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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Three new Greenblatt poker books hit the GBC shelves

1 May 2008

It's extremely rare for one author to write and publish and release three books within the space of one year, but Kim Isaac Greenblatt has done just that, presenting material for two versions of hold'em and one for pineapple. The three new titles are "$40 No-Limit Texas Hold'em: Ring and Tournament Games" (217 pages, paper bound, $20); "Practical Low and No Limit Texas Hold'em Ring Games" (158 pages, paper bound, $17.95) and "Crazy Pineapple 8-or-Better Poker" (137 pages, paper bound, $17.95).

The "No-Limit" text contains six major sections, including "How to Handle Lady Luck When She Turns Against You"; "$40 NL Ring Game Mixed Aggression"; and "$40 NL Sit and Go Single Table Tournament." This book is what you'd call "generic" in format, designed to get the point across with no frills. Large print, little to no mathematics and no displayed playing cards to break up the text (you'll see 8c as eight of clubs for example) and many examples of what the author calls Good or Bad play. Greenblatt analyzes his own mistakes while reflecting what opponents' hand are. Much of his advice is common sense and personal observation boiled down into concise nuggets. He's very honest about why he wrote the books -- to raise money for Rett Syndrome, a difficult-to-diagnose developmental disorder that affects mostly young girls and for which there is no cure. He admits to having no illusions about being a world class player, and although he doesn't love the game, he's pretty good at it.

"Practical Low and No-Limit Texas Hold'em Ring Games" includes sections on binomial distribution on low-limit ring games; and Low $3/6 ring game examples. Here he cautions that he makes a meager income at these low-limit games and he is imparting information about what works for him. He presents eight succinct rules that have seen him through both good and bad times at the tables. He offers most of his advice in the first 49 pages, and from there on he presents hands he's been in and the analysis of same. With large print and plenty of advice on how poker is just a game that, like life, will eventually end, he reminds players that they are in the game to make money more than to have fun.

The crazy pineapple book has super large print. It will certainly help the visually impaired. Among the eight chapters are those on Low and Middle Hands and some strategies.

He admits most readers will probably end up playing this version of poker in home games since it's not often spread in casinos or card clubs. He flat out admits his strategies are just his and they may differ from what other authors present but since they work for him, they might work for you.

In more than 25 years of reviewing books, including more than 100 on the subject of poker, I've never seen an approach like the one Greenblatt offers. It's an honest combination of self-taught information and knowledge both read and gained from experience. He's obviously not totally devoted to poker and cautions people to think twice before becoming totally serious and dedicated to the game. Overall, Greenblatt can be commended for using poker for something other than fame and fortune. While his books may not become the same kind of best-sellers we see penned by famous names, they can add value to anyone looking for additional information about the game.

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