This whole poker book idea got me all worked up. I looked through my library and found a few must have poker books for the beginning. But since I no longer consider myself the beginner, but more of an intermediate (at least !) level, I thought it would be helpful to find some books that explore other aspects of poker player’s life. And because I still believe that a good old fashioned book, that you can hold in your hand and flip through and shit, is much better then any of those digital versions, I have put up some links. Just click on the cover image if you want to buy one. I will also have a running (and hopefully updated) list running on my Poker Page. Check it out.
Greatest Poker Books
“Super System” by Doyle Burnson – the “Bible” of all the poker books.
“Super System 2” by Doyle Brunson – the update to the classic.
“Caro’s Book of Poker Tells” by Mike Caro.
Essential Poker Math
“Every Hand Revealed” by Gus Hansen
“The Theory of Poker” by David Sklansky
“Hold’em Poker: For Advanced Players” by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth
“Harrington on Hold’em” by Dan Harrington (2006)
“Harrington on Hold’em: Vol. 2” by Dan Harrington
“Winning Poker Systems” by Norman Zadeh (1974)
“Real Poker Psychology” by Mason Malmuth (2015)
“Poker Essays” by Mason Malmuth
“Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em” by Jonathan Little (2015)
“Raiser’s Edge” by Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (2011)
“Ace on the River” by Barry Greenstein (2005)
“Life’s A Gamble” by Mike Sexton
“Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book: Lessons and Teachings in No-Limit Texas Hold’em” by Phil Gordon
“Phil Gordon’s Little Gold Book: Advanced Lessons for Mastering Poker 2.0” by Phil Gordon
“Phil Gordon’s Little Blue Book: More Lessons and Hand Analysis in No-Limit Texas Hold’em” by Phil Gordon
“Poker’s 1%: The One Big Secret That Keeps Elite Players on Top” by Ed Miller
I wanted to take some time and discuss poker’s greatest textbook, the “Bible” of poker books: Doyle Brunson’s “Super System”. This book was not the first poker publication, but it is the most influential. Doyle Brunson collaborated with some of the best poker players in the world, and produced a seven part book covering the most popular variations of the game. Doyle himself wrote the section on the No Limit (NL) Hold’em. “Crazy Mike” Caro, the same guy that authored the “Caro’s Book of Poker Tells” (another must have for a serious poker player) wrote the section on Five Card Draw Poker. Obviously, he is the best at reading people, so the game with no cards exposed makes him the expert. The section on Limit Hold’em was written by Bobby “The Owl” Baldwin, a 1978 World Poker Champion and a 2003 inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame. David “Einstein” Sklansky, who is considered to be one of the top poker theorists, put together the section on High-Low Split and High-Low Declare. The section on Lowball was written by Joey Hawthorne. Nicknamed “Howard Hughes”, he is well known in the top poker games both as a player and as an author and theorist. Chip Reese, another legend of the poker world wrote the section on Seven Card Stud. Click on the cover image to buy this great poker book on Amazon.
So I put up the YouTube video of Alt-J‘s Breezeblocks a few hours ago, (here is the link if you missed it), and of course I started listening to some of their other stuff. Their 2012 album “An Awesome Wave” is excellent. The song “Breezeblocks” that got me hooked originally, and the “Tessellate” sold me completely. But these are not the only two good tracks on that CD, they have a bunch of very good songs on that album: “Something Good”, “Fitzpleasure”, “Bloodflood” and “Taro” now in my Best of the Best playlist, in addition to the earlier mentioned “Tessellate” (my favorite) and “Breezeblocks”.
Stamps tongs – This is stamp collecting 101. You cannot touch the stamps with your hands. (See also : Proper stamp handling), Rough handling and oils from your skin (even cleanly washed hands have oils on them) discolor and damage stamps. So… all philatelists and stamp collectors use stamp tongs to gently handle the stamps. Stamps tongs look like big metal tweezers with smooth tips. There are several different varieties, but they basically boil down to Angle Tip (which is my preference, I use the # 1 from the list below), Spade tip – which is the straight version of the angle tip. Point Tip have thin, pointy tips, and are good for handling very small stamps. Round Tip stamp tongs have big round tips, duh. So everybody has their own preference, but I use the 6″ Angle Tip by Showgard. Inexpensive, but very high quality. Check out the different variations.
