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Poker Books and Reviews

Below, you'll find a list of all the books I've read and re-read since May 2005. Although not each of these books is worth its weight in gold, I strongly believe that each poker book every written offers at least one or two pieces of sage advice that will save you (or make you) money at the tables.

Ace on the River (Greenstein)
If you're looking for a strategy guide or a "how-to" for poker, this book is not what you're looking for. Howver, if you like Barry Greenstein, pretty pictures, well-written text, keen insight into the mind of a professional poker player, or stories about the various games and lifestyles that the poker scene offers, this book is for you.

Score: 4/5

Big Deal (Holden)

This book is much like McManus' Positively Fifth Street but without all the legal fluff and stripper talk. I much preferred Holden's writing style and his focus on poker, as opposed to McManus' talk of tar heroine, cheats, criminals, and U.S. history. If you're looking for a book that describes the thoughts, trials and tribulations of a wannabe poker pro, I highly recommend this book. If you're looking to learn how to play poker, there's nothing you'll learn here that you don't already know (I'm assuming you have passable knowledge of hold'em: otherwise, you wouldn't have stopped by my blog).

Score: 3/5

The Biggest Game in Town (Alvarez)
This book takes place around the 1981 WSOP. The focus of the book is not on Stu Ungar but more on the other players and characters who make up the rest of the field and background in Vegas. I honestly can't remember all that much about the book, except that it was well-written though a little dryer than Holden's book.

Still, for anyone interested in poker and stories about the great poker players of our time, this book is well worth a read.

Score: 3/5

Championship No Limit & Pot Limit Hold'em (Cloutier/McEvoy)

I know that Cloutier and McEvoy are both great pros and well-respected in the field, but this book left me a little disappointed. I'd originally picked it up in the hopes that it would make me a better NL cash game player. All I did learn is that I should never go broke with AK after missing the flop. Actually, that's good advice.

That being said, I just finished watching an episode of the PPT where Cloutier went broke with AK against Mortensen's pocket eights. Please T.J....please tell me you pushed pre-flop and not after the flop.

One last thing: T.J.'s stories about being on the road and of the games he played make this a book worth reading. I just feel that from a strategy point of view, there are better bangs for your buck.

Score: 2/5

The Education of a Poker Player (Yardley)

I'm expecting this book to come in the mail and I'm pretty excited to read it. It's either Holden or Alvarez who talks about how much he liked the book. I really enjoy reading stories about poker players who go from rags to riches, or who work their way through the ranks and climb the ladder of professional poker players.

One review on Amazon.com states:


I have an old moth eaten, doggie-eared copy of this, in pocket book form. I think I got it for pennies in the discount bin way back when. What a steal! My good friend and I used to practice magic, had all kinds of card books by John Scarne and others. I bought several on card manipulation, and poker strategy. When you like to play around with card tricks, I guess poker just comes along naturally as a game. This book was put aside for a long while, and then one bored evening, I started to read it. Wow, what an entertaining book I thought. It featured colorful stories of a young punk, getting involved with a cagey veteran gambler. What he learned in each of these stories is a strong life's lesson on playing poker.

I'll let you know what I think about the book when I get it in the next 4-6 weeks.

Harrington on Hold'em Volume I (Harrington)

If you haven't read Harrington's first volume and you like playing NL hold'em tournaments, you have really done yourself a disservice. Stop reading right now, click this link and order the book now.

Harrington's book explains how to play in tournaments of all sizes and buy-ins. Although "Action" Dan isn't the flashiest player out there, following his tight early tournament strategy will see you into the money time and time again. In fact, after reading his book, I cashed in 5 of my next 6 tournaments (a feat I have yet to repeat, mind you).

This book gets my highest rating because I think it has fundamentally changed the landscape of tournament poker and poker theory forever.

Score: 5/5

Harrington on Hold'em Volume II (Harrington)

Does lightning ever strike twice? It does if your name is Dan Harrington! Dan's second book is a must have for anyone looking to take down their first big tournament. In this second volume, Dan introduces the concepts of M and Q, both of which have become integral parts of a tournament players vocabulary. I'd fill you in on what M and Q mean, but you really need to read the entire book to fully appreciate those concepts.

And for those of us who don't really play that many tournaments, Dan also gives lots of advice regarding the best strategies for approaching sit-n-gos (which play out much like a final table at a tournament).

This book is another must have!

Score: 5/5

Harrington on Hold'em Volume III (Harrington)

I just finished reading this book and I found it a little wanting. The book places you in 50 hands played in various tournaments, putting you in the shoes of Daniel Negreanu, Gus Hansen, and other great tournament players. The goal of each exercise is to select the optimal strategy at each step throughout a hand, with points being scored for each possible answer.

Although many tournament players may find this to be a great learning tool, I found myself blindly picking the choices that I knew each pro would take (or took if I'd seen the hand played on TV). For example, playing as Daniel Negreanu always calls for a pre-flop limp followed by a flop check: Daniel like to keep the pots small unless he flops something really good. Likewise, David Williams like to make aggressive moves at the pot and Juha Helppi likes to bluff with his weaker hands.

