Review's on books's about Poker and College Football

Jun 28, 2011 3:00 AM

Here’s a good way to satisfy your thirst for action in a fun no-limit hold’em game. Curl up with a copy of poker guru Owen Gaines’ new book, Poker Math That Matters, Simplifying the Secrets of No-Limit Hold’em (210 pgs., $24.95). Gaines gives you the goods in a palatable, even tasty, recipe that clears up complex concepts for those of us who are "math challenged."

I checked some reader reports on Amazon. The verdict was unanimous: This one’s a winner. Starting with a basic chapter titled "Getting Started with Numbers," Gaines explains each math concept as it relates to poker, laying out multiple hand examples showing the concept and how it affects your chances of winning.

Each sample hand pits hero against villain, with a question for you to answer. The fun part comes in the quiz questions at the end of each chapter. Poker Math is sure to educate, entertain and show by math how to make more money. The Brewfest takes place outside on the patio and courtyard. chased at the event. All guests must be 21 years or older.

I’d like to balance the sports betting advice in this review with an NFL handicapping book followed by a college gridiron book – but until the greedy pro football owners and their greedy players get off their high horses and settle their dispute, I can’t do that.

So, I’ll adopt the stance that Bill Bravenec takes in his book, The College Football Handicapper, subtitled "How to Beat the Spread in College Football" (140 pgs., $19.95), namely, it’s easier to beat the spread betting college games than betting the pros. "Once I quit trying to pick the pros," he says, "I became a winner."

Bravenec contends the college game is more "true to form," primarily because in college, "every game is a play-off game. Players are giving their best shot not only for the team but also because of the chance to turn pro and make the big time."

Aren’t the pros also giving their best for the team" No, Bravenec says, they’re mostly playing for "individual recognition and hoping for a bigger paycheck."

The author begins his clearly presented advice by advising bettors to make straight bets only; that is, "a bet on only one contest, either against the spread or on the over/under." He strongly advises avoiding sucker bets, which include parlays and teasers.

After explaining an easy-to-grasp money management system based on the dollar amount you’re willing to risk rather than the betting unit system often proffered by tout services, Bravenec gives readers the skinny on how to analyze the statistics of team match-ups using College and Pro Football Newsweekly as his primary source of team and player stats.

Culminating the advice part of his narrative, Bravenec backs up his handicapping method by graphically laying out the 60 picks he made during the 2005-2006 season, in which he won 40 and lost 20 for a pretty amazing 67 percent winning record. It’s hard to argue with success!

These books and thousands of other titles are available at Gambler’s Book Club in Las Vegas. You can order them at, where you can view the store’s complete line of books, or by phone at 1-800-522-1777 or 702-382-7555 M-F 9-7 and Sat 10-6. Opened in 1964, GBC is located at 5473 S. Eastern between Tropicana and Russell, just a short drive from the Strip or the airport.