Reading Is Fundamental - Even In the World of High Stakes Poker

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27 June 2007, Created By: Martin Derbyshire
Reading Is Fundamental - Even In the World of High Stakes Poker
At first I found it kind of funny seeing Chris "Jesus" Ferguson reading through Howard Lederer's Limit Hold'em theories contained in the Michael Craig edited Fill Tilt Poker Strategy Guide - Tournament Edition as he sat in on the $2,000 Limit Hold'em WSOP Event 43 that kicked off at the Rio Tuesday.

Seriously, Jesus, a member of Team Full Tilt, has five World Series of Poker Bracelets including one from the 2000 Main Event and he's reading a book on how to play poker.

But then it dawned on me; We are all students of the game - even the best in the world.

If you want to get better at just about anything, reading and studying up on how the best go about their business can never be considered a bad move.

 

What's New?
Sklansky - Poker Theorist!

In the past, Ferguson himself has credited David Sklansky's Hold'em for the Advanced Player and Theory of Poker for improving his game.

Although there are a few out there who feel the game is best played on feel after you've got the basics down, you would be hard pressed to find a top poker player who feels reading Doyle Brunson's Super System: A Course in Power Poker is a waste of time. If you are looking to improve your game the updated Super System 2 is a must read as well.

Although Barry Greenstein will give you a copy of his Ace on the River: an Advanced Poker Guide if you bust him out of a tournament at the WSOP, waiting for that moment to happen may take a lot longer than forking over the $16.50 to Amazon and waiting for the paperback to arrive.

 

Barry Greenstein
Ace On The River.

Greenstein's book is an easy read, chock full of the kind of things that are going through Barry's head when he's on the felt and not just basic strategy.

Personally, I'm a big fan of The Biggest Game in Town by A. Alvarez.

It's not your typical poker book filled with hand strategy. Instead, Alvarez takes readers inside the 1981 WSOP and provides insights straight from the source on how the best minds in poker work.

Legends Doyle Brunson, Bobby Baldwin are all featured in the text and their thoughts on the game and a life spent in it are priceless.

Poker is the kind of game where getting inside another player's head is key. Any read that puts you inside a top pro's mind has to be helping your game.

 

James McManus
Positively James McManus.

If you're just looking for a great Poker related book to entertain yourself and keep your mind focused on the game, I also highly recommend James McManus' Positively Fifth Street. McManus penned the book while at the 2000 WSOP covering the event for Harper's magazine. He blew his advance getting himself into the Main Event, then proceeded to make the final table. Again, there's very little in the way of poker strategy inside the book, but it does contain a running commentary on the Ted Binion murder trial and a look inside Las Vegas' seedy past. It's definitely a page turner.

Next on my own list to read is Phil Hellmuth Jr.'s Play Poker Like the Pros. The book has received few if any rave reviews in the poker world, but I find it very tough to argue with the kind of strategy that brings home 11 WSOP Gold Bracelets. If there's some way I can emulate Phil's tremendous tournament play from reading the tips in that book, I'm going to kick butt at my regular home game.

 

Phil Hellmuth
11!!

For those of you who can't stand Hellmuth because he's a cocky, whiny, know-it-all loudmouth, there's always Blair Rodman and Lee Nelson's Kill Phil.

I've mentioned it in my blog before because I'm not sure there is a way to kill Phil, but Rodman and Nelson lay out a top notch strategy for Hold'em players designed to crack the Phil Ivey, Phil Gordon, Phil Hellmuth "play the nuts" and "grind it out" approach to tournament poker.

 

Chris
Avid reader!

Whether you want to improve your game or just find some entertaining reading, I can always recommend checking out the Editor's Picks page right here on on PokerListings.com.

There you will find reviews of some of the best and worst poker books of all time. Because if Chris "Jesus" Ferguson is reading them, so should you!

 

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