Looking back, the book doesn't seem half bad. Maybe I'll revisit it after I've played some tournaments and see if it can help me out. Dan does list a number of common player leaks as an index at the back of the book, listing sections of his book and passages that will help the reader improve on his or her game.

Hmmm, that does sound pretty good, doesn't it? I guess I do highly recommend it.

Score: 4/5

Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players (Sklansky)

No one makes me feel stupider than good old Sklansky. Seriously - I used to think I was a bright enough guy until I read this book. I'll need to revisit this book once I've got another 5 or 10 years of experience under my belt. Until then, however, I can't recommend this book to anyone playing anything less than $10/$20 limit hold'em. Trying to apply any of Sklansky's teachings to the low-limit bullshit that most of us deal with will just result in your bankroll getting a bitch slap or two.

That being said, if you're playing the $10/$20 games or higher, you should be reading this book over and over again until you've memoried each and every line. It can be hard to swallow that much arrogance, but it'll be well worth it when you're raking in the chips.

Score: 1/5 (for beginners - it will just confuse and frighten you), 5/5 (for advanced players)

Inside the Poker Mind (Feeney)

When I first read a review of this book, I though: "Hey cool! I'd love to find out how professional poker players think!". And then I received the book in the mail and realized it was a 2+2 book...with Sklansky as a technical advisor. Little did I realize that all professional poker players think like Sklansky.

That being said, the book is well written and neatly divided into well-focused and easy-to-digest sections. And as an added bonus, you may get a copy just like mine that has duplicate copies of all pages number 250 to 310: that's 60 extra pages absolutely free!

I've only read the book once, but it's definitely one that I'd like to go back and revisit from time to time...especially the section discussing tilt and other psychological problems that get in the way of playing optimal poker.

Score: 3/5

Internet Texas Hold'em (Hilger)

Unlike many other limit hold'em books out there, Hilger's book has a few features that make it well worth a read if you're a beginning poker player:

  1. It's definitely catered to the online poker crowd: that's you!

  2. Lots of hand examples and quizzes which are absolutely invaluable to newer players.

  3. This is one of the few beginner limit hold'em books that varies starting hand requirements based on the number of players who've entered the pot ahead of you! This is very important to learn and understand!

  4. Why the hell am I using so many exclamation points?! Elaine would be proud!
Whether or not you know Matt Hilger, I recommend that you get to know his book: it's a must read as you start down the path to a profitable career in online poker.

Score: 5/5

The Making Of A Poker Player (Matros)

Once again, this is the type of book I like: a nobody finds poker, starts playing poker, gets good at poker, wins lots of money playing poker, and then writes a book about it. Matt discusses his time spent learning poker the hard way, in casinos, and via the Internet and the RGP newsgroups.

It may sound boring, but it's not. There's no ground breaking information in this book, but it's nice book to keep in the bathroom for a daily visit or two...or tres if tu quieras Taco Bell.

Score: 3/5

Making the Final Table (Lindgren, Matros)

I've got the book now and so far, so good. To put it succinctly, Lindgren is like the anti-Harrington. Rather than telling his readers to focus on survival in tournaments, Lindgren repeatedly reinforces the fact that chip accumulation should be the number one priority of any player in a tournament.

Lindgren also encourages readers to play a lot of small pots instead of waiting for big hands. This helps create a looser image that can pay off when you do hit a big hand. And the small pots all add up.

At first glance, this book seems rather simplistic. Beneath the surface, however, I found a wealth of knowledge that gave me the skills and confidence to take down my very first victory in an online MTT.

Score: 4/6

Mastering No-Limit Hold'em (Fox)
Although some may say Fox's book is too simplistic or presents too conservative a strategy for NL cash games, I find that his advice translates well to online full-ring NL games. Fox starting hand advice, flop play, turn play and river play seem carefully selected to minimize variance as much as possible. Get your money in with good hands and good flops, play it cautiously otherwise. This book helped me become a winning player (3 BB/100 over 653 hands!) at the $25 full ring NL games and I will probably re-read prior to sitting back down at a $50 NL table. All in all, a good book from a little known author.

Score: 4/5

The Mathematics of Poker (Chen)

I'll admit it: I'll blindly follow the suggestions of better, more successful poker players. In the case of this book, I ordered it simply because Matt Maroon mentioned it in his blog. Recently, I've started to turn my cash game focus more and more towards the "math" side of things in an effort to better my day to day results. I haven't read Chen's book yet, but it's been ordered and I'll be reading it as soon as possible.


Middle Limit Hold'em (Ciaffone)

I remember purchasing this book as I prepared to make the jump from $0.50/$1 limit hold'em to $1/$2 limit hold'em. In my mind, I considered $1/$2 to be a middle limit game. Boy was I wrong! The advice in this book, while most likely sound for middle limit hold'em, did not translate well to micro-limit stakes of $1/$2. I lost so much money so quickly that I almost gave up poker for good (see this post). This book contains a number of hand quizzes and sound advice; however, I find this to be one of the most boring books I've ever read. I may read it again in the future, but not without first chugging a can or two of Red Bull.

