Another Poker Book Suggestion Thread

OutlawECHO

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To start the post, yes I have used the search function and read many of the threads pertaining to this topic, but I am looking for a more corrugated list based on my specific needs. From reading the other threads, some books have stood out to be best for my situation, but I would like some input.

I would consider myself a beginner. I have spent a considerable amount of time watching free videos and reading free content online, but I have limited hours of actual play. I am only interested in playing live games, but I am not able to play every week. For this discussion, let's assume I will play 5-10 hours a month. I only play small stakes $1/$2 cash and occasional weekly tournament $60-$100 buy-in (typically 30-60 players). For book material, I am more interested in the cash/strategy aspect, developing ranges, and especially playing post flop. I understand starting ranges and position fairly well.

TLDR:
Skill: Beginner
Stakes: $1/$2 live
Play Time: 5-10hr/month


My current list of potential books to read:
  • The Course - Ed Miller
  • Small Stakes No-limit Hold'em - Ed Miller
  • Strategies for Beating Small stakes Poker Cash Games - Jonathan Little
  • Harrington on Hold'em - Dan Harrington
  • No Limit Hold'em: Theory and Practice - David Skalnsky

I am interested to know which of these books (or if there is a different book) that you would suggest for my first. Also, if you have one of these books or a lot of books you no longer want, I would be interested in purchasing.

Thanks!
 

power13

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Donkey Poker 1-3. Really thoughtful books series which discusses adjustments to crush passive games like 1-2. Definitely not strategies which will carry on to winning at online low stakes or 2-5+, and I don’t agree with everything in there (like buying in short). But the author spends a lot of time explaining his thinking, comparing to online, and using a database of player info to back up his ideas. It’s almost too much explanation, which is why it’s 3 (short) volumes.

The Course is a great one too.

Even though you are only interested in live, I would suggest playing online at very low stakes (0.01-0.02 to 0.05-0.10) just for getting reps in. Having more play experience is an important part of learning. For the price of a book you can have like 20 buyins and lots of hands of experience, and if you download your hand histories you have data from your play to review as part of your study. Not suggesting this instead of books but as a part of your routine.
 

OutlawECHO

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Thanks for the reply!

Donkey Poker 1-3.

I will definitely check this one out as well. Thanks!

Even though you are only interested in live, I would suggest playing online at very low stakes (0.01-0.02 to 0.05-0.10)

I wouldn't mind playing online, I am just not sure what site to use. Also, there is a blurry line of legality in Oklahoma. I don't think anyone has been charged here for playing online, but I would hate to send up with a misdemeanor for a $50 bank roll haha. Oklahoma is a weird state. Technically, all gambling is illegal, even home games, no matter the size. But Native Americans have tribal land in the state with casinos that have poker rooms. Anyways with that said, I wouldn't mind suggestions for your favorite online poker sites.
 

power13

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Thanks for the reply!



I will definitely check this one out as well. Thanks!



I wouldn't mind playing online, I am just not sure what site to use. Also, there is a blurry line of legality in Oklahoma. I don't think anyone has been charged here for playing online, but I would hate to send up with a misdemeanor for a $50 bank roll haha. Oklahoma is a weird state. Technically, all gambling is illegal, even home games, no matter the size. But Native Americans have tribal land in the state with casinos that have poker rooms. Anyways with that said, I wouldn't mind suggestions for your favorite online poker sites.
Your best bet would be America's Cardroom or Ignition Poker. I feel like ACR is the default for most US players who aren't in one of the states which have authorized online poker. These are widely used across the country for many years now. In the event of any legal action, they're going to go after the operator, not the players. Worst case scenario would be your bankroll would be confiscated I would think (which again would be super unlikely and not really an issue at these stakes). That said, obviously you should be comfortable with what you're doing. I also know a number of folks on this site are running private online home games so you might try reading some of those treads and networking. I imagine those stakes will be higher than penny blinds though...
 

OutlawECHO

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Thanks for the input @power13 .

I have heard of both those sites. I will look closer at them. The private online games are definitely interesting as well, but I am not skilled enough for higher levels haha.


For anyone who cares, I went ahead and purchased The Course. The deciding factor was The Course was $50 and Donkey Poker 1-3 would be closer to $90 for the three volumes.
 

jga

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Thanks for the reply!



