DUCY: Esoterism at its best

February 23, 2010 4:59 PM
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Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz |

Okay, the title: It’s a cute and somewhat abstract if you don’t frequent the Internet forums, and it’s from two educated guys with plenty to say.

But say it slowly: "Do You See Why?"

At first glance it might throw some people off balance, but the subtitle will help. DUCY: Exploits, Advice, and Ideas of the Renowned Strategist, the 312-page paperbound ($24.95), co-authored by David Sklansky and Alan Schoonmaker, combines math, logic, psychology and probability theory, while improving your ability to identify and even manipulate other people’s thought and desires. The book is a collection of material based on questions and comments on the publisher’s online forums.

Sklansky clearly admired the late Bob Stupak’s individual thinking and innovations. If you liked Stupak, the Sklansky section on the late entrepreneur’s keno promotion, the game of Experto 21, moving the line, not the spread, Stupak’s slot tourney, how Sklansky invented Caribbean Studd are little gems to be enjoyed and learned from.

Later on, Sklansky expounds on changing people’s risk-reward equation, ideas about making and saving money through intuitive thinking.

Methinks Sklansky yearns to be a truly contrarian political analyst and enjoys involvement in controversial subjects like prostitution, drugs, stem research, gun control laws and ethnic profiling. He understands how politicians think and "cuts to the chase" with examples and logic – which you may or may not agree with.

While Sklansky is mostly known for his poker expertise, this is not a book that focuses on poker theory or how to win at the tables, although some of the principles he advocates can be applied to risk-taking scenarios. One 17-page section titled Why Poker is Good for You is illuminating in how it applies to life itself and what we can learn from our experiences at the table. But the book is more like searching for an edge in many real-life situations courtesy of Sklansky, with Schoonmaker (who has a doctorate in psychology), offering alternatives, options or filling in gaps. Together they make an intellectually interesting team.

"Parts of this book may be irritating or challenging, but reading it should help you break out of the narrow box of your own thinking, analyze situations in new and creative ways and make immeasurably better decisions," Dr. Schoonmaker says.

The book also contains a 17-page index of people, subjects and sub-topics for easy reference.

This book is available at Gambler’s Book Shop. The store’s website is www.gamblersbook.com; or call 1-800-522-1777. Orders usually shipped the next working day.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Howard Schwartz

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