3 Poker Books to Help Your Online Play
Yes, online poker exists in the harsh, often heartbreaking, reality of indiscriminate luck. But what separates the game from other ones in cyberspace that are completely random is that it is also a game of skill.
Online games can be loose and downright reckless. A great advantage you can give yourself is simply to read up on solid poker wisdom.
Imagine how your results will improve if you face these unprepared, online foes with an advanced knowledge of the game. Imagine how many tables you can play at a time when you are able to calculate pot odds on the fly. Imagine how much money you will save by knowing proper starting hands and how to save bets.
Here are three poker books that will teach you all of this and more. Just because they were written for poker on the felt does not mean that they are without fundamentals that are imperative to online play. Add these titles to your holiday wish list.
We all know Doyle Brunson’s Super/System and The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky. So I will skip those and give you one with a pro player’s personal account of a single tournament, a book geared towards the lower stakes that most of us play, and one so new it isn’t even in print yet.
1. Small Stakes Hold ‘Em: Winning Big with Expert Play.
This book has been around since 2004, so you can easily find it used online. But what sets it apart is that although it was penned by some of poker’s heavy hitters: Ed Miller, Mason Malmuth and game-theory master David Sklansky, it is geared towards the low stakes that the majority of the online poker community is playing.
So unless you are playing online superstar Tom Dwan on the regular for six-figure stakes, you need to know how to beat the erratic play of the little guy. The book teaches an aggressive style of play that high-stakes players employ with plenty of logic to back it up. The book has everything from game theory (no Sklansky book can be without it), specific hand examples, and quizzes that let you compare your own decision-making with that of the authors’ strategies.
2. Every Hand Revealed
The second book is for all of you who are focused on big online tournament play. I found Every Hand Revealed by Gus Hansen to be both a useful and dramatic read. In it Hansen recounts in detail key hands he played on his way to becoming the 2007 Aussie Millions Champion. If you want to know what goes through the head of a pro trying to outlast 747 other players to win $1.5 million, read this. It will help put you in the right mindset before you start any tournament online. This book demonstrates what happens when you put into practice that tight yet aggressive style that all pros talk about.
3. The Kaizen of Poker: How to Continuously Improve Your Hold’em Game
This book is so new that Amazon is taking pre-orders. But, I got several sneak peaks of The Kaizen of Poker: How to Continuously Improve Your Hold’em Game written by poker player and Atlantic City local Sheree Bykofsky. You may know the name if you have read any of her other titles. One in particular might ring a bell: Secrets the Pros Won’t Tell You About Winning Hold ‘Em Poker that she wrote with the late, great Lou Krieger in 2006. This new release continues the tradition of Bykofsky’s great poker tips with the Japanese concept of continual improvement called Kaizen.
This book includes inspirational and apropos quotes, interview excerpts from other disciplines, and an indispensable morning after checklist to gage your play honestly and critically while it is fresh in your head. While there are plenty of titles that teach you how to play “by the book,” Kaizen teaches nuance and the finer finesse of successful poker play. It picks up where other beginner books leave off. The post play checklist lends itself to online play, because you can incorporate your hand history for an honest, accurate result of your session.
Reading about the game is an essential part of developing your poker style. Take advantage of the pros selling you their secrets. But surprise them by using the tools correctly within the pages and leave them spinning in the virtual wind should they find themselves at your table!