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

 

Yao's Weighing the Odds; Fox & Harker's Mastering No-Limit Hold'em Solid Hits

4 May 2005






The parade of new, helpful and innovative poker books continues with the arrival
of two new titles at Gambler's Book Shop: Weighing the Odds in Hold'em
Poker
(350 pages, paperbound, $24.95) and Mastering No-Limit
Hold'em
by Russell Fox and Scott Harker (209 pages, paperbound, $24.95).

Eleven years ago, Mike Petriv wrote the well-received and still hot-selling Hold'em's
Odds Book
. Until now, it was the only in-depth resource on hold'em odds.
Now, King Yao, former derivatives trader for the Susquehanna Partners, with experience
in options, who loved poker more than trading, has produced a wonderful new 20-chapter
resource for the serious, dedicated player. The word was out on this book, which
Yao worked on for nearly a year, and the first wave of books which arrived were
gone within 72 hours.

Yao, a Boston area author, says "…understanding the mathematical aspects
alone is not enough to turn you into a winner. In order to use the concepts (of
the book) correctly, you need to understand how your opponents play and how theory
responds to different actions. This ability is less of a science and more of an
art. Any formula is only as good as its plugged-in variables."

This book is for the limit hold'em player. Yao describes the types of players
you may face and how to identify them and play against them. He writes about expected
value, outs, pot odds and position.

A second section discusses Raising for Free Cards; Bluffing and Semi-Bluffing;
Slow-Playing and Check-Raising. This is followed with a section on Starting Hands
-- which hands to play in which positions and why; The Flop; The Turn; the River;
Reading Hands.

A final section examines short-handed play and online poker.

There is a clear, preciseness to Yao's to-the-point writing. Short sentences,
questions, answers, probing material, with some formulas, tables make his work
highly readable.

Beginning with Chapter 12 (Starting Hands), comes Yao's best material. He emphasizes
how and why starting hands can change in value; what the flop may mean for other
players' hands; when to check with AK on the flop; why pairing your low card is
sometimes better than pairing your high card; thinking on the turn; thinking on
the River: heads-up and in multiple-player pots; reading flushes and flush draws.

Where Petriv's book broke ground and carried the baton of information beyond the
basics in 1996, Yao's book takes it all a step or two further, as the skills and
intelligence level of experienced players have taken it. This is truly a must-read
for the serious beginner or veteran of the tables. Stanford Wong and his Pi Yee
Press made this fine book possible.

Mastering No-Limit Hol 'em by Fox (a California resident) and
Harker (from Youngstown, Ohio) focuses itself on the smaller, fix-buy in, no-limit
games. Designed for the beginner, it covers much of the basics: house rules; what
to expect when you first sit down at a table; the small stack vs. big stack; reading
your opponents and understanding the types of players you may face.

There's nice coverage of odds and betting strategies; the importance of position;
a look at the blinds; draws and the play on the flop; the turn, the river and
bluffing; avoiding tilt; keeping records.

The authors analyze an eight-hour no-limit hold'em session at the Bicycle Casino
in Bell Gardens, CA., in November 2004 (279 hands played, 59 of them got action,
with 28 hands won).

There's a sense of structure to this book, keyed to novices and those with some
experience, but who need help. The authors have been there, experienced what it
is to be nervous, wary, learning to be aggressive when it counts.

Yao's Weighing the Odds; Fox & Harker's Mastering No-Limit Hold'em Solid Hits is republished from Online.CasinoCity.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
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