As 2017 draws to a close (and Christmas comes up fast), we thought that we would share our 5 best poker books to be published this year.
From Vietnam to Vegas!: How I Won the World Series of Poker Main Event by Qui Nguyen and Steve Blay worked together to write an incredible account of the 2016 Main Event final table including detailed reviews of 176 key hands, with an in-depth analysis of Qui’s thought process. Steve, who acted as Qui’s poker advisor during the final table, offers invaluable comments about Qui’s play and how it fits into an ICM approach to tournament poker. Qui’s life story and an interview with the champion are also covered in this great book. From Vietnam to Vegas is both a fun read and a great poker resource.
Poker Brat by Phil Helmuth: Phil’s long awaited autobiography came out this summer and did not disappoint.
In Poker Brat Phil shares his early struggles with school and outlines how he developed his “poker brat” persona. Along with his story, Phil shares tips and techniques, the ones that he used to set his goals, and then details how he achieved those goals.
Written in Helmuth’s own inimitable style, the book is very detailed and Phil’s unique voice always shines through. While some may find Helmuth a bit abrasive, others will find this to be an entertaining and educational read through and through.
Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’Em by Jonathan Little: Jonathan Little’s latest book is not for the faint of heart. Most of the book is a multi-dimensional strategy matrix: how should you play given your hand stage, stack depth, position, whether first in or facing limpers/raisers, and the type of opponent you are squaring off against? Each situation is accompanied by a hand range chart that suggests what your action should be given these dimensions. The first 400 pages are part tournament strategy guide and part reference manual. Little’s tome will be an endlessly valuable tool for the thoughtful player; allowing you to look up specific trouble situations and get Little’s perspective on how the hand should be played.
The last 70 pages of the book get into more macro level technical (e.g. how to deal with overbets), strategic (e.g. playing with payout structures in mind), and practical issues (e.g. bankroll management). These last sections provide a satisfying context for the detailed analysis of the bulk of the book.
Poker Strategy by Ryan Harrington: This is a strategy book focused on micro, low, and some mid-level stake tournament play. This book spends time breaking down the fundamentals, while helping you determine which style poker game is right for you. The book covers player profiles, ranges, position, as well as larger aspects of the game, like poker tells, current poker theories, and analytical software. There are also sections on poker philosophy and ongoing research.
Molly’s Game by Molly Bloom: Recently made into a major motion picture and re-released in 2017, we’ve included Molly’s game on this list as a good fun poker read. While not a strategy book, this is a good one to curl up with in front of the fire. Molly Bloom built one of the most exclusive, high-stakes underground poker games in the world. This is the story of the game, her life, and the disaster that ensued. This book is highly engaging and will keep you reading into the middle of the night.
These are our 5 Best Poker Books for the year. Did we miss any? In the comments share yours! Looking for more books? We also have a list of the 100 best poker books of all time!
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