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Serious Poker by Daniel Y Kimberg

Release date: 04th June, 2013
Publisher: CONJELCO

List Price: £15.99
Our Price: £9.92
You Save: £6.07 (37%)
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Most of us have our own way of dealing with a bad beat: there's the stiff upper lip approach, which entails saying nothing while nodding as softly as possible, perhaps taking a deep breath as your inside churns and your mind races with evil thoughts of revenge. Then there's the uncontrollable sort who blurts out exactly what he's thinking, a process which can include some pretty nasty references to your opponent's legitimacy and that of his father.

Daniel Kimberg's approach is, frankly, one which just about every poker player should read and adopt.

Kimberg maintains that so-called bad beats are, in fact, nothing of the sort. His explanation is designed to reduce blood pressure levels and prevent outbursts likely to alienate your mates. The effect is to enhance your enjoyment of the game, something which should be borne in mind the next time you're inclined to recall a bad beat tale: don't, because no-one actually cares.

Serious Poker is an excellent book for the novice and a good one for the competent player wishing to improve in selected areas.

After an opening dealing with basics, which act as an excellent reference for those who may have forgotten one or two of them, the chapters dealing with "Expectation, Variance and Odds", "Managing your Poker Career" and "Analysis and Evaluation" are written with the serious player in mind. But if you're a relative novice, do not let this put you off. Think about the amount of time and money you're investing in the game and then consider whether spending a tenner on a book that will definitely help improve your play is worthwhile; there is little doubt that Serious Poker will for those prepared to apply themselves to, and learn from, its theory and instructions.

As the cover image suggests, this is a book which deals with how to think about poker in a manner which makes it profitable. There are several chapters devoted to this, which encompass the perennial 'skill versus luck' debate and other, more contentious matters. Throughout, however, Kimberg's underlying premise is that good longer-term results are the inevitable product of good, solid play. Several common poker myths and fallacies, including an analysis of how difficult it is to become rich overnight, are dealt with in some detail and shrewder readers will almost certainly find their play improves as a result of accepting Kimberg's explanations.

Throughout, Kimberg refers back to essential discipline and how players can control their emotions; he provides several excellent tips on how to keep frustration levels at a minimum and how the potentially costly slide into a full-scale tilt can be prevented. Moreover, Kimberg is keen for his readers to smile and be sanguine when playing; his chapters on "When Bad Players 'Cost' You Money" and "Why Bad Things Happen To Good Cards" are particularly useful for those inclined to blow their top when their pocket rockets are beaten by a maniac with 7,2 who scores a trip on the river.

Serious Poker succeeds because it makes readers think about their attitude towards the game. Perhaps most important, however, is the manner in which the author puts our normal (and perfectly understandable) frustrations into perspective. Every player hits a cold streak, but embarking in histrionics more applicable in a TV soap opera is unlikely to help; thinking about your game could, which is what Kimberg advocates. Absorb his message and you'll become a better player.

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