Score: 2/5

Caro's Book of Tells

For a live game player, this book is pretty good. Caro does a great job of outlining different tells and some probable interprations of their meanings. In an effort to make things seem more scientific, Caro also breaks down the value of spotting a tell in BB per hand. These numbers seem spotty at best, but whatever: I'm not a mad genius.

One disturbing trend in this book is that all the guys have 70s porn star affros and moustaches. All the women are dressed like hippies or like that lady in Rosemary's Baby. Oh, and everyone smokes! In fact, I seem to recall a string of 5 or 6 tells that all deal with smoking. Old school...

In my opinion, the reasons for me not finding the book useful boils down to one simple fact: there is no live poker being played in any casinos within a 400 mile radius of Ottawa. I also have a wife and a brand new son which means my chances of going to Vegas are sitting squarely at 0% (my chances were probably only 2% before my son was born anyway). So you tell me: what do I care about physical tells? That's right - nada! And if you play online poker, you'll agree that this book is not for you.

Score: 2/5 (extra point docked for excessive use of Ron Jeremy look-alikes)


No Limit Hold 'em: Theory and Practice (Sklansky)

The Sklank throws his hat into the NL cash game arena. The results? Same as always. Experienced players will love it! This book screams "Show me the money!". If you have a number of hours under your belt, love math and game theory, and are willing to apply yourself, this book will undoubtedly turn you into a killer NL cash game player. If you're a useless card monkey like me, this book only causes lots of head scratching and an uncontrollable urge to fling feces.

I'll have to re-read this book after I've got another few hundred hours of NL cash games behind me.

Score: 2/5 (for n00bs), 5/5 (for experienced players with a solid NL track record)

One of a Kind (Dalla)

Stu Ungar is probably the greatest natural talent player to ever play the game of poker. With his great abilities came a number of fatal flaws, including his love of nose-candy and other drugs. If you haven't read this book and really like poker, the WSOP, Vegas, or Stu Ungar, go ahead and pick up a copy.

Score: 3/5

Phil Gordon's Little Green Book

This book is one of the greatest books ever written on the subject of poker. Phil's writing style makes the book an easy read. However, beneath it all lies a wealth of knowledge that can only mean more money for you at the tables.

If you don't own this book, you need to pick it up now. Read it, re-read it, then read it again. Each pass through will give you a better understand of the game of hold'em and will undoubtedly make you a force to be reckoned at the tables.

Score: 5/5

Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book

Everything I said about Phil Gordon's Little Green Book is doubly true for his Little Blue Book too! This time around, Phil expands the area of discussion to NL cash games. This time round, Phil's primary teaching tool is hand histories. Phil takes you through a number of hands, from start to finish, and gives you an insight into the thought process underlying every decision he makes at the tables. It took me a few bus rides to finish this book, and I'll most likely read it two or three more times before the year's up. It is really that good, trust me!

Score: 5/5

Play Poker Like the Pros (Hellmuth)

Phil Hellmuth is great! Unfortunately, his book is not. As an autobiography, it's ok. As a poker reference book, it's all fluff and no substance. Leave it to Phil to keep his secrets closely guarded.

Score: 3/5 (from an entertainment point of view), 1/5 (as a learning tool)

Positively Fifth Street (McManus)

Lots of people love this book: I didn't. I found the prose to be overly verbose. I found the story deviating too much from poker, which I like, to the trial surrounding the murder of Ted Binion. If I want court room drama, I'll watch Law & Order.

Sorry Jim - nice try, though.

Score: 2/5 (+1 point given for solid poker content)

Pot-Limit & No-Limit Poker (Ciaffone)

Much like the other Ciaffone book I read, this one was a little tough to read.

First of all, the writing is quite dry at times.

Secondly, each page is packed so full of words, it takes a good two or three minutes to get through each page.

Lastly, there is a lot of discussion about games that hold no interest for me, including London Lowball...whatever that is.

Still, the book is quite sound and I'm sure that I'll read it a few more times as I grow as a player and look to better my game.

Score: 3/5

Pressure Poker (Gallant)

I've finished reading Pressure Poker (Scott Gallant a.k.a. Doubleas). If you're brand spanking new to online poker and don't know where to start, Scott's book is a must-read. Some of his talk about specific poker rooms and bonus offers is a little out-dated but you'll get the general idea. The Poker Tracker stuff is invaluable for new players and some of the general interest topics from Scott's contributors are a good read if you haven't spent time reading any other books.

The real meat of the book comes in the strategy section. This is the section that I found the most valuable. Many of Scott's strategies are his own creation and this comes through when he explains key concepts and presents example hands.