I will definitely check this one out as well. Thanks!



I wouldn't mind playing online, I am just not sure what site to use. Also, there is a blurry line of legality in Oklahoma. I don't think anyone has been charged here for playing online, but I would hate to send up with a misdemeanor for a $50 bank roll haha. Oklahoma is a weird state. Technically, all gambling is illegal, even home games, no matter the size. But Native Americans have tribal land in the state with casinos that have poker rooms. Anyways with that said, I wouldn't mind suggestions for your favorite online poker sites.
I was really surprised to see how different the US states treat home gambling laws. I was under the mistaken impression that home games are legal so long as the homeowner or organizer doesn’t profit by raking the pot or taking anything of value (e.g., Ohio). Damn, O
 

TheDeezer

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One of the premier books to date on optimized GTO strategies for playing cash and tourney poker. Excited to read it. Just got it.
 

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hex

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This isnt going to be a popular opinion but I don't think poker books on cash games arent very helpful. For me it was analyzing my play and being completely honest on my losses. I think most players can pick a few hands that cost them dearly or terrible decisions, also the live game in cash changes so much and the biggest weakness I see among players is they dont pay attention and those are super easy to exploit.

That being said tournament is hugely different cause the levels change, the stack sizes change and so many other theories kick in.
 

TheDeezer

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Respectively disagree. There is GTO spots in both where ranges matter and can be incorporated - clearly this is driven around tourneys but can be applicable for both. Clear example is a hu cash game you are seeing with doug and daniel - same charts apply based on position - we cant stop unlimited bankrolls and crazy degens players calling off everything on a prayer BUT it builds a solid foundation, solid math and predictable outcomes based on GTO metrics - solid read so far but most dont hit the lab enough to apply these in real life play.
 

Silver_Fiend

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This isnt going to be a popular opinion but I don't think poker books on cash games arent very helpful.

ITs wrong to say that fundamental books cant be helpful. For a new player, its like night and day different. Not only learning what cards to play in what position, but why, is itself a vast improvement to their game. Learning the fundamentals also lets you see the inherent mistakes others are making, which allows adaption to the "perfect" play. Good players will learn from practice how and when to deviate and change up their play, but that cant happen until they understand the basics.
 

ekricket

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Thanks for the reply!



I will definitely check this one out as well. Thanks!



I wouldn't mind playing online, I am just not sure what site to use. Also, there is a blurry line of legality in Oklahoma. I don't think anyone has been charged here for playing online, but I would hate to send up with a misdemeanor for a $50 bank roll haha. Oklahoma is a weird state. Technically, all gambling is illegal, even home games, no matter the size. But Native Americans have tribal land in the state with casinos that have poker rooms. Anyways with that said, I wouldn't mind suggestions for your favorite online poker sites.
I lived in Oklahoma for nearly thirty years, strictest gambling laws in the nation but at least one casino in every town, Lottery at every store.
 

Silver_Fiend

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I lived in Oklahoma for nearly thirty years, strictest gambling laws in the nation but at least one casino in every town, Lottery at every store.
yeah, its all whether or not they can make $$$ off you doing it.
 

hex

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Respectively disagree. There is GTO spots in both where ranges matter and can be incorporated - clearly this is driven around tourneys but can be applicable for both. Clear example is a hu cash game you are seeing with doug and daniel - same charts apply based on position - we cant stop unlimited bankrolls and crazy degens players calling off everything on a prayer BUT it builds a solid foundation, solid math and predictable outcomes based on GTO metrics - solid read so far but most dont hit the lab enough to apply these in real life play.
I said it wouldn't be popular, live cash games play differently and yes I am quite aware of the HU between Doug and Kid, but also if you watch a lot of what Doug does in full cash rings is far from GTO most of the time.

As for people with unlimited bankrolls that is never true everyone has a limit at some point, but the game is the most fun when its crazy town as long as you can handle the swings.
 

nitzilla

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FWIW I really liked this one (read it multiple times over)
Screen Shot 2021-01-21 at 3.16.48 PM.png
 

power13

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FWIW I really liked this one (read it multiple times over)
View attachment 619204
FWIW I think this style of hyper aggression pre flop that Alex advocates is super high variance and doesn’t necessarily lead to heads up situations with passive low stakes players. You can put yourself in awkward spots and need to feel confident that you have the skills to navigate out of them successfully, otherwise you may end up blowing it on later streets. I personally think it’s more appropriate for tournaments where players tend to settle in to tighter play and have less table time to recognize what you’re doing and counter exploit. Agree it’s a very interesting read though - definitely a fresh perspective to consider. The audiobook version is great also - Alex’s deliver is great and this book works quite well in audio format unlike many poker books.

