Ask the great poker players how they'd play a hand and the answer is always "it depends." That answer can be infuriating. But guess what? It really does depend. The key to becoming a great poker player is in knowing what it depends on. At last there's a book that gives you that answer. Poker is a game of so many variables; table position, flop texture, the number of players in a hand, the personalities of your opponents, and so much more. Decide to Play Great Poker teaches you how to identify and analyze those variables, interchange them within basic game-situation templates, and become knowledgeable, comfortable, and confident in any poker situation. Instead of just dictating a bunch of rules that work only some of the time, this book teaches you to become a great poker thinker and strategist so that you can expertly navigate any poker challenge you encounter. Most players think the goal of poker is to make money. They're wrong! The goal of poker is to make good decisions. Money is simply the way you measure how well you're meeting that objective. So if you're ready to start making world-class decisions at the poker table - and to reap the substantial rewards that those decisions will yield - all you have to do is decide: Decide to Play Great Poker now. You'll never be vexed by "it depends" again.
©2011 Annie Duke and John Vorhaus (P)2011 Spoken Word Inc
"Annie is the rare player who not only plays well but is also an amazing teacher. She and John Vorhaus have closed an important gap in poker lit by writing about the art of poker, not the mechanics. This is an essential book for anyone who wants to take their game to its peak." (Erik Seidel, All-time tournament-poker money leader)
Substance, Execution, Non-filler.
Not a story.
Made me no longer hate Annie.
I bought this audio book, not expecting much. Most, if not all of the poker literature by famous poker players is junk, with lots of fluff and self adulation. Being the poker junkie I am, I went ahead and downloaded it. Right from the start Annie jumps into discussing theory and concepts of the game in a way that shows what can only be the mind of not only a good player but a great teacher who's sole purpose was to put out a great product. And it is. A lot of
I was very impressed with Annie Duke's "Decide to play great poker."
I have read upward of 20+ books on poker, mostly before the online teaching sites came out. For my money the best book I ever read on poker was, and still is, Sklanski's "The theory of Poker." Mostly, because Sklanki is not trying to tell you how to play each hand, but rather how to think your way through a hand. Annie is very similar in her approach, and thus I would rank it right up their with "Theory." This is a very accesable book for those with a poker background, and Annie writes well in a very conversational tone.
I would liken Annie's book to a decision model that I used to put together to organize masses of information in law school to prepare for a test, or a logic flow chart a programmer may put together to understand a piece of software she is working on. Annie tries to analyze many situations you may encounter such as Top pair in position with the lead, vs. one oppenent. She discusses what you do, and more importantly WHY? The answer to the why question is so important, because this allows you to adjust her advice to the way your particular oppent(s) is playing under the situation she has analyzed in the book.
For example, if she gives you some advice to raise with top pair on a bord of A77, because someone who has three of a kind is not likely to bet out in fear of losing a customer, if you know your opponent is caplable of betting out with the set you may decide to play differently. Just an example of the cocept, not of her particluar advice.
Her style of talking about poker is her biggest strength. She speaks about general situations you will face, and that makes it easier to apply than the replay of a specific hand you get in ohter books.
Example: she might say you have either top two pair or a set on a board like A92 three different suits, and then go through how you would play from different spots against different player(s). As opposed to other authors who give you A9 and say a flop specifically Ac 2h 9s. Then you extract the general message and try to determine what kind of other hands that may apply to. Both styles have hteir merrits, but it is an interesting teaching style.
The best things I found in the book, and their are many good things to choose from, are her discussion about suited cards (over rated), and how she thinks trough many situations, and demonstrates that often the best play is the same whether your oppopnent has the high end of his/her range or the low end, making your decision much easier than you would have thought. Her discussion of starting hands, and pre flop raise sizing are close seconds to the discussions above.
If I had one complaint, and it really isn't much of one, it would be more Annie, give me more similar analysis of more situations. Though poker is a game with infinint situations, many similar situatins repeat themselves over and over again. She covers a great deal of those common situtations, but I would love to see more explained in future work. (Are you listenining Annie?)
As forthe audio experience vs book form, I recomend hte audio for this work, because it makes you work more yourself. You have to listen closely, and put yourself at th table, in the position and witht he holding type she describes. This mirrors the the type of concetration it tkes tothink at the table.