Score: 4/5 (for new online poker players), 3/5 (new B&M and online poker players), 2/5 (for everyone else)

The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King (Craig)

This book was awesome! It's the perfect balance of poker, psychology, and just plain entertainment. In the beginning, I found myself cheering for Andy Beal in his attempts to beat the pros. By the end, I found myself cheering for the pros as they struggle to keep it together mentally and financially. Seriously, this is one of the single best books I've ever read: if you like poker, buy it! This another book that I guarantee you'll love, assuming you're a fan of the poker.

Score: 5/5

Psychology of Poker

Schoonmaker's book does a great job of outlining the different personalities you'll meet at the tables, both live and online. If you find yourself having difficulties beating a particular player type, a quick look at a section of this book will have you back on track and winning.

Unlike other books, however, Schoonmaker also outlines the pros and cons of your very own playing style, whether you're a fish, rock, calling station, or TAG.

I've only read this book once, but I'll be revisiting it soon: I'd like to continue to be a winning player and this book is a necessary stepping stone towards that goal.

This book is a great read for anyone wishing to be a successful poker player.

Score: 4/5

Small Stakes Hold'em (Miller)

This was the first good poker book that I read. In it, Miller outlines a solid set of starting hands and strategies that can be effectively used by any student of limit hold'em. One warning though: this book should not be read by fresh-off-the-truck beginning poker players since many of the suggestions require a little experience to understand and apply properly at the tables.

Although I believe that Hilger's Internet Texas Hold'em is a slightly better book in terms of outlining appropriate play at the limit hold'em tables, Miller's book is tremendously important to any and all aspiring poker players.

Score: 4/5

Super System (Brunson)

Good book. Bible of poker. Lots of good stuff, lots of useless stuff. It doesn't matter what I say here because most of you will read this book regardless of what I write here. So read it, digest those parts that are not too obvious or outdated, then move on.

Score: 2/5

Super System II (Brunson)

This update to Doyle's earlier work, Super System, is a much better learning tool. Not only is the NL cash game advice given by Brunson still solid and quite applicable, but the other sections of the book are great.

Jennifer Harman's Limit Hold'em section is solid, though a little light on content. Negreanu does a great job of detailing the winning strategies for Triple Draw poker (available to play at Ultimate Bet). Todd Brunson does a great job with 7-card stud 8. And the list goes on for some of the other games as well, including Omaha O/8 and PL Omaha.

Buy this book, read this book, then go back and revisit the appropriate sections as necessary.

Score: 4/5

Tales from the Tiltboys (Tiltboys)

I ordered this book and I have a feeling I'm gonna love it! I have yet to read anything by Phil Gordon or about Phil Gordon that I haven't liked. Honestly, how bad could a book about a poker-playing giant (literally and figuratively) and his friends be? I'm guessing this is a winner. Plus, reading about others going on tilt makes my own tilty feelings seem less "tilty" somehow.

Texas Hold'em Odds (Barboianu)

When I ordered this book, I thought that it would greatly improve my limit game. Unfortunately, the book is rather large and unwieldy, and largely unintelligible due to a dry yet verbose writing style.

I haven't finished reading this book because I can't seem to stay awake much past the first two pages. Unless this book gets really good really quickly, I'm afraid that I can't recommend this book to anyone.

Score: 1/5

Texas Hold'em Odds And Probabilities (Hilger)

Another solid book by Hilger. Lots of real world examples. Lots of easy-to-apply math.

A very good book that examines and explains everything you'd need to know about odds and probability as they apply to Texas Hold'em.

Score: 5/5


The Theory of Poker (Sklansky)

I get that everyone loves this book. I also get that I hate this book. It's boring and so overly theoretical that I find it unbearable to read. Do people actually find this book useful? Do I really need to know that my EV is 2.13 BB when I bet on the river against a player 47% likely to be a calling when I hold second pair on a paired board on the eve of the harvest moon and the dance of the Ewoks?

Sklank: could you please write me a book that I understand? Just one...please?

Score: 1/5

Weighing the Odds in Hold'em Poker (Yao)

I really liked this one! It's a good combination of math, hand examples, and solid advice. Although not much of the content is new in this book, Yao's method of calculating outs and pot odds is unique and easy to apply at the table. I'd give you the formula here, but King Yao needs to get paid for his solid advice. Go buy the book now!

Score: 4/5 (+1 point added for cool odds/outs calculation)

Winning Low-Limit Holdem (Jones)

This book is a great book for absolute beginners to read as they first step into the world of limit hold'em. No bells, no whistles: just solid advice that will make you money.

Score: 4/5

Winning Omaha/8 Poker (Krieger)

I've read two-thirds of this book and have, so far, found it quite dry. Omaha seems to boil down to one thing: wait for a great hand, wait for a great flop, hope for a great river. I though Omaha was supposed to be an action game?!

Still, Krieger explains the game quite well. Although I believe that there is very little value in this book for advanced Omaha players, I think this is a must read for beginning players.

I'll hold off on giving this book a score until I've had the chance to apply its teachings in a real game situation.

