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Like a secret society, poker has its own language and customs -- 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.
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Phil Gordon is a world-class poker player and teacher with two World Poker Tour championships and seven final table appearances at the World Series of Poker. Since 2001 he has earned more than $3 million in tournament prize money. His bestselling previous works, Poker: The Real Deal, Phil Gordon's Little Green Book, and Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book, alongside his teaching and commentary on forty-two episodes of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown, make Phil the preeminent poker teacher and writer in the world. Phil currently resides in Newport, Washington with his wife and two young sons.From Publishers Weekly:
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.
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