The Portable Poker Pro: Winning Hold’em Tips for Every Player (with Sheree Bykofsky)

  • List Price: $6.99
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Date: March 6, 2007
  • Publisher: Pinnacle
  • ISBN: 0786018593
  • Order from Amazon.com

This book’s goal is to take you from someone who’s maybe seen a little poker on ESPN or played for pennies around the kitchen table to someone who can go into any public casino or cardroom with confidence: confidence that you can win regularly over the long haul. And if you’ve already got some experience under your belt, you can think about skipping some of the earlier chapters and go right to the more advanced stuff. We’ll start with the rules of poker, then talk about good hands versus bad hands. We’ll also discuss your bankroll, and we’ll let you in on some of the secrets of bluffing. We’ll talk about psychology, poker and your personal life. We’ll give you information on the limit poker, no limit, and poker tournaments: by the time you’re done with this book, you’ll have all the basic tools (and some advanced ones, too) to walk into any poker room without fear.

Many parts of this book will be useful for reference: everything from our handy-dandy charts telling what to play and what not to play to our basic odds tables to our glossary of colorful poker terms. But whatever you do, there’s no need to be stressed out about learning all this. There’s no quiz at the end of this book. There’s going to be some math, but it’s not going to be much more heavy-duty than what you use to balance your checkbook. Trust us; we wouldn’t be putting anything in this book if it weren’t vitally important. Every bit of information you gain from this book can add up to dollars in the real world.

Poker is amazingly easy to learn. If, as you read these words, you’ve never played a hand of poker before, we could probably explain it to you within ten minutes, faster if you’re a natural game player. It’s a game children can and do play. But, and you probably guessed this part already, there’s a whole layer of subtlety and complexity that lies underneath its deceptive surface simplicity. And the beauty of the game is a lot of people do not understand this. The game seems simple to them when they first learn it, and still seems pretty simple to them even after playing it day in and day out for ten years. The only variable for them is luck. That’s the essence of poker.

When you get your two cards down, your hold’em hand, there’s always a chance you can win with it. But if you say “yes” to every hand that comes along and play it to the bitter end, you’re going to be a loser, and a big one, at that. We’ll show you how to distinguish between trash hands (that you would virtually never play), mediocre hands (which you might play, depending on the circumstances) and premium hands (which you almost always play). You’ll also learn how to play the hands we recommend. Aggressively? Deceptively? Cautiously? It’s all going to depend on the situation.

What We Assume About You

Just your curiosity about this book says a whole lot about you: it means you’re curious and you want to be better-informed. It also means you realize you don’t have all the answers, and you’re willing to take advice from others in order to get better. That’s important in any endeavor, but it’s especially important when you’re first starting out. Now we’re going to take our assumption one step further: if you play poker with your friends on a regular basis, you’re probably beating that game. Maybe you’re playing poker with your high school friends for nickels and dimes in the garage, maybe it’s for a little more money with your work buddies in the dining room. Whatever the case, we think you’re probably significantly better than Jim over in accounting or Heather from your biology class. Does that mean you’re better than a lot of the people you’ll be playing with online or in a public cardroom? Actually it does. But not yet. Because even the weaker players in a public cardroom will have way more experience playing poker than you have. But the good news is, if you’re beating your home game, you’re a really good candidate for learning how to beat a public game. And if you’re not, well, this book can help you get there. It might just take a little more effort on your part.

Special Features of This Book

Amateur Alerts: These are basic mistakes you’re likely to make if you’ve not had much experience. Don’t twist yourself in knots over it – we all make mistakes. But the more you indicate that you don’t know what you’re doing in a casino, the more people are going to take advantage of your ignorance. When you sit down at the table, you could be anyone from a poker expert to a rank beginner. Your opponents have almost no way of knowing. But the minute you say something like, “I see your ten… and raise you ten more!” the vultures will start circling. (We’ll explain why later.)

Expert Extras: These are small but important tips, windows into some of the habits that professional poker players indulge in. Like the Amateur Alerts, it’s our way of giving you a little extra poker know-how. We’ll also have some charts along the way, and some fun lists about everything from what to wear to what to eat for you to mull over. The book is called The Portable Poker Pro, and portable it is. It’s small enough to fit into a purse or the back pocket of your jeans. You can read it anywhere and when you read it, and read it again, you’ll watch your game rise along with your bankroll.

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