Score: 3/5

Winning 7 Card Stud (Adams)

Adams' book make 7-card stud quite accessible. Easy to read, good hand examples, and well thought out sections.

However, I'll again wait on giving this book a score until I've had the chance to throw my hat into the 7-card stud ring.

Winning Texas Hold'em (Maroon)

Some critics slammed this book, but I'd have to say they're on crack. Matt's book turned around my entire limit hold'em game and is responsible for me breaking through to the $3/$6 games. Although a lot of the book is standard fare, the section on starting hands is very good. Matt's thoughts on becoming a professional poker player and bankroll management are quite interesting. But the real gem of this book is Matt's section regarding short-handed limit hold'em play. Great stuff that I hope to apply in the future.

I've read this book about six times and I'll read it many more times as I close in on the higher stakes games.

Score: 5/5

Keep reading "Poker Books and Reviews"

Poker Blogs

Here's a list of all the blogs that I read on a daily basis. Each one of these sites is great in its on way and deserves to be visited and re-visited ad nauseum. Don't be a dick: grab a coffee, put your hand on your mouse, and get clicking!


Keep reading "Poker Blogs"

Online Casinos

Here's a list of some of the online casinos that I believe offer the most bang for your buck. This list used to be a part of my blog's template; however, I've moved the list here in an effort to clean my site up a bit.


Keep reading "Online Casinos"

Online Poker Rooms

Here's a list of some of the poker rooms that I believe offer the most bang for your buck. This list used to be a part of my blog's template; however, I've moved the list here in an effort to clean my site up a bit.

Keep reading "Online Poker Rooms"

Merry Christmas!

Here's hoping everyone had a great Christmas! And here's to a happy New Year too!

I've just set up my Blogger account for e-mail posts, so I may be able to get some stuff up here after all! I'm not sure whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, but it is what it is.

I haven't played much poker lately, choosing instead to divide my time between my family and my Xbox 360. I've played a hell of a lot of Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion lately: great game if you like RPGs.

I'm also planning on picking up Gears Of War and Saint's Row soon. Gears Of War is a no brainer: it's won a number of awards at GameSpot and it's supposed to be one of the better games to have come out in quite a long while.

As for Saint's Row, I originally planned on steering clear of this GTA knock-off. However, after reading reviews at GameSpot and playing a demo of the game, I think I may shell out some dough and play the thing.

Back to poker...

I recently finished off three bonuses at InterPoker. It seems that Interpoker (and the Cryptologic network) have survived the anti-gambling law. Although there are still no full-ring limit games on the Crypto network, I've managed to find a number of good short-handed limit games available each and every night. These games have been so good that I've actually managed to claw myself back into the black in the $1/$2 6-max games.

I'm currently playing at PokerPlex, which is another Cryptologic site. They have a great $200 monthly bonus and lots of good 6-max games running.

I'll try and update my numbers in the next week or so.

Although I'm back at work today, I'm off tomorrow and won't be back until next Tuesday.

Until then, from my family to yours, enjoy the rest of the Christmas season, have a great New Year's Eve, and a safe (and prosperous) New Year!

Keep reading "Merry Christmas!"

Not quite goodbye...

Things change.

Five years ago, I had a good job with good pay. I was a key member on a team of programmers working on a multi-million project. I had good friends, a good life, and I kicked ass at foosball.

Four years ago, I was unemployed and living off employment insurance. I spent my days eating brownies and playing GTA: Vice City. I'll always have a soft spot for that game and GTA III: both games helped me through a pretty rough time in my life...as did my friends (especially Mr. V. and Marl) and Labatt Extra Dry...

Three years ago, my wife and I started dating. We were living together within six months of dating, engaged two months after that, and married a year later.

A year ago, I got a great job. My wife and I got our finances in order and, just this past summer, bought our first home. We spent a couple months working our asses off the get the place ready for the impending arrival of our first child.

Two months ago, my son was born and I couldn't love my wife or son any more than I do now.

All this brings me to my current situation.

With family demands and job demands, keeping up with the blog is getting more and more difficult on a day to day basis. I'm sure you've all noticed the infrequency of my posts. In the past, I've tried to type up my posts during my lunch break and then get those posts published as soon as possible. Due to recent changes in our network infrastructure, this is no longer an option. In fact, I can't even access others' blogs without using an RSS feed reader. An other unfortunate by-product of this new network policy is that I can't even comment on others' posts either, which I liked to do from time to time.

Blogging from home is extremely difficult and ultimately undesirable: I prefer spending my free time with my family, playing poker, or playing video games. Time is a valuable resource right now and I can't bring myself to spend all my free time writing in this blog.

Looking back now, I had one objective in mind when I first created this site: making money. I knew that there was money to be made with affiliate deals and advertising. As long as I continued to make money, I enjoyed putting up frequent posts in an attempt to build traffic and build my bankroll.

And then the U.S. government ruined everything. With U.S. players being restricted to playing on a handful of sites, my chances of making any real money off of affiliate links are incredibly low. And though I could make some money by writing reviews for ReviewMe.com and other similar sites, that prospect doesn't interest me.

