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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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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It finally is sticking!!! THANKS!!!

What made the experience of listening to Decide to Play Great Poker the most enjoyable?

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. <br/><br/>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. <br/><br/>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." <br/><br/>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.

What other book might you compare Decide to Play Great Poker to and why?

The only other book that I have found is key for a very beginning player is Dan Harrington's series.

Which scene was your favorite?

The advice on pre-flop raising and not playing suited connectors gave me the most immediate improvement.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • chico, CA, United States
  • 10-18-12

THE REAL DEAL

Where does Decide to Play Great Poker rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

THE BEST POKER BOOK OUT THERE - AMAZING INSIGHT

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

IT MADE ME CONFIDENT IN MY LINES OF PLAY - AND I NO LONGER CRY WHEN I LOSE - FOR REASONS GIVEN IN THIS BOOK.

Any additional comments?

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)

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  • Jack
  • Wayne, NJ, United States
  • 10-03-12

Awsome for poker players of any level

Would you consider the audio edition of Decide to Play Great Poker to be better than the print version?

Do not have print version, but Annie's narration is great, so much more real

What did you like best about this story?

Makes you understand the game, not just memorizing things

What does Annie Duke bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Annie makes you feel like she is talking to you and makes things feel real

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

Hey, it is a poker book, not romance novel

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend it for players wanting to improve

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definitely points in the right direction

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

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?!<br/><br/>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.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Decide to Play Great Poker?

If you have to have the best hand to win, you won't make it in poker.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

Its all about decisions.

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  • Ian
  • Toronto, ON, Canada
  • 04-19-12

Great Book

Would you listen to Decide to Play Great Poker again? Why?

Very good poker book. This book must be read several times and studied in great detail. It breaks down poker situations in great detail and with great mathematical poker correctness. It presents a huge amount of detail to follow and retain. I have read it twice now and have the hardcopy also. I have yet to fully absorb any section and think I must break it down and take good notes (I plan to study each section at a time and try to incorporate it into my play). This might condense the dizzingly huge amount of detail. Still I would say that absorbing and fully understanding this book will make anyone a very good poker player (if not a great one) - it will not be easy. So I will work very hard on this one. Keep thinking that the authors should have made a huge effort to boil the book down to essentials only - no unnecessary comments, present a concept in the simplest way possible, go over each sentence and paragraph and eliminate everything not absolutely required. I think the book would then be 20% thinner and still say the same thing. Still a must have book for poker players who want to improve.

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  • Chris
  • United States
  • 03-22-12

Eye-Opening

Would you consider the audio edition of Decide to Play Great Poker to be better than the print version?

I Haven't read the print version of this book, but to listen to it was like having a friend of yours tell you exactly what you've been doing wrong and how to correct them. Not only just tell you, but explain clearly to you until you understand.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Decide to Play Great Poker?

The whole of the experience was awesome. I hope one day I'll be able to hold this book in my hand while I'm accepting a WSOP bracelet!

What about Annie Duke’s performance did you like?

Very personable, very clear. Not just a monotone read, loved it.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Eye-opening!

Any additional comments?

I appreciate the fact that I tweeted to Annie and she actually responded, makes me feel like she really cares about what she does. She's very good at teaching and is now my favorite poker pro.

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possibilities are discussed overwhelmingly

possibilities are discussed overwhelmingly. book starts talking about the thumb rules of the game. good book

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great read!

fantastic information. suggest listening to this book minimum 3 times. Take notes and take the information to Heart. well worth every second of your time

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Excellent advice, hard to follow in audio

Would you consider the audio edition of Decide to Play Great Poker to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version, but it would definitely be a beneficial complement to the audio edition. Annie Duke makes great points, but some of the statistical information is difficult to follow in an audio format. I like to truly understand what is being said about the stat's. She also continues to underscore that staying with suited connectors, unless they are big cards, is not wise. I am not sure about this advice, as she seems to be saying to dump them every time. The audio version is very long(10 hours).

What does Annie Duke bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Annie's intonation definitely underscores her beliefs and advice and you wouldn't get the drama if you were reading her advice.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • pj
  • 05-18-13

very good

Would you listen to Decide to Play Great Poker again? Why?

annie duke was good,

Who was your favorite character and why?

annie duke,

Which scene was your favorite?

poker education very good,

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

enjoyed it ,

Any additional comments?

would listen to it more than 3-4 times,

0 of 1 people found this review helpful