


Novel
The Education of a Poker Player
by Herbert O. Yardley, Al Alvarez (introduction)


What a golden oldie! Scenes from Wild West taverns, magnificently fallible opponents, all that stuff from the Far East - and good hands always win. Fun to read, and comforting in a way, though the poker will be instructive for those playing home games, which is a lot of people. Top casino players today would shred someone playing according to Yardley, if the antes didn't do it first. But that's not really what the book's about in the modern era.  
Paperback - 154 pages (2002)  expected price £9.99   Buy This Book 



Novel

The Cincinnati Kid by Richard Jessup
When reading this book it is impossible to throw away the imagery of the most famous poker film in history. However, the writing is still very modern and supplies the right pace. The ending is different from the movie so you'll still have something to look forward to in the way of surprise. All in all, Steve McQueen is still the best for us but this isn't a bad book.

Hardcover - 160 pages ( 1 July, 1999)  expected price £13.87  Buy This Book



Moneymaker: How an Amateur Poker Player Turned $40 into $2.5 Million at the World Series of Poker
by Chris Moneymaker, Daniel Paisner


Moneymaker's improbable 2003 victory at the World Series of Poker (where he was an untested amateur player) has been seen on ESPN's WSOP series as many times as a Seinfeld rerun. Here, with veteran coauthor Paisner, Moneymaker (the publisher insists this is his real name) presents a blow-by-blow, hand-by-hand account of the experience.

Unlike James McManus in Positively Fifth Street, Moneymaker eschews analyzing the psychology and milieu of the poker world in favor of his real interest: gambling. The result is a sophisticated deconstruction of the important hands Moneymaker played as the tournament progressed, many already famous among fans of the WSOP. For connoisseurs, this offers an entertaining and insightful insider analysis that will allow them to decide for themselves whether Moneymaker was fabulously lucky or played a skillful game and thus deserved his success. For the uninitiated, the excitement of Moneymaker's progression toward the big prize will be enough to thoroughly engage. Readers also get some surprisingly candid glimpses into a gambler's consciousness--one that reflects the myth of American exceptionalism, the idea that each of us is entitled to make and to break our own rules, and to make our own luck.


Paperback 240 pages (February 1, 2005)
 UK Amazon £9.00
 U$13.49

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time
by Michael Craig


"A thrilling portal into a culture the rest of us can scarcely imagine, this book plants the reader ringside for history's richest poker game, then won't let go until we know the hearts and minds of the world's greatest players, and the soul of the billionaire amateur who dared challenge them for everything they owned."
- Robert Kurson, New York Times bestselling author

The "professor" is Howard Lederer, a professional poker player whose rigorous analytical approach to the game earned him his nickname. The banker is Andy Beal, a multimillionaire obsessed with beating the world's best poker players at their game, limit Texas hold 'em, played for stratospheric stakes. The suicide king, a symbol of the aleatory nature of the endeavor, is the king of hearts, who holds his broadsword behind his head. It's a great mix, and Craig (The 5 Minute Investor) offers a knowledgeable and observant chronicle of the high-stakes games between Beal and the syndicate of professional players organized by the "Babe Ruth of poker," Doyle Brunson. The syndicate put up $10,000,000 to sit opposite Beal, trading $100,000 bets. Beal, for his part, took a mathematical approach, at one point running millions of computer simulations of various poker problems, in search of an edge against the pros, who rely on an uncanny intuition honed by thousands of hands. Craig includes enough details about the professionals to allow readers insight into their gambler personalities. Having interviewed many of the participants in this legendary poker battle, he describes it with an appropriate sense of awe, and readers will be awed as well.


Hardback 288 pages (June 2005)
 UK £4.58
 U$11.83

The Man Behind the Shades: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, the World's Greatest Poker Player
by Nolan Dalla, Peter Alson and Mike Sexton (Foreword)


Begun as an as-told-to by Dalla with Stuey Ungar, this biography tells in painful detail the story of the poker and gin superstar. Ungar is certainly a fascinating subject. He was prodigiously dysfunctional, a manic sports bettor and cocaine addict who won an estimated $30 million during his life, but who, after his death in 1998, needed a collection from his friends to pay for his funeral.

Unfortunately, the complexities of Ungar's personality aren't satisfactorily unraveled by the authors. They offer stories from the likes of poker legend Doyle Brunson and Mike Sexton, television's reigning poker guru, of Ungar's fabulous skills as a card player and spectacular need for "action," but few insights into the source of Ungar's self-destructive demons: he died prematurely at age 45 from the ravages of drug abuse. Without any analysis, the repetitious account of years of poker ups and downs, sports gambling losses, manic acts of generosity and descents into drug abuse, as tragic as it is, becomes tedious. Still, without distorting or downplaying Ungar's depredations, this is a heartfelt, respectful and accepting biography.


Hardback 316 pages (June 30, 2005)
 UK Amazon £11.29
 U$16.50 from Amazon USA

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