As tactless and shameless as I was when it came to promoting my own affiliate links, I can't bring myself to write reviews for various advertisers. Who knew that I'd feel this way? I thought I'd ride this ReviewMe thing all the way to the bank; however, that's not the case. When everyone was writing about poker, it was fun being the guy badgering readers to sign up with poker sites. My readers wanted to play poker, I wanted money, I really liked the poker sites I was promoting: a real win-win situation. I guess I don't feel comfortable advertising for other sites or companies without having first dealt with them myself.

Now that a number of blogs are putting up product and site reviews, I have nothing that sets me apart from anyone else out there. Given that I don't have as much time for poker anymore and knowing that my day to day routine is uninteresting to everyone but me, I really don't have anything to write about.

So what does all this mean for my site?

With a time and a content crisis on my hands, there is only one option open to me at this time. Over the next few months, you'll notice the number of posts coming out of this site will remain infrequent. I'll continue updating my challenge progress, including creating new challenges as I see fit, and updating the results being tracked on my Cold Hard Numbers page; however, very little else will be discussed here. As I mentioned in my last post, I may post some interesting hands from time to time if any happen to pop up and if I have a few spare moments here or there.

I'm going to reduce the number of affiliates that I promote, sticking only with those that I know get good traffic and are 100% trustworthy. I will continue advertising for the one sponsor who stepped up months ago: WhichPoker.com. They list a number of poker rooms and provide details regarding the current games and traffic conditions at each of the rooms.

Due to my inability to access other blogs during the daytime hours, my commenting frequency will diminish to the point where I'll no longer be a contributing part of the blogging community. I will, however, be playing as much as I can and I will continue to work on my game by reading books, blogs, and various forums.

I appreciate all the help, advice, and comments made by any and all of you who stopped by. And if I wrote anything that you found interesting or enlightening, I'm glad I could help.

It's time to go...

See you at the tables.

Keep reading "Not quite goodbye..."

Where have I been?

Where have I been? Not a long story, but a boring one. Basically, when life and work get really busy, it's always the blog that suffers. However, I'm assuming that most of my readers didn't notice or didn't mind, given the amount of reading available now that the Vegas trip reports are up. Anyway, here's a rundown of what's happened over the past week...

First off, I have managed to squeeze in a few hours of $1/$2 SHFL on Absolute Poker, Will Hill and Interpoker (of all places). Everything that I said Cryptologic being dead was a little off. The SHFL games at the $1/$2 - $3/$6 limits are thriving well into the night. Loose, passive tables are the norm and there's lots of money to be made by players in the know. I've even managed to make a little bit of money myself and am quite close to being a break even player at the 6-max $1/$2 games!

Unfortunately, that's about it for poker content. The Christmas season is really keeping my wife and I busy: throw in the new baby and things are pretty crazy each and every day.

I did find the time to return my Creative Zen V Plus MP3 player. It seems that many of Creative's MP3 players suffer from faulty headphone jacks. Before buying a Creative MP3 player, please make sure of the following:

  • You're not using a right-angle headphone plug: these have been known to accelerate the deterioration of Creative MP3 players.
  • You don't plug and unplug your headphones on a regular basis. Again, the more stress you place on the headphone jack, the more likely that the three soldered connection points will break free of the mainboard and render your MP3 player useless.

It really is a bloody shame that the headphone jack issue forced me to return the MP3 player. I really liked it: great sound, very user friendly, and lots of storage space.

After returning my Creative Zen V Plus player, I picked up a LG JM53 MP3 player. The LG player was an 8 GB device at an incredible price. I spent last weekend collecting music and getting ready to load up the device with tons of songs. After the bus ride to work on Monday morning, I was ready to return the LG. Why?
  • The LG is a hard drive MP3 player, as opposed to a flash MP3 player. I found the device skipped quite a bit, even while sitting still.
  • The interface and buttons on the LG player were absolute crap, rendering the device pretty well unusable.
  • The sound quality was mediocre at best. I had huge problems with the changes in volume from one song to the next. In fact, I found that any volume level above 1 was way too loud.
All in all, the LG failed to impress.

So, with $250 in unused bankroll money burning a hole in my pocket, I needed to make a purchase (my wife says that this is a sickness) - but what, if anything, could I buy? I'd given up on the MP3 player idea. I don't think any MP3 player out there could satisfy me enough to justify the cost of these devices. I've found the 128 MB Sony Walkman MP3 player that I'm now using has great sound and is very easy to use: I got it for free when I bought my laptop a year ago.

My wife suggested that I pick up a larger memory stick for my PSP and use it as an MP3 player. Doing so would allow me to listen to music or play videogames on my trips to and from work, depending on how I felt at the time. I thought it was a great idea and was all ready to buy a 2GB Sony Memory Stick Duo from Best Buy. And then, remembering my disappointment with all things MP3, I changed my mind.

