Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players
is a contribution by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth.
David Sklansky is one of pokers most respected theorist. Mason
Malmuth owns Two Plus Two Publishing; a company that has introduced many poker and gambling books. Advanced Players is one of Sklansky
and Malmuth's early collaborations. The objective of the book is to bring the reader concepts that were once only understood by the
professionals. It promises that, with study, the reader will be well on his way to becoming a winning player.
Advanced Players is a serious book. Like many of Sklansky’s works, it is not meant to be read casually. Rather, it is meant to be
studied like a textbook. The book is a great complement to
Theory of Poker, a book that emphasizes concepts
and theories that can be applied to a variety of games, but lacks practical advice. The material in Advanced Players is still steeped in
theoretical concepts, however it offers advice on how to apply these concepts to Limit Hold’em cash games.
"Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players" is likely to appeal to the student of poker who wants to apply their learnings to become
an expert on limit hold’em cash games. Many new poker players learn poker via no limit hold’em tournaments – which is the predominant game
featured on television and the Internet. Many of these players are beginning to frequent the limit hold’em cash games with the same strategies
they used to be successful in no limit tournaments. These players fail to recognize the nuisances that make limit different from no
limit. The result is a high profit potential for those willing to take the time and study this particular game. This book is the perfect
tool for those with this particular objective.
"Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players" was first written in 1988. Internet poker had not yet become popular and poker was not seen widely
on television. As a result, it was much harder to gain experience. In 1988, the material introduced readers to concepts that were only
known to professional players. With information much easier to come by today, most of these concepts will not seem new (who but the most
novice player has not heard of semi bluffing?). However, the edition has been updated for the 21st century to include more relevant advice
for today’s games. Thus the section on semi bluffing does not just explain the concept for what it is, but also contains examples on how
and when to apply the technique to today’s cash games. Also, a whole section has been added on how to play loose and short-handed games.
Advanced Players is interesting in that it looks on the surface to be a basic how to book. It starts out by analyzing hand rankings,
recommending starting hands for early, mid and late
position, and listing strategic concepts and when
to use them. Indeed, a beginning player would get just as much out of this book as any other how to beginning book. However the book is
like an onion – keep peeling away and there is much more strategic insight to be gleaned. For example, the beginning reader may only
look to the section on starting hand recommendations to determine which hands to play. The intermediate reader will more closely read
about advice on considering the types of players that they are playing against and how to adjust these requirements. An expert player
will take all this advice and then read about how other expert players will be viewing him and how to adjust accordingly.
"Hold'em Poker for
Advanced Players" also contains a question and answer section at the end of the book. The reader can use this section to assess his
level of retention of the materials. If he could not answer some of the questions, he can go back and study the book until he has mastered
its contents. It provided a great barometer to ones comprehension of the materials.
In a nutshell, "Hold’em Poker for Advanced Players" by David Sklansky is an academic book with practical value. It can be read
on many different levels, but is best read over several readings. It provides great advice to the aspiring limit hold’em cash game player
looking to get a leg up on no limit hold players that do not understand the nuances of this very different game. It should be in every
serious player’s toolbox.
Purchase Sklansky's Book