This is a discussion on Book Review: Poker Math That Matters within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; Basics Title: Poker Math That Matters, Simplifying the Secrets of NoLimit Holdem Author: Owen Gaines, Drag The Bar coach and CardsChat member (QTipDTB) Cost: 24.95 + $5 


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Book Review: Poker Math That Matters
Basics
Title: Poker Math That Matters, Simplifying the Secrets of NoLimit Holdem Author: Owen Gaines, Drag The Bar coach and CardsChat member (QTipDTB) Cost: 24.95 + $5 s&h available at qtippoker.com (click on the book title above) Review I've noticed recently that I have been on autopilot and not thinking about the math behind my decisions enough so I was considering picking up Mathematics of Poker (http://www.amazon.com/MathematicsPokerBillChen/dp/1886070253)but I have heard that it's a bear of a read and as dry as a bone so I was a bit leery and put it off. When I was going on my 2nd month without completing a FTP Academy challenge because I hadn't once folded a 4 flush draw without direct odds (I had implied odds dammit ) on the turn I figured I needed to do something. About the time that I started to think about Mathematics of Poker again QTip started posting here a little and I looked him up over on Drag the Bar. I liked his videos and approach to the game and lo and behold he'd just released a book on Poker Math. The price was reasonable and so what the hell. I placed my order. The book arrived USPS about 4 days after I placed my order and I began reading it. The book reads very easily and starts out VERY basically with details on buyins, bankrolls and winrates. Owen then introduces key concepts (ratios, percentages, fractions, and expectation) that he expands on later after a basic chapter on counting outs and the 4/2 rule. The real meat of the book then begins with all the fun math stuff you'd expect in a poker book. Odds, Equity, Fold Equity, Hand Combos, Bluffing, SemiBuffing, Implied Odd, and Set Mining are all clearly laid out and explained. The style of the book is to introduce and teach a subject and then ask 310 quiz style questions at the end of each chapter. The questions and answers are at the back of the book so you can check your work. I really liked the fact that the questions were reprinted in the back so it wasn't just a list of answers. I think this will make a great way to refresh as needed by just going through the questions and answers from time to time and only rereading sections that I am unclear on. Owen does a very good job of explaining each topic and teaching basic shortcuts where applicable. The math is all very clearly and simply explained and I'm pretty sure even the most mathematically challenged will get it. In fact, I'd say this book is aimed squarely at the beginning poker player and those who want to get the basic math foundation down without all the big scary equations that a book like Mathematics of Poker throws at the reader. Unfortunately, there are a number of typos and a couple of silly errors that Owen is aware of and that he says will be fixed in the next printing and in the soon to be released digital format. Most of them are meaningless things like saying the answers are on page 188 when they're actually on page 190. I will say that these types of errors bother me whenever I see them in a book but especially a math book. Not sure why as none of them really effected the math but I did notice it enough to PM Owen about it. I also would have liked to see a couple of more advanced chapters on things like standard deviation, variance, and perhaps HUD stats, but all the basics are there and I understand the decision not to include the more advanced concepts. Bottom line is that I would certainly recommend the book to all beginners and to those looking to add a solid math foundation to their games. It's a quick read and it doesn't bog down which is quite a feat for a math text. The $30 with shipping price seems right and I would certainly say I got my monies worth out of it. On top of that Owen seems like a genuinely good guy and I hope he sticks around here at CC. Oh yeah and I still have yet to fold to a turn bet holding a 4 flush. Maybe I should just move on to the next stupid FTPA challenge. 
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re: Poker & Book Review: Poker Math That Matters
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This is a question on WV, as well as Owen: How does the application of the math differ in FR 6max, SnG, MTT etc. Does he (do you) go into any detail as to when to distinguish between your format and how to apply the math in a particular format? Or is this question not relative to how this book is laid out?
In any case, its on the list of "Things to do/get" and ditto on that not folding the 4 flush in the turn bet........ so I guess I better buy it ASAP.... 
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Yea  I am working on coming up with something. Also to all of you  I am sure Owen will be glad to answer questions about the book in this thread. 
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WV: Thanks for this great review. I appreciate it, and I'm glad you enjoyed the book. Debi has contacted me about a couple things here with donating a book or two for different events, and I'm happy to do stuff like that. At this point, I've only blogged about the book over at DTB (used to be a post there WV, but the whole blog forum got removed because we reformatted the way blogs are viewed.) There are a couple campaigns lined up for it coming up soon.
fletchdad: This books has nothing about ICM or thinking of different payout structures, etc. I'm strictly a cash player, and this book reflects that. The concepts included are good for analyzing any type of hand, whether HU, FR or 6max. I included the table of contents on my website: www.qtippoker.com (http://www.qtippoker.com). So, be sure to check that out so you know what topics are covered or not. Pooffy: This book is exactly for players like us. When I first started learning poker in 2004, I was overwhlemed trying to learn the math involved in analyzing poker, and it was very discouraging trying to find good, useful, easytounderstand material. It's what inspired me to write this book. The methods I use are based more on percentages than ratios as I find people just tend to think more easily about 25% instead of 3:1. The other thing I found in material on poker math is there has been very little discussion on applying math to aggression in poker. The concept of pot odds is normally just used to analyze call/fold decisions. I give some shortcuts to use at the table with bluffing and semibluffing that I've not seen in print anywhere else. I'm certainly happy to field any other questions/comments. Thanks, Owen 
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I'm hugely math averse. It intimidates me on the whole. When another player describes game play in terms of mathematical concept or decision making, my mind flinches. In the past year, I began to understand this just wasn't going to cut it as I tried to improve my game.
I can't begin to express how much Owen's explanations have helped me to see that I can actually understand and, most importantly, use basic poker math concepts while I play. Two days ago, it hit me that...omg...I'm calculating ev and pot odds! While I'm playing! I've not read Owen's book but am studying his videos at DTB. It's at the top of my "books to buy" list, though. I can totally recommend his methods of explanation to anyone who is put off by math, intimidated by it or just can't seem to find a method to come to understand it. I still have a great deal to learn but I honestly think I have a solid start now. 
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Thanks, and thanks for your input at CC in any case. 
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re: Poker & Book Review: Poker Math That Matters
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Also seeing as Lilli has actually started applying some from just the videos alone I will check that out as well. 
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lol We could test you every day; "did you read it today?" "How about today?" "Did it sink in yet?" 