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Greenstein's Ace On The River -- Powerful Advice For Cash Players

30 June 2005

Barry Greenstein, one of poker's most successful, respected money players on the planet--and a top tournament player as well-ranks among the most well-regarded, educated and unorthodox individuals ever to play the game. Doyle Brunson calls him "the consummate professional poker player," adding, "His attitude, demeanor at the table, and approach to the game sets him apart from most pros." Brunson considers Greenstein in his "top ten all-time best poker players." And as an example of what the man is like, you should understand that Greenstein does something few players do. He contributes his tournament winnings to charities--most keyed to children.


His first book, Ace on the River (316 pages, paperbound, $25) has just been published. It is, in Greenstein's own words, designed ..."for professional poker players and those aspiring to become professionals."


He is blunt and honest in his approach to the game. "Many assertions in the book are not based on scientific study or mathematical proof. They are only the results of my observations." (He did write computer programs to verify some of the material with the results available on his web site).


Greenstein's background is fascinating. Although he won't admit to being a genius, he probably is. He began playing poker at age 12. He would earn a college degree in three years and would spend another decade earning a graduate degree in mathematics (while playing poker). In many ways, Greenstein might be called "brutally honest" when writing about his own life--his victories and losses; the people he met, who influenced him; who he learned from.


The book is an extraordinary mixture of preparation-to-survive material; an inside look at a world unto itself because only the sharpest survive to fight another day and advice from one of the best ever.


Who are the casino personnel you'll eventually encounter as a pro; what percentage of the playing "community" are pros; what are stake horses; who are the wannabes; who are the hangers-on; the predators?


Greenstein discusses superstition; attitude (handling issues in your life mirrors how you will play poker); survival tips ("adjustments"); what separates winners from losers; why poker is a game of personalities; why poker players "tend to be borderline compulsive and why most poker players don't have "a long term plan to improve their playing ability."


For many who want to cut to the chase--get to the point immediately--, Chapter 11, Making Money, gets it all going, followed by Holding Onto Your Money.


Here, Greenstein warns and advises poker players who often get involved in sports betting of the dangers; discusses how to protect against cheaters; and expresses why family support and regard for your own family should be "first priority."


One provocative chapter involves the controversy of who the best player in the world is and how that determination can ever be made.


Greenstein examines the role of gambling in society, throughout history and how poker has taught him to analyze issues from different perspectives.


Just how much mathematical ability is required to become a good player? Is it more important to be able to think logically? Can mathematics be misused at the tables? Does mastery of the concepts of game theory "separate the top players" from the rest?


The book discusses money management; presents "play lessons" such as "You often play the same hand differently against different opponents or under different circumstances," and how to recognize scare cards that may allows you to bluff opponents.


Packed with color photos, nice large, easy to read type, the book mixes in innovative ideas with personal experience and sample hands. It is a rare combination of intuition, the need to teach--to help players improve their game--and their approach to life.


The section on No-Limit Tournament Hands is one of the best, along with Tables for Hold'em After the Flop (if the number of outs is known, what is the chance of winning?) and a look at typical drawing hands that produce a certain number of outs on the flop.


Bottom line, quoting Brunson about this special book: "...contains a lot of stuff I knew but had never seen written."


My sentiments exactly. Bravo Greenstein.


Greenstein's Ace On The River -- Powerful Advice For Cash Players is republished from Online.CasinoCity.com.
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com
Howard Schwartz
Howard Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," was the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he held from 1979 to 2010, when he retired. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry.

Howard Schwartz Websites:

www.gamblersbook.com