Haven't read Hellmuth's one, but a couple of observations on Caro:
- Large chunks of it are dedicated to specific draw poker tells... which are irrelevant to most people these days. There's also quite a few bits specific to stud, which may or may not be relevant to you.
- I found it a bit difficult to tell what was going on with some of the pictures: they're black and white and reproduced small, for the most part.
- I found the MCU hand charts a bit irritating too. After a while you get the hang of them, and I can appreciate what he was trying to do with them, but they took a while to get my head around when other poker books have accomplished the same thing in a much simpler manner.
That said though, the text is solid gold and I learned quite a bit from it - very worthwhile read for live players.
Hellmuth doesn't have a book on tells. You are no doubt referring to Read Em and Reap by JOE NAVARRO, retired FBI agent. Hellumuth's name is used only for marketing/endorsement, although he does use Joe's techniques himself, the did not write the book.
Anyway, even if Phil DID write it, are you planning on having him come over and read it to you? Why would you even consider an author's table personality ("annoying" in your words) as tainting his ideas or abilities? My theory on Hellmuth is that only donks hate him, because he reminds them that they suck. All the top pros just laugh off his "I'm the greatest" comments, but I think that the real reason people don't like him is the other side of the coin, the "you play so bad" tirades. I for one feel Phil's pain of wanting to win so badly that failure for whatever reason just drives you crazy. Short drive, I know.
Easy there buddy. I actually like Phil's overall style of play. I still think he is annoying, and seems to need a lot of attention. But is a great player none the less.
I assumed he wrote at least some of the book from the reviews I saw on Amazon. And with such reasoning, I also gathered from the reviews of his other books, that it might be more of the same. Phil telling everyone how great he is for 1/3 of the book.
I'll probably end up just buying both...you can never learn too much.
FWIW - I read "Read 'Em..." I learned a lot from it. I have no basis for comparison to Caro's book however. Having read it though I have seen a lot of the tells he describes about the feet and legs. Everyone is so conscious about controlling their faces and hands and they forget about legs and feet. I have also caught myself doing a some of the things described in the book and consciously made efforts to control them which really help.
Hellmuth's contributions are pretty limited too a couple of short anecdotes.