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Publisher's Summary

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

Critic Reviews

"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)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Story

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  • Noah
  • Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 08-03-17

Wanted to like it but it's not great in audio form

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

No, maybe in text but in audio format it's too hard to follow the many many many hands she describes.

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Amazing

Amazing narrator
Amazing content
A must read book if you want to be a better poker player

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best poker book ive read yet

Just solid all the way through. Really good book for someone that knows general concepts.

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Epic content, bit outdated

Very good to get a solid game. Use this book as a base and go to but try to add on the newer strategies like overbets for example. Hard to follow the pace at times but great stuff overall.

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  • lizmari
  • Fort Collins, CO United States
  • 06-06-16

Solid advice, fantastic narration

What did you love best about Decide to Play Great Poker?

What I loved best about this audiobook is Annie's reading of it. I could get the same information (all fantastic) from reading the print version, but Annie does an excellent job of narrating, and she's funny too.

What did you like best about this story?

What I really like about this book is that Annie Duke makes it clear that, while there are definitely guidelines that give you an advantage over your opponents, there is no "always do this" advice; From the first few lines, she makes it clear that poker is extremely context-dependent, so that you will likely play the same two cards differently depending on position, pot size, and your opponents. Her philosophy is rooted strongly in game theory, and perhaps because I know a bit of game theory from an animal behavior perspective, her ideas made complete sense to me. I am still a very novice poker player, but I feel that not only was this book easy to comprehend, it was also easy for me to try to put into practice much of her advice. And in case you are wondering, here are the first few lines of the first chapter, with the section titled: "The First Rule is There are No Rules." "Study the following chart of starting hands very carefully. Did you notice that there's no chart? Good." Rather than focusing on what exactly to do in specific situations, Annie tries to prepare you to know how to make good decisions, regardless of the situation, and she does it with humor and intelligence.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The most laugh-out-loud moment in the book... The scenario: you have AQo, multiway pot, in position, you bet pre-flop from the button, get four callers, and a bet on the flop gets you to three players when the turn card comes out, and player A bets on the turn... "With a hand like AQ on an A-9-3-x board, you're basically hoping that player A has lost his mind and bet into two players on the turn with AJ or worse and that B has somehow managed to call with AJ or worse. That seems unlikely at best. Obviously, the looser (or drunker) the players, the greater likelihood that this mass insanity has taken place."Annie's reading of this is hilarious and perfect. Another favorite part, that ends with a line that rings in my head when facing low suited connectors (in her example, the hand is 8(spades) 7(spades)... "The first thing I have to ask you is why are you playing this hand? If you're in early position and your answer is anything other than, "Because it's suited," you're kind of lying, because you know that if you held 8(spades) 7(hearts), you'd fold it like an origami swan, so that's that. Okay, maybe everyone folded to you in the cutoff and you raised. I'm down with that, totally. You could have also been forced into the hand in the blinds. I get that too. But anything other than those, especially from early position, and you're playing the hand because it's suited! Stop that! Now!"

Any additional comments?

Be prepared to listen to this book several times, and to rewind and listen to parts over again. It is certainly a lot of information to digest in audio format, with a constant barrage of hand and action descriptions. I have also found that listening, trying to implement advice, and then listening again (and again), allows me to have a greater understanding and appreciation for what Annie is saying in any given situation. Overall, a very enjoyably listen!

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Absolutely loved it. I'll be re-reading it again.

So much to absorb, so much to comprehend. If you like advanced concepts broken down in to bite size meals then this is the book for you. just be prepared to have to read it multiple times to take it all in.

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Pleasantly Perfect

The information is valuable. Perfect for where I'm at in poker right now. Annie Duke's voice and delivery is pleasant and soothing. I could listen to her read the phone book.

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I believe Annie Duke is a genuis.

If you could sum up Decide to Play Great Poker in three words, what would they be?

The New Testament.

If Doyle Brunson is credited for having wrote the poker bible than Annie Duke wrote the new testament. I want to keep this book to myself and hide it from the rest of the world.

What did you like best about this story?

My favorite thing about "Decide" is the main point Annie drives home throughout the book. Poker is a game of decision making under conditions of uncertainty.

Which scene was your favorite?

Annie explains in depth how she makes decisions easier for herself and harder for her competition.

Any additional comments?

If Annie Duke writes a 2nd book and I'm still using Audible I will buy it.

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A lot of great information into how pros think.

Anne Duke has no problem telling it like it is. She is very informative on how she thinks at the table. overall very helpful for those that want a guide line to a higher level of thinking at the table

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quans review

it's very clear concise and informative giving a unique perspective on playing poker it comes from a format of not telling you what to do but how best to do it and why