Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Harrington on Cash Games: How to Win at No-Limit Hold 'em Money Games: Vol II

Like the first volume, Harrington's second cash game book was disappointing.

It avoided some of the flaws of the first book, such as overly emphasizing variation plays at the expense of value. But the book also relied too much on hand examples that didn't necessarily give me a deeper understanding of the game.

While reading the hand examples, it began to feel like I was looking over Harrington's shoulder as he played. It's useful to see how he would play a hand, but that doesn't mean I would play it the same way. The result of these exercises is that I see more hands from a different perspective, although I'm not gaining much knowledge about hand ranges, expectation and flop textures.

Instructional videos achieve much the same thing, often with deeper analysis and lessons that are easier to absorb.

Harrington breaks up the book into two parts: tight-aggressive play and loose-aggressive play. As before, it's helpful to observe the nuances of each style, but a more thorough hand analysis and decision-making techniques is lacking.

The miscellaneous chapters proved to be among the most educational: tells and observations, beating weak games and bankroll management.

The bankroll management chapter includes an argument for paying your taxes that I hadn't heard before: You can make more money in the long run if you pay your taxes because that enables you to invest it without fear of drawing government attention.

This book isn't a bad book, but it isn't what I want. I'm looking for books that get into playing against different opponents, exploiting weaknesses and using deductive reasoning to break down hands. 2+2 Publishing hasn't produced anything like that in a few years.

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