Omaha poker book finds home in live games

Aug 25, 2009 5:06 PM
Book Reviews by Howard Schwartz |

Pot Limit Omaha was mostly an Internet game, until players landed in live casinos and demanded the game be set up in card rooms and casinos. Dan Deppen’s Pot Limit Omaha 8 Revealed (186 pages, paperbound, $29.95) has lots of important information and this should keep poker players busy during the waning days of summer. Iskoe’s Pointspread Encyclopedia Andy Iskoe’s newest football statistical study is packed with all kinds of revelations, his latest focusing on colleges (147 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $29.95).

Pot Limit Omaha Revealed was written with the focus on 6-max (six players maximum) cash games, with concepts discussed applicable to full ring cash as well. The book presumes the player is familiar with both no-limit and pot-limit hold’em as well as Omaha itself, and is the player who wants a game with as much (or more) excitement and the potential to make good money as those two.

Only a handful of people seem to be able to pad their bankrolls in PLO8. These winners specialize in this version of poker and they are taking advantage of those individuals who don’t realize the subtleties involved. It was a game which has been played primarily on the Internet until recently when the net fans started asking for it in land-based casinos.

The book contains nine chapters with numerous charts and tables. It starts with a short chapter that details the basics and then moves to more advanced information about starting hands, pre-flop and post-flop play, advanced post-flop concepts, sit-n-go tourneys as well as multi-table tourneys.

Sample hands point out what can happen at each betting option with different cards coming on the flop, turn and river.

Author Deppen also discusses taking notes to analyze play, table awareness, bankroll management, online tells and reviewing your own hand histories. He details good and bad situations for bluffing and semi-bluffing and when to take shots. He makes suggestions such as playing heads-up sit-and-go tournaments to learn to read opponents.

Overall, Deppen covers a lot of ground here, making his work an important contribution to a winner’s library.

Iskoe’s Pointspread Encyclopedia—Vol. 3 College Football, offers some amazing tidbits, facts, patterns and potential trends for serious trend-seekers.

A sample: If you’re betting on UNLV this year, they are excellent as a home underdog, compiling a 12-6 record versus the spread since 2003, although the team has only won 19 games in the past six years.

Little Troy State’s Trojans of the Sun Belt Conference are 8-2 against the spread in conference road games in the past three seasons.

Looking at the big boys, Southern Cal is a mere 8-9 as a road favorite against the spread since 2006 and Oklahoma makes the alumni extremely happy, covering in 13 of 17 home games since 2006. Oklahoma is a remarkable 9-1 against the spread on artificial turf in the last three years as well.

Sometimes bettors ask the question about "smart money moves." (Iskoe defines the smart money move as being at least 1½ points.) In his book, Iskoe examines 19 seasons, more than 5,000 games, and tells you whether or not the smart money was "properly directed." So those wondering about Saturday "steam" games may finally get a clear picture of whether "smart money" was truly smart.

Overall, this is a fine time-saver, good for validating a theory or discovering a new angle.

Any item reviewed here is available from Gambler’s Book Shop. The store’s web site is; the toll free number is 1-800-522-1777. The store, opened in 1964, is located at 1550 E. Tropicana Suite #4, between Maryland Parkway and Spencer Avenue, two miles from the Strip.

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