Stockbook with clear plastic pockets is one of the safest way to store stamps. It is also very convenient to display and view your stamp collection. Some collectors prefer a traditional stamp album, but I collect mint, never hinged (MNH) stamps, and hinging and mounting damages the original gum. I prefer the Lighthouse stockbooks, they are made in Germany, and are some of the finest in the world. These stockbooks have a glassine paper separating all the pages, it helps to protect the stamps from rubbing against each other when the stockbook is closed. Lighthouse stockbooks come in the same standard size, but vary by the number of pages. One big 64 page Lighthouse stockbook is almost 2 inches thick, and will probably cover all the needs of a novice stamp collector. If you want to have different stockbooks for different topics or countries, you can get the 32 page or the 16 page (or a couple of those).
Glassine envelopes are useful when you are organizing and trading/buying/selling stamps. They are perfect for storing stamps for long periods of time, because they keep the moisture out, and keep the stamp paper from getting exposed to the elements, and aging quickly. (Click Here to find them on Amazon)
Magnifying glass is essential to philatelists, because most of the stamps are very small. Magnifying glass is used to examine the stamp and its condition in detail. There are numerous philatelists who study the tiniest differences and misprints, and they would be absolutely “unarmed” without a proper magnifying glass. And don’t go fancy with it. You don’t need LED lights or any bells and whistles. You just want the plain old magnifying glass. With a big handle, for easy manipulation, like Sherlock Holmes only smaller.
Catalogues are the primary tool used by serious collectors to organize their collections. Catalogues are used for identification and valuation of stamps. There are several respectable philatelic catalogues on the market, I myself use Scott, but there is also Michel, Stanley Gibbons and Yvert et Tellier.
You heard it right, its free. And you know how much I love free stuff. I used to pirate my stuff, but now I find it a lot easier to have a streaming service that has literally anything on a moments notice. The 21st century really broke through the entertainment industry. The availability of on demand content, first to your home cable box, and now to any hand held device that is connected to the internet, really eliminated the need to download and store gigabytes of mp3s. Nowadays, you just click a button, say “OK Google, play me … “, and the music starts. What more do you want? Ohh yeah, you want it for free too. But you can afford internet, what’s another couple of bucks a month. Anyway, I’m not asking you to reach for your wallet right now. Try it for a month, see what you think. If you think it’s worth it, keep it, if not, no harm done. Click on the link below, and if they ask who referred you, say Konstantin sent me. They know me well.
I am happy to report that my preparation efforts did not go to waste. I played in the $125,000 gtd in Columbus last Saturday and Sunday, and came out with a small win. Since this was my first multi-day poker tournament, I really made it a point to make it to the second day. That definitely effected my play. At the end of the day I bagged 75,000, which put me fourth from the bottom among the remaining players. Even though it was a pretty poor performance, I considered it a win. I made it to the second day ! The prize pool grew to over $187,000, smashing the $125k guarantee, and I had a chance to get a piece of it.
Coming back in the morning, and realizing the truly terrible shape I was in, I decided to try my luck and push all in with any decent starting hand right away, to try to double up. Doubling up was essential if I wanted to make the money bubble. We were already playing at these high blinds, and I could not afford to sit around and get chipped down with the antes and the blinds. When I sat down at the table, I was the low stack. And my mind was made up. Very first hand, very first card was an Ace of clubs. I didn’t even look at the second card and just jammed it all in preflop. Fold, fold, fold… and the small blind goes all in on top of me. Everyone else folds and we flip our cards. Small blind is holding pocket Queens, and I ended up with Ace Jack off suit. Ace on the flop and ace on the river assured my double up on the first hand, and I sighed a breath of relief.
Once I doubled up, the cards just went cold. I folded and folded, and bluffed a hand once or twice. But there was nothing there. I barely made it to the money bubble, and even walked away from the table for a bit while we were hand for hand. With 64 players remaining, we played hand for hand for almost 40 minutes. No one wanted to be the bubble boy, so people were fighting for survival. Once some unfortunate contender busted, and the money bubble burst, people opened up their game a bit. I finally saw a pocket pair of Sixes and shoved all in preflop. The guy with Ace Queen offsuit called and got an ace right on the river. My four card flush draw did not materialize, and I busted out, taking 54th place and $613. That is almost double my money, so I am happy with the result.
Next up is the Jack Fall Classic Series at Cincinnati. The series will have a dozen good events including a $350 buy in $250,000 guaranteed kickoff event, and a half a million dollar guaranteed main event for a $1000 buy in. I know its not much to all you rich people, but quarter of a million dollars is a nice size of change for me, and it will definitely have my attention. Plus now I can afford the buy in. I don’t know. I did have my eye on this WPT – Bad Boys of Poker DVD for a minute now. Ohh Antonio, you are such a stud. how do you spell televised poker