Tyler Jones's Reviews > Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour

Bad Beats and Lucky Draws by Phil Hellmuth
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Mar 30, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: poker
Read in March, 2011

You should be suspicious of any poker book published in 2004 - the year of pokermania. Chris Moneymaker, an accountant from Nashville, had won the World Series of Poker main even the previous year. Moneymaker was very much an average guy and his victory opened the floodgates for millions of everyday folks to get into the game. Interest in poker had never been higher and a lot of poker books suddenly appeared on bookstore shelves to cash in on the craze.

This book, a collection of stories by poker personality Phil Hellmuth, is pretty typical of the books rushed into print that year - fairly fluffy stuff designed to excite the reader with tales of amazing hands, bold bluffs, fantastic folds and the most unlikely scenarios you can imagine. In other words it is a book designed to feed the hype. I admit I found it entertaining, but I think if anyone tried to base their style of play from the stories they read in this book, the result would be disastrous. It has been said that to the untrained eye, poker at its highest level looks a lot like poker at its lowest levels and books like this make it look simpler than it is. All the complex nuances, all the hours of observation required to make an informed decision in poker are excluded when a hand is distilled down to a page of description. Still, anyone just interested in a “highlight reel” kind of poker book will find a few hours of entertainment here.
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