Book Review: Decide to Play Great Poker by Annie Duke

Chad Holloway reviews Annie Duke’s new poker strategy guide, published by Huntington Press.

August 30 2011

DTPGP is strategy guide for no-limit Texas hold’em, as opposed to a book like Jerry Yang’s All-In (click here for a review of that book), which is a narrative. I’ve literally read dozens of strategy books in the past few years, and finding one worthwhile is a rare event. Needless to say, I was skeptical about DTPGP and expected it to be another run-of-the-mill strategy manual. Luckily, my bias was immediately swayed when I read the opening sentence to Chapter 1: “The First Rule is There are No Rules.”

The illusions of rules are given in DTPGP, no doubt, but it is important to recognize that the book is designed to get you thinking about general concepts that should not be mistaken for steadfast rules. While reading the book, you might think Duke is telling you what to do, but by the time you’re done, you’ll look back and realize that instead of telling you the how, she’s graciously provided you both the how and why. Knowledge is power, especially in poker.

One of the things I liked best about this book was that while it was a guide for no-limit hold’em, it was neither pertinent strictly to tournaments nor to cash games. The book tends to use tournament situations in its examples, but it soon becomes apparent that the information and tactics can also be applied to ring games. Finding a book applicable to both variations of the game is rare indeed.

Click here to read the complete review.

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