Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide"

Anytime you have a book compiling the views of various experts, you're going to have mixed results. "The Full Tilt Poker Strategy Guide, Tournament Edition" contains some nice nuggets of advice, but it's far from a cohesive approach to tournament play.

Everyone has his own style.

I liked Howard Lederer's chapter because it expanded on the idea of leverage, something that reminded me of doubleas' book, "Pressure Poker," in which he discusses finding and exploiting the pressure point in each hand.

Lederer's idea is to push all in if you don't have a large enough stack to make leveraged bets.

To make a re-raise without pushing all-in, your stack has to be at least 30 BB deep, Lederer writes. Otherwise, if you want to squeeze or reraise, you might as well push.

It's a simple idea, but I hadn't seen the 30 BB figure explained before.

I wrote before about Chris Ferguson's bet-sizing strategy, so I won't go into that again.

I also enjoyed Ted Forrest's explanation of his bizarro style, if only for entertainment value. I don't think it's the kind of thing that can be easily incorporated into your game unless you live out that kind of game.

The rest of the no-limit chapters were a decent review of basics, such as reading flop textures, evaluating continuation bets, floating, deep-stack play and short-stack play. All good stuff, but not a lot of information that wasn't covered by Dan Harrington.

I didn't get much out of Andy Bloch's discourse on preflop play. His long starting hand charts didn't convince me of anything, but I'll have to go back and give it another chance. I was immediately turned off to Bloch's ideas when he listed A5s as his No. 10 two-card hand combination because "it is a good semi-bluffing hand because it cuts in half the chance you will get called by A-A or by A-X and run into an ace on the board. You can make straights and flushes with it." Those are true points, but I have a hard time believing that such a dominated hand deserves such a high spot in the rankings.

I haven't read the non-no limit chapters yet, mostly because when I do play other game types, it's rarely in a tournament format. I'll come back to these chapters when I'm ready to play my next HORSE tourney.

Overall I give this book a B. It's useful and practical, but its 12-author approach comes off as more disjointed than collaborative. It's handy as a reference book, and I'll definitely come back to it from time to time.


KajaPoker said...

This book was mostly fluff. The only chapter I enjoyed and helped me understand my mistakes is the Limit Omaha Hi/Lo by Matusow.

bayne_s said...

The A5s left me shaking my head too. If I am willing to take leap of faith and believe A5s could possibly be ahead of A6-A9 from wheel possibility. But can't see why it ranked ahead of ATs for life of me.