Which reminds me of one I somehow left off my suggestion list above. Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo. It’s less of a strategy book (though there is some of that) and more about the etiquette, meta game considerations and mindset for successful casino poker. I think it’s essential reading and definitely useful for beginners to help them past the intimidation of live play that comes with understanding all the unwritten rules. Tommy covers them all and much more in a very engaging and entertaining way. Also excellent as an audiobook.
 

hex

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FWIW I think this style of hyper aggression pre flop that Alex advocates is super high variance and doesn’t necessarily lead to heads up situations with passive low stakes players. You can put yourself in awkward spots and need to feel confident that you have the skills to navigate out of them successfully, otherwise you may end up blowing it on later streets. I personally think it’s more appropriate for tournaments where players tend to settle in to tighter play and have less table time to recognize what you’re doing and counter exploit. Agree it’s a very interesting read though - definitely a fresh perspective to consider. The audiobook version is great also - Alex’s deliver is great and this book works quite well in audio format unlike many poker books.

Which reminds me of one I somehow left off my suggestion list above. Elements of Poker by Tommy Angelo. It’s less of a strategy book (though there is some of that) and more about the etiquette, meta game considerations and mindset for successful casino poker. I think it’s essential reading and definitely useful for beginners to help them past the intimidation of live play that comes with understanding all the unwritten rules. Tommy covers them all and much more in a very engaging and entertaining way. Also excellent as an audiobook.
^^^^^ poker is so organic, strategy will only get you so far, etiquette and meta so powerful.
 

boltonguy

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"The Course" is an excellent book for where you are right now IMHO.
I would also add "The Grinder's Manual" by Pete "Carroters" Clarke.
 

johnnyesper

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Your best bet would be America's Cardroom or Ignition Poker. I feel like ACR is the default for most US players who aren't in one of the states which have authorized online poker. These are widely used across the country for many years now. In the event of any legal action, they're going to go after the operator, not the players. Worst case scenario would be your bankroll would be confiscated I would think (which again would be super unlikely and not really an issue at these stakes). That said, obviously you should be comfortable with what you're doing. I also know a number of folks on this site are running private online home games so you might try reading some of those treads and networking. I imagine those stakes will be higher than penny blinds though...
I play mainly ACR $.01-$.02 (2nl) to get in the reps. For a beginner looking to play in loose 1-2 live games, man I miss live poker, this is a good place to start. The stakes online are roughly equivalent to live. If you want a tougher game you can move up to 10nl and 25NL. Those are more like 1-2 live with reg crushers.

As for the book, I highly recommend the course as a beginner. My level up moment from this book was not calling down every river. I think it still applies today that at the micos online and low stakes players don't bluff enough. When they tell you they have it, they very likely have it.
 

boltonguy

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As for the book, I highly recommend the course as a beginner. My level up moment from this book was not calling down every river. I think it still applies today that at the micos online and low stakes players don't bluff enough. When they tell you they have it, they very likely have it.
Absolutely 100% agree. "The Course" is excellent. Default folding to large turn and river bets will move your development into really thinking about combos, blockers and action in order to call as an exception. Even at 25NL online large turn & river bets announce that they have it. I have over 50k hands at this stake in my PT DB and 95% of the time they have it. The cost of calling 100% and paying off the 95% to catch the 5% that are bluffing is just too high, that is why bluff catching needs to have sound analysis behind it. Fold unless you have a solid reason to call and you will retain more of your winnings that you slowly grind out with solid play. Early in my play I would win a lot of small pots with decent play and then donk of these winnings by making large turn and river calls when I was way behind. I was constantly "winning a little and losing a lot." Reading "The Course" changed that for me.
 

Mr_Y3RAC

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I'm currently reading "Essential Poker Math" by Alton Hardin. If you are like me and need a little brush up on some mathematical poker theory, than this book is for you. Lots of examples and easy to read/understand. +its quite cheap if I remember correctly.
 
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