For a while now, I've been quite disappointed with how the Samsung 204B monitor doubled as an HD device for my Xbox 360. The pictures were a little blurry, text caused ghosting on the screen, and the Samsung was not a widescreen monitor. With a little checking online, I found that Best Buy had a sale on an Acer 19" widescreen LCD monitor. Although regularly $270, the monitor was on sale for $229. Throw in an extra $25 discount for shopping online and Best Buy had themselves a deal!

After setting up the new monitor on Tuesday night, I'm happy to report that I'm very happy with my purchase. Everything looks great! My interest in video games and the Xbox 360 has been renewed! I can't believe the difference a new monitor has made. The widescreen monitor is big enough to bring the Xbox 360 to life while small enough to fit easily in front of me on the coffee table. Throw in the Dolby Digital Surround Sound headphones that I'm using, courtesy of Sony, and I'm in video gaming nirvana!

I'm going to be playing a lot on my Xbox 360 for the next week or two, even moreso in the next couple days as I continue to battle a cold/disease that has left me tired, achy, and sniffling.

However, fear not, I will be hitting the $1/$2 tables as well once I'm feeling more like myself.

For the next little while, you may notice a slight format change around here. I'm going to try to focus more on my actual play by posting the best and worst hands of each of my sessions. Hopefully, my readers will be able to point out the places where I messed up or missed precious value bets.

Why the change in format? Honestly, I'm tired. My life does not make for very interesting reading. Don't get me wrong: I love my life; however, the time I spend with my family is, for the most part, personal and of little interest to the general public.

Of course, I'll still throw in occasional bits of "wisdom" and a joke or two to keep things interesting. But I'd really like to start focusing on the game at hand and use the collective wisdom of my readers to help improve my game. I'll also continue to post a few things here and there concerning my ongoing challenges, and a little video game content for those of you who enjoy that type of thing.

Given that I'm still feeling under the weather and that I'm quite busy this week, I'll most likely hold off on posting until next week. I may put up another review puchased by a client over at ReviewMe.com, but we'll see. I'm thinking of reducing the amount of advertising nonsense going on around here. Less clutter may help me refocus on the task at hand, which is all about improving my poker game to the point that I don't need advertising revenue to keep me in the black from month to month.

And hey, thanks for reading! I don't know why everyone keeps stopping by when it's pretty obvious that there is no quality content around here. Still, I appreciate it! And hopefully, the new format change will help us all become better players.

If not, watch for the number of ads to double on this site...

Have a great weekend! I'll see you at the tables!

Keep reading "Where have I been?"

Rock me Azureus!


Geez, looks like I'm on a "hiatus" posting schedule. I'd give you some excuses, but you know them all by now. Until you've had a new baby in the house, it's hard to fathom how little time and how little sleep come your way. That being said, here's a quick update to what's been going on in my life.

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It took me about 4 hours of grinding away to clear the Club on the Park monthly blackjack bonus. Although I was down £40 when I sat down to finish up last night, I managed to pull myself up to +£1.50. Phew! Nothing like earning less than $1/hr...

After this last harrowing experience, I think I'm going to call it quits on the whole blackjack/casino thing for a while. The wagering requirements are getting steeper on these casino bonuses, and the terms and conditions that apply to deposit bonuses are getting too restrictive and too confusing.

I think it's time to focus exclusively on poker yet again...well, maybe after I finish the Will Hill Casino £25 monthly bonus.

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Oh Azureus! What a nifty little program! I'm really liking the whole torrent thing. Since I've got nothing else to write about today, given that I haven't played poker since Sunday, I might as well list off the albums currently on my brand new MP3 player: the Creative Zen V Plus 4GB Portable Media Player. For those of you who "appreciate" music, you may find the following list to be quite sickening. Me? I just like anything catchy and overplayed on the radio!

  • All-American Rejects - All-American Rejects
  • Anastacia - Pieces of a Dream
  • Avril Lavigne - Let Go
  • Avril Lavigne - Under My Skin
  • Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk
  • Black Eyed Peas - Monkey Business
  • Evanescence - Fallen
  • Evanescence - The Open Door
  • Fefe Dobson - Fefe Dobson
  • Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
  • The Fray - How to Save a Life
  • Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere
  • INXS - Switch
  • Keith Urban - Days Go By
  • Kelly Clarkson - Breakaway
  • KT Tunstall - Eye to the Telescope
  • Lifehouse - Lifehouse
  • Mike & The Mechanics - Beggar on a Beach of Gold
  • Mike & The Mechanics - Hits
  • Mike & The Mechanics - Living Years
  • Mike & The Mechanics - M6
  • Mike & The Mechanics - Rewired
  • Mike & The Mechanics - Silent Running
  • Mike & The Mechanics - Word of Mouth
  • Natasha Bedingfield - Unwritten
  • Our Lady Peace - A Decade
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Bark at the Moon
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Blizzard of Ozz
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Diary of a Madman
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Down to Earth
  • Ozzy Osbourne - I Don't Know
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Just Say Ozzy
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Live & Loud
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Live at Budokan
  • Ozzy Osbourne - No More Tears
  • Ozzy Osbourne - No Rest for the Wicked
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Ozzmosis
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Randy Rhoads Tribute
  • Ozzy Osbourne - Speak of the Devil
  • Ozzy Osbourne - The Essential Ozzy Osbourne
  • Ozzy Osbourne - The Ozzman Cometh
  • Ozzy Osbourne - The Ultimate Sin
  • Phil Collins - The Platinum Collection
  • Robbie Williams - Greatest Hits
  • Robbie Williams - Rudebox
  • Snow Patrol - Eyes Open
  • Soundtrack - Donnie Darko
  • Soundtrack - Walt Disney's Tarzan
I've got a little bit of everything on the MP3 player right now. I haven't had a chance to go through and take off the crap that I don't like. Still, variety is the spice of life. I've got enough room left on the Zen V Plus to fit another 20 albums or so on there, if I so choose.

