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Best of Howard Schwartz

Gaming Guru

 

Unique book focuses solely on Texas Hold'Em starting hands

4 October 2007

Just when you wonder if any new poker book will focus on what key area of Hold'em for the first time or better than any other work, it happens. Robert and William McCauley of Kirkland, WA, two serious players with more than a century of poker experience between them, have produced one of the beautifully-designed books ever, titled Texas Hold'em -- A Starting Hand Strategy for Internet & Live Play (259 pages, paperbound, $36.) Although it demands a somewhat hefty price, you'll see why when you discover it's loaded with color-coded charts covering virtually every possible situation a player might find himself in, and packed with tables, rationale and explanations in eight chunky chapters in 9x10 format. The wideness of the book is clearly indicated by the need to extend charts and table outwardly right, a rarity on the book publishing business.

The authors, brothers with a heavy technical background, reference 17 major poker works in this book, many of them by David Sklansky.

Clearly, the authors say "…players who lose consistently play too many starting hands." But the solution isn't that simple. Which starting hands should be folded and in what circumstances?

The question is among the most asked wherever poker books are sold "Can one devise a legitimate, systematic approach to playing Texas hold 'em that will enable one to consistently win? An approach that is based on skill, mathematics and logic? The answer is yes," say the authors.

But they do say this book "is not about a system. It will not enable you to routinely go to the $20-$40 hold'em table, play for a few hours, and leave with a couple of grand…it is about developing a habit of systematic play that is soundly based on the underlying mathematics of Hold 'em."

"This book provides a sophisticated, systematic method for evaluating every hold'em starting hand and makes playing recommendations for every playable hand, in most significant playing situations."

Included in discussions are a review of playing styles; different types of hands; the logic and profit potential of steal raising; trouble hands; how position influences the play of starting hands and an examination of the parameters that define starting hands. Also: charts of playing recommendations for quick reference on positional references -- for tight and loose players and competitiveness (aggressive or passive).

"This book examines both the underlying theories of poker as well as the practicalities of play," the authors add, and "your focus will be on making as few mistakes as possible while you capitalize on your opponents' mistakes."

The book is designed for beginners and experienced players. It contains a four-page index of concepts and a 15-page glossary of hold'em terms, plus a nicely arranged table of "outs."

Truly a worthy addition to any serious poker player's library.

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