As I tweeted Annie a few weeks ago, the book changed the questions I ask myself when I am in a hand.
annie duke was good,
poker education very good,
enjoyed it ,
would listen to it more than 3-4 times,
I had read this book before, reading bits and pieces here and there. I thought I was applying it in my play, but I was doing it totally incorrectly and - more importantly - inconsistently. However, I knew enough to recognize that there was something there that was missing from my game that I hadn't learned from the many other poker books I've read.
So - in order to try to really learn it, I downloaded the audiobook version and started listening every day during my commute. I am now into my third listen, and I'm still learning and getting better. My tournament results have sky-rocketed, helped no doubt by a healthy dose of winning races in key spots. This audiobook has paid for itself about 400-500X by my estimate.
However - and WAY more importantly - I am 1000% more comfortable at the table and positive of the moves I make. This confidence is contagious and helps me to project a much more scary table image and get way more respect. No longer am I picked on as the weak-tight fish just hoping to make it into the money. I recently won my first tourney in the local card room, and one of the players in the final 3 told me "I had a feeling early on that it would be me and you in it to the end."
This book had not only made me a better poker player, but it's made me a happier poker player. Now that is a good poker book.
The only other book that I have found is key for a very beginning player is Dan Harrington's series.
The advice on pre-flop raising and not playing suited connectors gave me the most immediate improvement.
No - but I do hear Annie's voice in my head when I'm at the table some times. I guess that's kinda weird.
This book could have dove into a few deeper topics about poker, but it stayed true to more basic concepts of the game. The book offered inspiration while refreshing some of those concepts, and that is probably where the book is most valuable. If you're a poker player who already knows a bit about the mechanics of your game, you would like this book to give you a refresher and maybe a boost in confidence about what decisions you make with poker. All in all, it's great game strategy review for poker players, as well as a refresher to thinking about the game.
THE BEST POKER BOOK OUT THERE - AMAZING INSIGHT
IT MADE ME CONFIDENT IN MY LINES OF PLAY - AND I NO LONGER CRY WHEN I LOSE - FOR REASONS GIVEN IN THIS BOOK.
I WAS AN AVERAGE EXPERIENCED PLAYER BEFORE READING THIS BOOK, LOSING MORE THAN I WAS WINNING,STRUGGLING TO RISE ABOVE THE COMPETITION, BUT HOPEFUL MY "LUCK" WOULD CHANGE. AFTER LISTENING TO THIS AUDIOBOOK MY BANKROLL HAS RISEN 10 FOLD AND I AM A MUCH BETTER PLAYER,IT PATCHED UP MANY HOLES IN MY GAME. YOU WILL NEED TO BE ATTENTIVE AND LISTEN MANY, MANY TIMES TO FULLY GRASP THIS WINNING STYLE OF POKER, BUT IT WORKS AND MY HAT'S OFF TO ANNIE DUKE, VERY IMPRESSIVE! ( 78suited not so attractive anymore...lol)
Do not have print version, but Annie's narration is great, so much more real
Makes you understand the game, not just memorizing things
Annie makes you feel like she is talking to you and makes things feel real
Hey, it is a poker book, not romance novel
Highly recommend it for players wanting to improve
Wisdom comes out of no where and will really have you rethinking some if not all of your play.
When I started listening to this book, it was like a veil being lifted from my eyes. It became so obvious that the path I'd taken would never make me a better player. I wasn't thinking ahead at all. I wasn't trying to figure out what hand(s) the opponents could be having as I thought it was impossible to figure out. Without some idea of this outs and pot odds make almost no sense. So what if you make your hand and have no clue that your opponent had you all along. You raised on the flop, he called. Called all the way to the river and then raised all-in. What on earth did you think he had? Your 67 made the flush on the turn but do you really think the tight player calling you has nothing?!
Anyways. So far I have been reading the first 5 chapters over and over again because they are important for me to understand. It has totally changed the game for me. It has changed from being any other kind of gambling to a game of skill and thrill. The book won't make you a better player but it will give you the tools to practice the decision making and thereby making less errors. You will start to not care that much about results but more about if you made the right decision. If you made the right decision you will win in the long run. Knowing you made the right decision makes you smile. Well, it makes me smile even if I lost the hand. Looking back for errors. None. Smiling. Next time you'll play it the exactly same way and win.
If you have to have the best hand to win, you won't make it in poker.
No. I haven't finished it yet. I have been rereading the first 5 chapters over and over again to fully understand and absorb its content.
Its all about decisions.
Annie Duke explains her thinking and what she thinks her opponents might be thinking about in a wide range of situations.
Harrington's books, for the thoughts behind the play
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