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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

New Poker Books by Vorhaus, Largay Take Fresh Approaches

6 September 2006


If your poker library is already bulging and you're wondering what else there is to say about the game, consider this bit of logic and you'll understand why there is no end to what will be published in the future: The job of a new poker title is to accomplish one goal -- to teach the player, no matter what level he or she plays, to improve his or her game with at least one new idea, one new approach, one problem-solving concept. If it does this, then it has accomplished an admirable goal and that alone justifies the price of the book.

I won't mention the title, but about a year ago a world class poker player wrote a book that was essentially terrible. It had a few solid ideas but as one book buyer/player summed it up: "I tore out the three pages that had a fine idea or two and threw the rest of the book away."

That's taking it to the extreme of course, but in some ways, all new poker books offer some hope, some new idea to beginners, even seasoned old pros, who often solidify their present play with ideas from obsolete, hard-to-find classics which inspire or illuminate a forgotten principle or offer a new twist.

Two new books have arrived at Gambler's Book Shop this month -- one from an established author, a second from a newcomer who enjoys teaching and both provide the kind of gems that make them worth their salt. The first is Killer Poker Online 2 by John Vorhaus (300 pages, paperbound, $l4.95), who has established a solid reputation with five other books including Killer Poker and the Killer Poker Handbook. The second is by Angel Largay titled No-Limit Texas Hold'em‹a Complete Course (271 pages, paperbound, $24.95).

Vorhaus' new book provokes ideas. In it he makes you think, from ideas on why Internet poker might be better for some and what you can expect to getting your mind straight to sharpening your skills and adjusting.

"Stay flexible. Be willing to adapt." Vorhaus guides, directs, advises on SitNGo tournaments, how to identify and categorize opponents, playing in cash games, full ring games, playing short-handed. It's all there for the player willing to read, underline, highlight, absorb and apply.

Ever the thought provoker, Vorhaus brings up situations, makes you believe you're right there, then directs you to what he says is the proper behavior or tactic and justifies it all clearly. Along the way he personalizes his advice by telling you mistakes he made, what he learned and how you can profit by avoiding the pitfalls.

This is not a book for fragile egos or those who want a quick, shortcut approach to easy profits. You're going to have to take some lumps and learn from your mistakes and with Vorhaus' guidance; you'll be a better player.

Angel Largay has played in California, Alaska and Nevada and created a Poker Boot Camp in Las Vegas. His book is a direct result of teaching the game to beginners and those who needed improvement.

The book contains seven chapters, including one vital section on the mathematics of the game. In it he discusses low-limit no limit play; reading the board; recognizing draws; outs; how to choose the right game and recognizing player types and how to adjust to them. He teaches how to read the players, read the cards and pre-flop strategies. This section also includes playing big pairs; playing A-K and A-K suited, the suited connectors, trouble hands.

The post-flop section is one of the chunkiest in the book, detailing how to build a stack; flopping a draw; the double-paired board; nuts with a free-roll; when to slow play; the check-raise; playing a big stack or against one and short-handed play.

The tone of the book seems more toward the beginner who needs confidence than for an old pro looking for new ideas, but even a solid, experienced player should find new ideas in Largay's work, which clearly shows the influence of the classic theorist David Sklansky.
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