Celebrity Poker Showdown co-host and world-class poker player Phil Gordon shows you how to look and play like a pro in this insider's guide to the poker world.
Like a secret society, poker has its own language and custom—its own governing logic and rules of etiquette that the uninitiated may find intimidating. It's a game of skill, and playing well depends on more than just a good hand or the ability to hide emotion. The first step toward developing a style of play worthy of the greats is learning to think like a poker player. In a game where there are no absolutes, mastering the basics is only the beginning—being able to pull off the strategy and theatrics is the difference between legendary wins and epic failure.
Seizing on poker's explosion in popular culture, Gordon (cohost of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown and two-time World Poker Tour champion) and Grotenstein offer an instructive overview of the game, lifestyle and culture that reaches beyond dry technicalities. A rigorous defense of poker as a game of skill not chicanery the book frames it as an all-American exercise in individual shrewdness. In jaunty prose broken up with diagrams of sample hands, the authors explain terminology, strategy and etiquette, weaving in quotes from poker movies and books, pearls of poker history and tales of colorful poker characters (like Phil Laak, whose habit of wearing hooded sweatshirts and dark glasses in order to conceal his features from scrutiny has earned him the nickname "Unabomber"). Statistics and probability figure prominently, and though the authors' explanations are never overly technical, the sheer detail of their analysis renders this book more intriguing for the card hound than the casual player. But the book does make an effort to appeal to the latter group, touching on everything from home games and tournaments to casino etiquette and low- and high-stakes play. The authors distill methods from different books, pay tribute to famed venues, supply the addresses of Web sites that specialize in online poker and include a detailed glossary. All in all, this is an excellent primer for those who are serious about studying the game and sitting next to the high rollers.
The Place to Start
This is hands down the best primer for those beginning their poker journey. If you ever feel you are missing a foundation or are just a little overwhelmed by books like Gordon's Little Green Book - this is where you need to start (also republished under title Little Black Book). I had to back up and this book clarified a hell of a lot for me, allowing me to move forward.
Great for Beginners
Definitely a must read for anyone looking to get into poker. Goes from history to realities of playing poker for a living.