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Ok, I'll be back tomorrow, I hope, with some actual poker-related content. Although I have a busy night ahead of me, I'm hoping to squeeze in an hour at the tables before I go to bed. Tonight, I'll either hit up Will Hill's $1/$2 6-max tables or Absolute Poker's 6-max tables.

Have a good one!

Keep reading "Rock me Azureus!"

So incredibly busy!

Yep, I'm still kicking! And I'm still playing poker. However, there's been so much stuff coming up in the old real world that I've had little time to write. Let me bring you back up to speed and we'll go from there.

Last weekend, I did manage to play some $1/$2 SHFL at William Hill Poker and Absolute Poker. Although I've still got lots to learn (I'm a real fish for the time being), I managed to claw my way close to the break-even point. Without having the numbers in front of me, I think I'm only down $15 or so at $1/$2 SHFL, which ain't too shabby.

The rest of my weekend (and my evening yesterday) was spent tinkering about the house and chillin' with my wife and son. We've finally got the basement unpacked and the family computer set up: it's nice to have everything organized and back to normal.

However, after surveying the landscape, I've decided to give my bankroll another kick in the junk. I've got two more purchases that I'll be making this week.

First off, my wife and I are going to pick up a new couch and love seat for our rec room. The setup we've got is okay, but neither one of us is happy using second hand futons. Watching TV is much like going through Chinese water torture. At first, the futons are quite comfortable and TV fun is had by all. Thirty minutes later, a small but noticeable ache begins to build in the lower back/upper ass part of the body. Finally, after one hour's time, backs are throbbing, legs are asleep, and asses are too sore to sit on.

Although most would not consider new furniture to be a bankroll-worthy expense (I try to limit bankroll purchases to "fun" items), I need a comfortable place to sit while building said bankroll. And so, it's off to the store we go!

A second purchase I'm making is that of an MP3 player. More specifically, I've decided on the Creative Zen V Plus 4 GB Portable Media Player (Black/Blue). As always, I'm paying almost twice as much for it up here in Canada: that's the price we pay for Beaver Tails, cheeseburgers with mayo, and poutine, I guess. If you don't own an MP3 player and you're looking for a great all-round player, the 4GB Creative model is a great fit.



Anyway, now that everything's all set up at home, I'm looking to play a little more poker. None will be played tonight since we've got family visiting, but look for some poker related posts in the coming days.

Armed with a new poker playing environment, a new MP3 player, and my wife by my side, I'm ready to hit the tables!

Have a good one and I'll see you at the tables!

Keep reading "So incredibly busy!"

Helping Hands

Just wanted to give a shout out to a few poker pros out there who stepped up and gave me enough short-handed limit links and information to keep me reading for a long while.

First, thanks to FloppyJT, a fellow Ottawa blogger, for giving me a couple links to some SSSH 2+2 posts. These posts have everything a beginning player needs to read before hitting the tables. Go give FloppyJT a visit and maybe he'll continue coming up with quality finds such as these:

A second thanks goes out to a second Canadian blogger who came through in the clutch for me. L'artiste, of Le Suckout Artiste fame, came up with a single link to a site. This site, aptly named Beat 6 Max.com, is another site that contains more 6-max hold'em information than you could possibly imagine. Go visit L'artiste now!

Last but not least, Wes, SHNL wiz-kid, came up with a PDF document containing a huge number of SHFL articles and discussions. I've been reading this on the bus for the past couple days and it's only gonna do good things to my game. Thanks Wes! And if any of you out there are interested in short-handed no-limit, go give Wes a visit: he really knows what he's doing with that game (or so says the near $30K he made last month).

I've taken the information given to me and put it to good use at the tables. I'm still pretty new to this whole SHFL thing, so it's not surprising that I'm down a little bit at the start of the whole process. Oh well, give me a little time and another 5,000 hands and I should be ok.

This weekend, I plan on continuing to lose money at the 6-max tables and, more importantly, spending time with family: hopefully, I learn a few lessons along the way.

Have a great weekend everyone!

See you at the tables!

Keep reading "Helping Hands"