A week ago, I completed Phil Hellmuth, Jr.’s Play Poker Like the Pros. I purchased Play Poker Like the Pros about 7 years ago when I was quite interested in playing poker, specifically Texas Hold’em poker. For the longest time, this book sat on my bookshelf collecting dust, and I decided to read it as part of my quest to read unread books on my bookshelf. I purchased a paperback version of the book, and here’s a quick summary of what the book is about:
In Play Poker Like the Pros, poker master Phil Hellmuth, Jr., demonstrates exactly how to play and win – even if you have never picked up a deck of cards – the modern games of poker, including: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, and Razz.
Phill Hellmuth, Jr., a nine-time World Champion of Poker, presents his tournament-tested strategies to beat any type of player, including:
- The Jackal (crazy and unpredictable)
- The Elephant (plays too many hands)
- The Mouse (plays very conservatively)
- The Lion (skilled and tough to beat)
Play Poker Like the Pros begins by laying out the rules and set-up of each game and then moves on to easy-to-follow basic and advanced strategies. Hellmuth teaches exactly which hands to play, when to bluff, when to raise, and when to fold. In addition Hellmuth provides techniques for reading other players and staying cool under pressure. There are also special chapters on how to beat online poker games and an inside look at tournament play.
While I found some of the information useful in this book, it was difficult for me to read, because I didn’t particularly care for the writing style that Hellmuth used to approach this book. While there were some things that I did take away from Play Poker Like the Pros, such as which hands you should and shouldn’t play, I found the rest of the book to be quite tedious, bordering on quite boring.
Most of the examples Hellmuth used to describe situations to reinforce his points, seemed to be him patting himself on the back for his successes, which is fine for once or twice, but it seemed like there were a few too many of those examples.
I also learned, by reading Play Poker Like the Pros, that maybe reading about poker isn’t the best way to learn, that playing is the best way. As a result of reading this book, I don’t think I’d be really all that interested in reading another poker book, unless I were to check it out from the library. I definitely couldn’t see myself purchasing another one.
If you’ve read any other type of poker books that are better written, that you think I would enjoy, I’d love to hear your suggestions!