This brilliant little book (213 pages), published in 2007, represents an excellent chance to transform the careful student into a Limit Hold’em ninja disguised with mastery. It sums up the game in two principles: play the game and play against the enemy. He draws up a step-by-step plan on how to look like a complete poker freak, take a beating, get out of the game with lots of money and, most importantly, leave the distinct impression that you are nothing more than a lucky donk . The game is aimed primarily at a live gaming audience. The prose itself is delicious. Our hero is clearly a storyteller, and it is easy to believe that he is also a novelist, as stated.
The book begins by explicitly stating its purpose, in capital letters: “READ THIS BOOK IF YOU WANT TO AVOID THE LIMIT, STILL BE A CONSISTENT WINNER AT THE POKER TABLE.” Your self-disclosure may explain part of your motivation. He claims to have been eliminated from a WSOP Main Event, just before the final table. He lost to an atrocious suck-out, achieved by none other than Stu Ungar, who ended up winning the bracelet. This seems to have been a revelation to our author: no-limit hold’em, especially in tournament style, is a crapshoot, played by those who crave fame. Constant money can be found at the limit tables, especially with skillfully disguised skills. Although I also prefer no-limit, it is refreshing to see an entirely different perspective, especially one with such a good mood.
So, how does someone look like a pigeon? The keys involve image management and a basic understanding of the game’s crazy odds BandarQQ Online. If you learn to look at a guy giving a bad beat talk with an empty look of confusion, you’re on the right track. If you combine that knowledge with the statistical strangeness that any two hole cards will hit a strong flop once in thirteen, then you have the ingredients for a disguised donk. In an average limit session, give the pot of ridiculously early positions with garbage 15 or more attempts. Lift it up. If you hit hard, play to the end with all the stupid moves, like checking on the flop and raising on the turn. So when the guy in position (who did everything “right” à la Sklansky) criticizes you for not having any knowledge of poker, you just give a confused smile. Whenever you make a mistake, you just let go and no one thinks twice.
My favorite chapter, “Tells Don’t Tell – People Do”, is a critique of tell. The author finds ridiculous the notion of powers similar to Kreskin’s reading a villain’s hole cards. He offers a detailed analysis of the crucial hand between Sammy Farha and Chris Moneymaker from the 2003 Main Event, suggesting that more attention to the betting patterns of the hand, rather than the man himself, may have earned Sammy the bracelet instead of his stack was hampered by a cold bluff on the river. He analyzes the behavior of the players in detail and then repeats the same hand as if it were played online, with nothing but available betting patterns. I don’t know if I’m quite convinced by his arguments, especially after reading Joe Navarro, but it’s a good reminder that at least 90% of what you need to know comes from the player’s actions, not whether he bets with his left or right hand.
In short, this is an informative and entertaining book. There are many excellent books on poker techniques and odds, and this book has it all. What sets this book apart is the use of good poker stories to show the key points. If you enjoy good poker and good prose, this is a delightful read and if you would like to win money in live limit games through a carefully staged deception, so much the better.