Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Book Review: "Hold'em Wisdom for All Players" by Daniel Negreanu

I just finished reading "Hold'em Wisdom for All Players" and I was very impressed. It isn't a technical book of poker science like Sklansky and it isn't a deep "How-To" manual like Harrington. But on its scale and merit, I think this book is a blockbuster.

The first thing one will notice is the price. $14.95 is peanuts in today's world of poker books. I figured "If it stinks, I didn't spend a fortune." The next thing to be noticed is the size of the book. While not pocket-sized, it does come in at a lightweight 166 pages. At first glance, this may seem like this could be a book without substance (even the 1st 14 pages are intro stuff and the table of contents). But in my opinion, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Another thing I personally noticed about the actual book was the page font. It is light and pleasant, which I believe promotes an easier read. This point may seem like ridiculous filler thought up by a high-schooler to satisfy his word quota for a book report, but I am serious. I'm the type of reader who can get mentally worn out by focusing on bold print for too long. It took me 6 months to read Sklansky's "The Theory of Poker" and I believe it was because I could only digest 5-10 pages worth of poker science in textbook-style print at a time. I was reading this book in 20-30 page spurts and finished it in about 2 weeks.

The cover of Daniel's book touts "50 powerful tips to make you a winning player". While a few of his tips are not really tips (1 rant about how soft playing is cheating and another about how the odds are against a pro player winning the World Series again) and a few are very basic beginner stuff, a good majority of Daniel's tips do live up to their billing (maybe 35-40). The tips are set up as 50 small 2-3 page chapters, which I think makes for easy future reference. Things like "Pondering Pocket Jacks", "Bullying a Bully", and "Top 10 Trouble Hands" are just a few examples of Daniel's quite useful insight well explained in a manner that is noticably in his style. You can tell this was actually written by him and not just a corporate expansion of a few of his ideas.

This book is such a refreshing change of pace from the sometimes tedious poker reads that many feel are required for any true student of the game. It won't wear you out. It won't take a lot of repeat digestion. There is something for most players at nearly every level of expertise. I think just about anyone is bound to read something from this book and think "Gee, I never thought of it that way."

Considering its price and size, I highly recommend this book for all but the most elite of poker players. That means it's a great value for the average and above-average Joe.


1nickthegreek said...

My copy just mailed out today, thanks for the review Stick, sounds like it defintely isn't a book I will dislike!!

Alexander Zeus said...

Good post, very nice to read and pass the time. thanks

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