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Message started by Five Fingers on May 3rd, 2006, 8:09pm

Title: The Book of Bluffs: How to Bluff and Win at Poker
Post by Five Fingers on May 3rd, 2006, 8:09pm

By Matt Lessinger

Read this book? What did you think?

Title: The Book of Bluffs: How to Bluff and Win at Poker
Post by Five Fingers on Oct 12th, 2006, 11:03am

I am not a great fan of reading “how to play poker” books, I want to develop my own style and if its been published in a book by definition it is likely that other players will be aware of the same theories, However I would not discourage anyone from reading this book.

Lessinger claims in the introduction  “The beauty of this book is that it will pay for itself, even if you are a low limit player, If you learn something from this book that leads you to steal a $30 pot – a pot that you wouldn’t have otherwise won – then the book just turned a profit” This is classic gamblers logic and good poker should be good gambling!

For those of you, like me, who have been playing “amateur” poker for a few years, it’s a great reminder of how poker is meant to be a game of skill and fun. