by Shari Geller
Tracing poker’s history, highlighting its rise from the Moneymaker effect to its stumble in the wake of Black Friday, “All In: The Poker Movie” is a must see documentary for any poker fan. Director, Douglas Tirola had a difficult duty, trying to tell a story that is still evolving. He traces this uniquely American pastime from its outlaw roots, through its mainstream acceptance to the current murky state. But what comes through is the love that poker players have for this maddening game, and how that will ultimately lead to a new poker boom.
by A.C. Clark
"Early Saturday morning, I woke up refreshed and ready to go for the day. Why all this energy? Not a normal occurrence for me, especially on a day off. I started a pot of coffee, threw in a load of laundry, made a fire, sat down in my favorite chair, and decided to read a short, motivational book that had been sent to me in the mail. My life was about to change forever. Wow! What an inspiring read!
212 The Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson, intrigues the mind while making perfect sense. At the core is the notion that water is hot at 211 degrees. Then, at 212 degrees, it boils. With boiling water comes steam, and steam can power a locomotive. Think of that … what a statement. Just simply raising the temperature of water one extra degree means the difference between something that is very hot and something that generates enough force to power a machine. Point made: Small things can make major differences.
by Paul ‘Dr. Pauly’ McGuire
Poker is getting positive press from the mainstream media for the first time in nearly a year, thanks to the opening of a new documentary titled All In: The Poker Movie. Glowing reviews of the film, directed by Douglas Tirola and produced by 4th Row Films, have been hitting the intertubes since the film’s limited release this past March.
All In is a survey course about poker, focusing on its rising popularity over the last two centuries. Tirola chronicles poker’s highwatermark, and its glorious boom, fueled by Chris Moneymaker’s stunning victory at the 2003 World Series of Poker’s Main Event. Unfortunately, the film also covers the eventual downfall of the online poker industry, when the Department of Justice shut down major online sites on April 15, 2011, which has been dubbed “Black Friday” in the poker community.
Paul ‘Dr. Pauly’ McGuire
I’m an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction books. In my previous column, I discussed four non-poker books that influenced my poker game: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig), The Gambler (Fyodor Dostoevsky), The Art of War (Sun Tzu), and The Warrior Within (Bruce Lee). In this column, I’m going to share three more non-poker books that radically helped me think outside of the box: Blink (Malcolm Gladwell), Switch (Chip Heath and Dan Heath), and Hamlet (William Shakespeare).
by Paul 'Dr. Pauly' McGuire - @taopauly
By George “The Engineer” Epstein
[Read Part 1] Continuing our review of Thomas M. Green’s unique new book, Texas Hold’Em Poker Textbook...
The Flop (There are 19,600 possible flops). A “sparse” flop—three cards of different ranks, not in sequence and different suits—will occur almost 75 percent of the time.
by George 'The Engineer' Epstein
With so many poker books available (including my own two rather unique books), I hesitate to write about any. But Thomas M. Green’s Texas Hold’Em Poker Textbook is very different. So is Mr. Green. I have never met the gentlemen, except through correspondence. He is a retired math professor who knows the game of poker quite well, and uses mathematical concepts to perfection.
by Nick Christenson
In many ways we can consider this the third installment in HP’s “Kill” poker book series, and, in fact, its French title is Kill ElkY. The book is divided into several sections with some chapters primarily written by different members of the authoring team. The book begins with a qualitative exegesis by ElkY on how he approaches the current tournament scene. The strategy provided is designed to exploit what ElkY sees as weaknesses in most contemporary players’ games. The explanation comes off as a bit jumbled at times, and it seems rather counter-exploitable, but there are a lot of interesting suggestions here.
By Lou Krieger and Shari Geller
We had a chance to talk recently with Phil Hellmuth. In Part 1, we discuss his new venture, an iPhone app. In Part 2 we discuss Hellmuth’s amazing three near-misses at this year’s World Series of Poker, what else he’s working on, and his predictions for the future of online poker’s legalization.
PPN: Why don’t you start with what the Phil Hellmuth Poker Odds Calculator is, how it works, and when you’d use it.
Hellmuth: Well, it’s a really cool app. Any time you’re in a poker hand, you can pull it out and you can see exactly what the odds are. The unique thing about this—and of course you can run it on fourth street and you can run it on the flop—is that you can run your hand against a range of hands.
Review by Shari Geller
Decide to Play Great Poker by Annie Duke and John Vorhaus - Huntingon Press (2011), 450 pp. ISBN: 978-1935396321, $34.95 When the book “Decide to Play Great Poker” came across my desk, my first question was “Do we really need another poker strategy book?” It was a question I posed to the book’s coauthor John Vorhaus when he was interviewed on the Keep Flopping Aces podcast by Lou Krieger and me. But after reading the book, I can safely say the answer is yes.