Top 10 Best Poker Books of the Last 10 Years

30 December 2009, Created By: Daniel Skolovy
Top 10 Best Poker Books of the Last 10 Years

The last ten years have opened the flood gates of poker literature. Everybody and their dog wrote a book to cash in on the poker craze.

Most of them were downright awful but there were a few really solid books written.

It's impossible to tell the good from the bad at first glance, so we went ahead and did all of the heavy lifting for you by chronicling the best 10 poker books of the last 10 years.

#10 - Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen


In 2007 Gus Hansen outlasted 747 players for a $1.2 million win at the Aussie Millions to add to his four WPT titles and countless massive tournament scores.

In Every Hand Gus goes into amazing detail about over 300 hands that he played en route to victory.

During the tournament Hansen could be seen whispering into his voice recorder after every hand. Here's your chance to hear what he was saying.


#9 - Check-Raising the Devil by Mike Matusow


Mike Matusow's road to the top of the poker world was not a smooth one.

From humble beginnings as a video poker degenerate to low limit poker player/ dealer to the Main Event final table to jail and back again.

In Check-raising the Devil Matusow waives the fifth and tells all, whether it’s flattering or not.


#8 - Sit 'n’ Go Strategy by Collin Moshman


Online poker popularized single-table tournaments and for the longest time there were no strategy books on the subject.

That all changed when Collin Moshman wrote the definitive book on sit-and-go play.

If you play sit ‘n’ gos at all and you haven't read Sit 'n’ Go Strategy you're leaving money on the table.


#7 - Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo


This is a poker strategy book with no real poker strategy. Tommy Angelo doesn't want to teach you to play poker, he knows you know how to play poker. He wants to teach you how to play your best poker.

You can be the best player in the world when you're on your A-game, but if you only play you’re A-game 20 per cent of the time you're not going to be very profitable.

Conversely, a player that's nowhere near the best in the world but consistently plays his A-game is always going to be profitable. 

Elements of Poker teaches you how to stay at the top of your game and ultimately become a better poker player.


#6 - Positively Fifth Street by James Mcmanus


In 2000 James Mcmanus was sent to Vegas by Harper's Magazine to write stories on women in the WSOP and Ted Binion's murder.

When he got there, however, he took his front money and entered a satellite to the Main Event. He improbably went on to final table it and wrote a book detailing all three story lines.

Positively Fifth Street is an improbable “only in Vegas” story that can't be missed.


#5 - Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People by Amarillo Slim 


Though the title makes no sense, In a World Full of Fat People tells the tale of one of the greatest gamblers of all time.

He beats a Chinese Ping Pong champion using Coke bottles for paddles. He beats Minnesota fats at pool with a broomstick. He gets robbed at gun point more often than I can count.

He wins the WSOP Main Event and he does it all and for higher stakes than you or I could even imagine.

A book could be written about just one of these stories but Slim’s got a hundred. 

#4 - Small Stakes Hold'em by Ed Miller


Unless you’re playing Limit Hold’em you probably missed this book.

However, Limit player or not, that would be a huge mistake. Small Stakes Hold'em is probably the best book for novice poker players

It goes through everything you need to be a winning poker player: expected value, pre-flop hand ranking guides, adjusting for tight and loose games, odds, implied odds, everything.

Even for players wanting to play No-Limit Hold'em this should be the foundation you build your game on.


#3 - One of a Kind: The Rise and Fall Of Stu Ungar by Nolan Dall and Peter Alson


Stu Ungar was a lot of things. He was a father, a drug addict, a poker player, the best gin rummy player to have ever lived, a degenerate, and one of only two players to win the WSOP Main Event 3 times.

That alone would make for an interesting enough book but One of A Kind goes above and beyond and brings you the stories behind the stories.

It’s gripping and heart-wrenching and you won't be able to put it down.


#2 - Harrington On Hold'em 1 & 2 by Dan Harrington


Fresh off an improbable back-to-back Main Event final-table performance Dan Harrington released two of the greatest books ever written on tournament poker. 

These games changed the way tournament poker was played, and many great tournament players owe a lot to these two books.

If you’re a tournament player these are the first two books you should have on your shelf.


#1 - The Professor the Banker and Suicide King by Michael Craig


In 2001 a billionaire banker by the name Andy Beal strolled into the Bellagio Poker Room. It didn't take long before he was playing for the highest stakes in history.

The games took place over a number of years, and each year Beal came back better and better.

But that didn't stop a “corporation” of poker players from pooling their money and taking turns playing the Dallas billionaire heads-up with at mind boggling high-stakes ranging from $500/$1,000 to $50,000/$100,000 limit hold'em.

Michael Craig tells the story of an amateur who takes on the best in the world for the highest stakes ever. If that doesn’t make you read it nothing will.


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Kasper 2010-01-07 14:11:38

Aussie Millions isn't a WPT tournament. (Gus)

David Sklansky 2009-12-31 22:09:02

2+2 Representing pretty hard here.



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