Best Tournament Books Out There
Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time - Review
By Al Spath
Well, Mathew Hilger's publishing house (DIMAT Enterprises) has released the book that poker players will be talking about for years to come. If it has the staying power of "Super System" it surely will be a cornerstone for everyone's poker library. The authors, noted poker players (Eric "Rizen" Lynch, John "ApeStyles" Van Fleet and Jon "PearlJammer" Turner, have provided the relevant theory and concepts fundamental to becoming an outstanding player.
Each author has their own section, taking the reader through tournament play (hand by hand), very similar to the outstanding illustrations provided by Bob Ciaffone and Jim Brier in their classic poker book: Middle Limit Hold'em. Although the three have some similar thoughts, the insight and approaches by each author are readily recognized and appreciated by an astute reader.
Volume I, which covers play up to the bubble, include discussions on stealing blinds; continuation bets, building a big stack, short-stack strategies, deep-stack play, playing draws and what seems like the most important aspect to some readers, bubble play!
Volume II will discuss hands in the money and I can't wait for its release. As a bonus and I mean a bonus, the final section of the book contains 20 collaborative hands (all illustrated with responses from each author on the hands-without consultation). Clearly their views differ based on the situation and their individual styles, which I found to provide a fresh way to look at each hand from different perspectives.
Here are a few PSO forum comments from the members at poker school online:
• "BTW I'm reading this book too, just about 20 hands into the first section which is by PearlJammer, so far EXCELLENT. I love Jon's style early on because it's similar to my own, and he does a fantastic job of explaining his thought processes."
• "I am also reading this book and it is great to see the thought process revealed, and the reasoning for a fold of a big hand, or a call with a marginal hand. Great read, very informative!"
• "I have started reading Winning Poker Tournaments-one hand at a time and this book says it all, I love it."
Matthew was kind enough to arrange for a radio interview with Eric "Rizen" Lynch in September on "RoundersRadio.com" where I co-hosted a monthly radio show with Konan Luce of pokerpages. The discussion was lively and spirited, with Eric answering my questions and those provided by PSO members.
For some beginners, he discussed "floating," "a dry ace," and more facts about the "hijack seat." Most intriguing to myself and others listening (which I found out afterwards), was his discussion (in the book and during the interview), pertaining to tournaments online that often are "filled with satellite players." His play and the expected play of others (especially early in the event), is quite dependant on how the field was set (with either a paid entry, or by a majority of players who satellite in, that often may not have the same skill sets of advanced players).
We discussed specific passages and hands from the book and I identified the page and hand number so that anyone replaying the podcast could follow the conversation "after" reading the particular pages from which the question came. Additionally, the conversation turned to playing certain cards, of course Ace/Jack in early position was of prime interest to the listeners, and raising two and a half times the big blind (an emerging trend lately), which proves to be a tactical as well as strategic move for an advanced player in or out of position as it turns out.
It is an outstanding book with great insight and is easy to read and digest. A real find! You can't give a book a higher rating without lying. This book is only the start; Volume II can only make this the best matched set since Harrington released his books after his WSOP
Without hesitation, get your copy on order today (the book is available at the Dimat Enterprise's website or places like Amazon), and send one to a friend who thinks they know everything about poker, but haven't actually scratched the surface!