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Gaming Guru

 

Rocket's College Basketball Workbook; Poker Wisdom by Brunson Hot Sellers

5 November 2003

Of the many new arrivals at Gambler's Book Club (Gambler's Book Shop) recently two in particular have generated plenty of excitement. The first is titled Rocket's College Basketball Workbook 2003 (251 pages, 8x11 plastic spiralbound, $34.95) and the other is Poker Wisdom of a Champion (which was previously titled According to Doyle) (198 pages, paperbound, $14.95).

Rocket's book (the name Rocket comes from the name of the author's sports service in Las Vegas) is unique because it is the only known book for the 2003 college basketball season which contains the schedules (as accurate as they could be gathered‹since teams sometimes change them to accommodate television) and adequate room to track the score, line, performance against the spread, the total (over or under should it be established for a game. It has room for post-season (tournament play) action also.

Why is the book unique? Because it takes time and patience to either contact hundreds of college teams or download the information from the Internet, and do it quickly, when the information is as accurate as it's going to get‹in time for the start of play. Then it has to be formatted, proofread, printed and collated. Everyone wants the final product but rarely does anyone want to do the grunt work to compile and produce it. Rocket did it and did it well. Anyone betting more than five units a game during this or any other season and who understands the value of record-keeping, tracking streaks, the fatigue factor, home court advantage among other things should appreciate how organized, ready-at-the-fingertips material can make the difference between a winning or losing season. This book should certainly help on the positive side.

For years, a quiet little book (published originally in 1984), which too many people took for granted originally thinking it would remain in print forever (it didn't) had gained a new following from a new generation of poker players. Originally titled According to Doyle, it disappeared from bookshelves for more than a decade. People were willing to pay $40 for a battered, used copy.

The book is back, now re-titled Poker Wisdom of a Champion. It is a collection of stories and advice from a World Series of Poker champion‹Doyle Brunson. (He captured back-to-back titles at Binion's in Las Vegas in 1976 and 1977). Considered one of the greatest no-limit holdŒem players of all time, Brunson also authored, with the assistance of several other world class players, the classic Super/System in 1978, which is still in print.

Brunson's book has soul‹maybe that's what makes it such a must-read. He writes about his own experiences, learning the game, against some of the world's toughest players. His experiences will help you apply what he personally learned the hard way. He passes on the information, with examples and colorful, juicy quotes. Reading this book is like listening to your granddaddy in a rocking chair, offering bits and pieces of some of the soundest advice, in the simplest terms, on how to get around tough situations, how to survive, how to read your opponents. It's a common-sense survival kit in the truest sense, and well worth your hard-earned dollar.

In all the years (more than 24 now) I've been writing book reviews, I can honestly say I've never been happier to see one particular book come back into print‹and at the height of poker popularity, it's even better, for a new generation of players who may have missed it the first time around. Get a copy and get smarter‹now.
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