I started playing Texas Holdem online about three years ago. I think that my interest in the game took hold as the result of watching the “World Poker Tour” TV shows on the Travel Channel. I would be mesmerized for hours watching the likes of Doyle Brunson, Phil Ivy, Gus Hansen, David “the Devilfish” Ulliott, Jennifer Harman, Howard “The Professor” Lederer. The game seemed so simple back then … you could see each of the players hole cards and just about knew what was going to happen.
When I started playing, it turned out that it was not as easy as it looked on TV. It took about 10 sessions of losing my entire stack at each session to realize that if I wanted to continue to play, I needed some help. I already had a few books on the rules of Texas Holdem but it appeared that I needed to know more. So I started my search for more advanced poker books and I came across one written by a trio of authors; Ed Miller, David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth, titled “Small Stakes Hold’em”.
Some of the earlier books I’ve read said that poker was not gambling, it was a skill, like a sport, etc. But right up front this powerhouse of authors stated that “Poker is Gambling” in no uncertain terms. But the line that really caught my attention was the following: “As long as you understand fundamental gambling concepts and make correct decisions, winning will be inevitable.” Well, I liked that phrase a whole lot. So I started reading the book and I found out that the book is geared especially for the Limit Holdem player, which I had not played before.
This book covers everything you need to know, from poker theory, poker odds, starting hands based on position, preflop play, post flop play, and river play. There are discussions about pot odds, implied odds, reverse implied odds, pot equity and more.
I believe that the most helpful part of the book is that they have a very defined table of starting hand selections for both the tight tables and loose tables that you might play at. There are also hand quizzes and answers to many of the types of hands you are likely to run into. Whenever I get into a rut and realize that I am not making good decisions in Limit Holdem, I always come back to this book for a refresher course. This is one book that I heartily recommend that you have in your poker book collection.