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The Potential Value of a Poker Book

31/10/2018 by Byron Jacobs
Book Excerpts
Hand Analysis

People occasionally complain that (for example) $35 is a lot of money to spend on a poker book. My stock reply is that if you learn JUST ONE THING from a book that you subsequently put into practice, then you have almost certainly got your money back. If you learn dozens of things from a book, then… well, you do the maths.

We would like to thank Lew, who has written in explaining how a D&B book made him (or perhaps more accurately, saved him) a decent sum of money in a cash game. Being a sensible sort of person who likes to work on his poker game, Lew has read Jonathan Little’s Mastering Small Stakes No Limit Hold’em and was struck by a piece of advice on page 175, “As when deep stacked, when the initial raiser is tight, you should play a snug strategy. There is no point in trying to bluff someone who has an overly strong range because they will not fold.”

Lew recounts the following hand played at $1/2 with an effective stack of $200.

“The villian is an older gentleman, very tight. He opens my button to $8 from mid position. He folds frequently to three-bets so, with 76 I raise him to $25. He calls and the flop comes 5J2. He checks, I c-bet $20 and he calls.

“The turn brings (5J2)T and we both check.

“The river is the 9, so now we have a board of 5J2T9. Everything got there! Flushes, straights and probable two pair hands. The tight gentleman checks to me again.

”So, he has now checked to me three times and there is a very scary run out. I would normally consider this to be a home run bluff but, right in this moment, I thought back to the foresaid quote in Jonathan Little’s recent book. “Can I really get him off an overpair?” I ask myself.

“With the pot at approximately $100, I need to bet big to maximize my chances of getting a fold. But Little’s words kept stubbornly coming back to me… “When the initial raiser is tight, you should play a snug strategy.” After a pause, I check. He shows red queens and I muck. He then turns to me and says “I didn’t want to call, but I sure as hell wasn’t folding!”


All you need to do is tell us about a piece of advice from a D&B book that you can identify as specifically having helped you to improve your game:

• Maybe it helped you to make a better decision in a cash game? • Maybe it enabled you to go deeper in a tournament? • Maybe something else…?

Tell us: 1) Which book it was and the piece of advice. 2) Describe the hand or situation where it helped you.

It doesn’t have to be a long piece. 150-200 words is fine. The best replies will be PUBLISHED IN OUR MAGAZINE and the readers sending them in will RECEIVE A $30 VOUCHER to spend on our site.

Simply send your email to: [email protected] and put ‘ADVICE’ in the subject header. We look forward to seeing your contributions!