Guidebooks for WNBA fans and bettors

May 19, 2009 5:03 PM
Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz |

Workbook’s a ‘must’ for fans of the league

The Dream, The Sky, The Fever are three of the colorful nicknames for women’s pro basketball teams, but the best of the best when it came to playing was the Detroit Shock, which won it all last season, beating San Antonio’s Silver Stars three straight in the finals, covering the spread easily in each game.

The WNBA season begins in early June this year, and those who follow the game will benefit by the bargained-priced 2009 WNBA Workbook from RME (32 pages, 8x11 plastic spiral-bound, $10). The book lists 13 teams with schedules and room to keep records, including spreads, totals, how each game ended straight up and against the line.

Also, you can see how a team performed for the last three seasons straight up, against the spread, in over and under situations and average points scored. There’s a chart for each team showing 2008 final stats indicating performance as a road dog or favorite, after a straight up win or loss and how they did against conference teams or non conference. Rosters for teams are listed (no height or weight, but number of years experience is indicated along with their college).

Somewhat helpful are Active Trends such as the fact that Detroit is 5-1 against the spread versus Western Conference teams or that Phoenix is 17-6 when playing on Friday.

The WNBA season ends in September.

Two other books of "specialized note" are Aprende a Jugar al Poquer en Internet Con Los Pelayos (175 pages, paper bound, $19.95), a Spanish language book on playing hold’em on the Internet, would be the perfect guide for Hispanics learning the game live or on the ‘net.

Colorfully illustrated, the book, published in Spain, prepares players for basic play, pre- and post-flop play, the turn and the river. The book, published in 2005, discusses key areas such as how to act depending on your table position (with colorful, easy to use charts), and although the book does have a strong approach to Internet play, it should help the live-game novice improve his or her game.

Few books have ever been written on the game of Liar’s Poker. John Archer wrote a beauty in 1982, titled Liars Poker; A Winning Strategy (70 pages, paperbound, $4.95). The book has six major sections, including how the game is played, basic and advanced strategy, habits, mannerisms and tricks you may wish to adopt or begin to "read" of opponents’ play, rules, procedures and precautions and variations of the game. The book also has a seven-page glossary of terms.

These books and many more are available from Gambler’s Book Shop (Gambler’s Book Club). The store’s web site is; or you can call toll free at 1-800-522-1777.

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