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Like any interest or hobby, reading and gaining knowledge on the subject will increase your expertise in the field. The list of books below are just a few highly recommended for playing poker well. There are some great gambling books and authors available and cheap prices if you look around.
Super System by Doyle Brunson
Amazing book, must read for any poker enthusiast. Timeless book that still helps players today both online and live. It may have been a different era but the principles behind most of what Dolly says still applies, particularly playing draws aggressively.
Play poker like the pros by Phil Hellmuth Jr
Think what you like about Phil’s antics but he’s written a great book here. This book is mandatory for players looking to improve their tournament play. Phil’s won 15 WSOP bracelets so when he talks, one should listen…..unless he’s just whining on tv of course then just laugh.
Ace on the River: An Advanced Poker Guide by Barry Greenstein
Barry goes into depths where other authors don’t in this book. He’s helping the poker enthusiast become better in all aspects not just some game theory. I can’t recommend this book enough. The pictures are an added bonus too.
Every hand revealed by Gus Hansen
I love this book, experience the journey of Gus’ thoughts as he plays out the Aussie Millions. It’s amazing getting an insight into how this genius but apparent “madman” operates. Excellent read and could read this multiple times easily. This book is unlike any other and reveals hand to hand what it is like to play an expensive live tournament.
Harrington on Holdem by Dan Harrington
Both Harrington books are amazing and necessary for any no limit holdem tournament player. Invaluable advice with theory and insight that will engrave on your mind innately and improve you. They discuss the famous M and educate the tournament player on how to play short stacks.
I hope you enjoyed this article. Feel free to contact us if you are interested in poker books.
There are lots of skills required to be a consistent winner at poker. This article will look at 5 key poker skills.
Patience is such an important poker skill that it can’t be emphasized enough. Whether it be cash game or tournament, picking your spots and waiting for the profitable moments are key. Tournament holdem can often be described as “hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror”. Patience is one of the key differences between losing and winning players. A patient player will fold a strong hand even after hours of folding if he/she knows it’s the right thing to do.
Over the years, the game keeps changing but aggression is still a necessary skill to be a winning player. Even the players you call “nits” are betting their hands aggressively. The losing players are losing value on strong hands by playing unnecessarily trappy and slow.
This is a poker skill that’s often underappreciated. Winning players know what’s going on at the table, they watch the players intently and know what different players are thinking at different times. Why do they know this? They know because they are aware of what’s happening, they know John had a bad week at the office and history shows he bluffs more when he’s in a bad mood. Forgive me for sounding like Yoda but to be aware takes concentration and taking the game serious, you need to dedicate your attention to the table and perhaps turn off the greatest showman soundtrack while you play.
One can’t do a list of skills needed without including this. OK, so it’s not a skill at the table but you can’t be a long-term winner if your bankroll management is poor. You need to play within your means and at a suitable level. Winning players are gamblers to the naked eye but in reality, how many winning players have a losing year? They practice sensible bankroll management and know what games and levels they need to stay away from and what times they can move up.
Ability to Not Tilt
This again is a big difference between winning and loser players. Even professionals tilt at times, but the ability to not tilt is so key. You’ve played great for hours and lost 3 key hands in a row, natural tendency is to steam and play more aggressive. Not to the best winning players, they know that isn’t what makes them money. This is something that can be trained and embedded in your mind with experience. Don’t tilt.Do you have any questions about this list?
This is a hand even professionals often get into trouble. When was the last time you watched poker after dark or WSOP and you saw someone fold this pre-flop? What TV doesn’t show is the hours of patience some players will employ. In position or first in it’s a great hand but if you’re up against a tight player who’s raised under the gun or re raised your early position open then this is usually an easy fold, contrary to what you often see. Even those who profess to say this is an easy fold in the above scenario end up stubbornly calling down.
Mid pocket pairs
These pesky middle pairs often get players into trouble. Players often call re raises pretending in their heads they will “get away” when they don’t flop a set then hang on to the river when there’s one or two overcards.
An obvious one here, the old ace rag. If you’re in the blinds and you flop top pair, remember what is with that top pair and who you’re facing. Likewise, if you’re in a position and calling a raise with this just because your opponent is active then you’re overplaying. What do you hope to hit or are you just trying to take away later? If so, why does it matter that you have an ace?
Small Suited Connectors
The number of players who see Phil Ivey play these hands profitably and think they can too is staggering. Use common sense, these “numbers” are the lowest in the deck, a single pair is rarely enough to win and hard to get shown down so you’re hoping for three of a kind/two pairs and straights etc which the higher cards have just as good a chance of making.
Queen Jack Offsuit
This is a trappy hand, you hit top pair and you have a reasonable kicker but if you’ve called it to a raise or opened and caught your top pair, how good is it when facing resistance? Neither kicker is great in a raised pot, are they?
This is so simple and obvious but a worthy reminder for all poker players. We often forget though; just how important it is to concentrate and focus. You’re following twitter, checking the football scores, chatting to friends and still playing poker at the same time?
Poker is hard enough now trying to overcome the tougher calibre players and bad beats without diminishing what edge you do have.
How many tables are you playing? Is this your optimum amount to play at or have you even thought about how many tables are your optimum for playing? Does it differ between tournaments and cash games? Perhaps you need more focus on cash games so need to reduce tables there but can play more tables with tournaments.
Players often just play on autopilot or robotically, don’t become complacent and do the same! If you want to win regularly and maximise your earnings, you need to focus.
I challenge you to do an audit of yourself and find out how focused you are. Ask yourself the following questions and be honest with yourselves.
Are you playing the optimum number of tables?
Are you doing other things whilst playing?
Have you played on “auto-pilot” in the last week?
Have you played whilst tired in the last week?
If you’re answering yes to any of the above questions then you are sacrificing some of your edge and costing yourself money. Don’t give up any of your edge, FOCUS!
Texas Holdem Questions