CasinoCityTimes.com

Gurus
News
Newsletter
Author Home Author Archives Author Books Send to a Friend Search Articles Subscribe
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Related Links
Recent Articles
Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Poker tourneys, Cuba and the Mob; Lawrence's playbook sizzling sellers

2 July 2008

Nothing like a nice "variety pack" of books to choose from, I always say. Getting attention this time around are poker, the Mafia and football betting.

In order, the new arrivals are Winning Poker Tournaments (One Hand at a Time) by Eric (Rizen) Lynch, Jon (Apestyles) Van Fleet and Jon (Pearljammer) Turner (421 pages, paperbound, $29.95); Havana Nocturne (How the Mob Owned Cuba and Lost It to the Revolution) by T. J. English (396 pages, hardbound, $$27.95) and the ever-popular Playbook Football Handicapper's Yearbook by Marc Lawrence (246 pages, magazine, $9.95).

Winning Poker Tournaments has an introduction by Matthew Hilger, a respected world-class poker player who has penned three books of his own, including Texas Hold 'em Odds and Probabilities and The Poker Mindset. The three authors - Lynch, Turner and Van Fleet - are successful players online and Hilger has penned three previous books. Individually, they present a theme of theory meeting practice. The authors describe their decision-making process, "articulating exactly how they think through individual hands." (By the way, this is Vol. I, with Vol. II due in 2009.)

Here, you'll see various styles offered. Examples: Turner focuses on managing the size of the pot to minimize his risk until he traps opponents. Van Fleet is aggressive and looks to build a quick stack, while Lynch has a conservative "sit-back approach" at times and will take risks in "high reward" situations. Thus the reader gets to see various styles and how they were played.

There are 194 hands analyzed and illustrated. You'll be able to sit back, agree, disagree, incorporate the authors' way of playing into your own and best of all, you'll be analyzing, synthesizing and honing your skills to be a better tournament player.

Havana Nocturne by T. J. English (he also wrote Paddy Whacked and The Westies and has written for TV's "NYPD Blue") focuses on organized crime, political corruption and international conflict which took place in Cuba in the 1950s. English's well-indexed, illustrated book includes Meyer Lansky, Lucky Luciano, Fulgencio Batista, Dino and Eddie Cellini, Santo Trafficanti, Bugsy Siegel, Frank Sinatra, the Riviera and Tropicana casinos, the Kefauver hearings and of course, Fidel Castro among others.

This is an in-depth analysis and investigation of "the Mob's heyday" in Cuba and some facts the movie "Godfather II," where the scenes were played out in fiction, might have skipped.

What went right, then wrong and how it all worked in the 50s makes a fascinating read covering an era little was known about until English did his stupendous research.

For 16 years, Marc Lawrence's Playbook Football Handicapper's Yearbook has been a bettor's delight. With a focus on both college and pro football, room to keep records, a listing of number of returnees and lettermen and 10 years of results plus totals (for pros only), it's a marvelous compilation to prepare the beginner or serious bettor for the 2008 season. The stadium surfaces (grass, Astroturf, etc.) are listed and there's room to keep records on every game, along with a dozen or so good, bad or just plain ugly angles to consider.

The entire exhibition season is listed with room for results along with pre-season trends. There's an analysis of regular-season totals in home-away, division and non-division games plus how teams did by the month since 1990 and even after a week's rest or in their first or last regular-season game.

Wondering how teams did under coaches or off a win or loss or after a Sunday- or Monday-night game or when a certain player is at quarterback? Lawrence tells you in easy-to-read charts. There are also some dandy essays to make you a better handicapper. Overall Lawrence and his staff have done a marvelous job of compiling 5,000 trends and predictions in a well-priced package of information.
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