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3 fascinating books on the Poker

Aug 5, 2008 7:00 PM

Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz | Looking for variety in poker books? Here are three fascinating books on the game for players that provide plenty of valuable information.

The books are Poker Face Ė Mastering Body Language to Bluff, Read Tells and Win by Judi James (256 pages, paperbound, $14.95); Poker Unchecked by Russ Georgiev (286 pages, paperbound, $29.95) and Essential Poker edited by Graham Sharpe (157 pages, hard bound, $22.95).

James, identified as a "top body-language guru and image consultant," offers 16 chapters about lying, managing stress at the table, your own poker face, how to stare, behavior types and patterns and trash talk, among other areas. One chapter discusses playing online.

The book is well-detailed in outlining what you or opponents might be doing to bluff or accidentally giving away strengths or weaknesses with blinks, breathing, hand or eye movement.

Iíve never met or spoken with Georgiev, who calls himself, "Pokerís Most Controversial World Class Player." But he certainly has written a book that is stirring up much controversy. In 54 fast-moving sections, including a few titled Cheating 101 and 301 and To Cheat or Not to Cheat and CheatingÖ Marked Cards, the author covers a wide country of subjects.

He has something to say or teach about no-limit and pot-limit play; how to win a major tournament; Omaha, Omaha Split, Low Ball Draw, Pineapple, Seven Stud and women in poker. Georgiev apparently hasnít made many friends at the tables. Several customers of the Gamblers Book Shop, respected players, asked us not to carry the books. Apparently reverse marketing works.

The authorís advice, personal experiences and the dark side of playing cash games and tournaments make this an interesting read. The book may get you wondering, thinking, perhaps in the zone of "conspiracy theory."

"Essential Poker" by Sharpe (a British writer employed by a major UK bookmaker) is a fine reference source for those who love the game and are fascinated by quotes, sayings and great lines from the famous, infamous, players, authors, wits and philosophers.

The book is in alphabetical order of topic from Ability to World Champion. Itís a fun, entertaining reference.

Items reviewed here are available at the Gamblerís Book Shop or You can order using MasterCard, VISA or Discover (no CODs please) or phoning (1-800-522-1777) any day except Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Orders usually ship the next working day. The store, in its 44th year, is at 630 S. 11th St., Las Vegas, 89101.