Thursday, September 18, 2008

Book Review: "52 Tips for No-Limit Texas Hold'em Poker" by Barry Shulman

Here's another book review to add to the good ol' blog archive and I wish it was a good one. Unfortunately, it isn't.

The 135-page "52 Tips for No-Limit Texas Hold'em Poker" book, written by Barry Shulman with Roy Rounder in 2006, touts itself on the back cover as a book for "poker players of any skill level." That statement couldn't be farther from the truth. The only players who might get full use out of this book are brand new players with less than a few months poker experience. Having played for over 3 years, I think I found only about 5 or 6 tips of much use to me. Everything else was very, very basic. From my experience, most of the books I've read or skimmed that spell out the entire name of the game in their title like this one turn out to be beginner books (very few exceptions). The next warning sign that this book wasn't going to be all it was cracked up to be for me was the 2 endorsements on the back cover. They are from Daniel Negreanu and Phil Helmuth. Each contain exactly 3 sentences and the 2nd one in both endorsements are nearly identical sentences. Not a good reflection on the book at all, especially knowing the fact that the main author is the publisher of Card Player magazine.

So as I was reading through the book, I noticed the 52 tips plus 1 "bonus" tip were presented as small chapters with interesting names like "Position Is Crucial" & "Learning Odds The Easy Way" and each presented hope that I'd read something I could really use. But alas, 90% of them were a disappointment in that they were mostly just outlines of basic poker steps. Some even were so short that they wouldn't even take up a page without having a table graphic or chapter separator tossed in.

Though most of the tips in the book can be used in both types of no-limit hold'em games, the author mentions how the tips apply to tournaments quite a bit and barely mentions cash games. I think this actually could give a beginning player the wrong impression. Then to top it off, the book has quite a few typesetting errors in some of the paragraph headings. A bit of a surprise to me coming from a magazine company.

So though this book isn't horrible and I might mildly recommend it to a greenhorn poker beginner, I'll have to NOT recommend it at all to anyone with more than a few months of poker experience under their belt. There are too many other 2nd-level/intermediate poker books out there that a newish player would get more out of reading.

There is actually a similarly written book that is better than this one that I do recommend.

** For more poker book reviews from Stick, check out the right side margin of the blog.

1 comment:

Alexander Zeus said...

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