Pwn your gift list with books, games


With Christmas around the corner and the novelty of chip sets and card tables likely a thing of the past, it's time to get a bit more creative when it comes to shopping for the poker player in your family.

Here, PokerListings brings you a list of five worthwhile poker books and video games that will enlighten and entertain poker players of all ages and abilities this holiday season.

Every Hand Revealed by H.O.R.S.E., with plenty of advice and strategy tips along the way. Most of these are provided by Phil Hellmuth; however, other appearances are made by the likes of Ferguson and Matusow.

Although the single-player mode of the game is fine for those just learning the game, the multiplayer aspect is definitely the best part of Battle for the Bracelets. It allows players to get into real scenarios with live competition.

Another cool feature is the ability to access virtual versions of some of the most exclusive poker rooms in Las Vegas as you build your bankroll.

Harrington on Cash Games: How to Win at No-Limit Hold 'Em Money Games, Volume I and II by Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie

In these nearly 800 pages of collective wisdom on how to take people's money in cash games both live and online, Dan Harrington once again demonstrates why he is not only one of the most legendary poker players of all time but one of the best poker instructors of all time as well.

With help from Harrington's coauthor Bill Robertie, these two books provide a foundation for intermediate Texas Hold'em players eager to improve their game. The books are particularly useful for Limit players who want to make the jump to No-Limit stakes.

The content analyzes real high-stakes hands played by poker pros such as Daniel Negreanu and Mike Matusow. Topics covered include the fundamental principles of poker, hand strength, hand-reading skill, in-depth tight-aggressive style, pre-flop and post-flop play as well as loose-aggressive style and big blind and small blind play.

Poker Smash

Although it's not exactly the type of video game somebody looking to make the jump to playing poker professionally might benefit from, Poker Smash is a puzzle-based, rising block game (à la Tetris) that will be a big help in developing a quick understanding of poker hands for players new to the game.

Players are presented cards arranged in five columns with new cards being added at varying speeds from the bottom. The objective of the game is to line up three or more cards in horizontal or vertical poker hands.

Poker Smash can be played in single or multiplayer modes, and scoring is based on chip counts and the complexity of the hands players create. For example, a pair is worth less than two pair, a flush less than a full house, etc.

More Hold'em Wisdom for All Players by Daniel Negreanu

The follow-up book to Negreanu's very popular Hold'em Wisdom for All Players, this book is for beginner and novice players who want to play poker and win right now, which means pretty much 99% of poker players in the world.

The book is filled with 50 easy-to-read Texas Hold'em strategy tidbits from Negreanu's popular weekly poker advice column. They are based on both cash and tournament play, and Negreanu's fun-loving personality and strategic genius clearly come through, making this an easy and valuable read.

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