Poker books for budding pros

August 14, 2007 1:00 AM
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Three poker players, Matt Flynn, Sunny Mehta and Ed Miller, have written a marvelous book for "people who play all stakes, live and online, short-handed and full ring." In the work titled Professional No-Limit Hold’em:Vol. 1 (314 pages, paperbound, $29.95), the authors include five major sections.

They start with the basics and fundamentals and move quickly into what they call the REM Process "a series of steps that will guide you through every no-limit decision, from whether to call a pre-flop raise to whether to try a daring all-in river bluff." In this unique and interesting collaboration the authors break new ground. (The R stands for Range of Hands; the E for equity and the M for maximize.) In this vital section, they focus on knowing your opponents; being able to observe their tendencies including physical tells and betting pace; calculating equity against the range of hands and finding logical reasons for betting or raising or checking at optimum time.

The discussions on value betting, bluffing, when to fold are innovative thinking at its best. With sample, example hands, the book flows, has balance and is easy to digest once you’ve decided to stay with it to improve your game.

Sections discussing stack-to-pot ratios (SPR) are vital reading — this includes material on hand strength, opponent tendencies; strategy against different opponents; playing top pair or an overpair; and making adjustments.

The book is nicely indexed to help isolate key concepts. It can be read by beginners, but soon moves to more advanced concepts, so it should be digested slowly, underlined, bookmarked and practiced gradually. It’s one of those books you can read then reread, each time finding something new that should help you excel in these popular games.

This book and more are available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club). The store’s web site is www.gamblersbook.com; or call toll free, 1-800-522-1777.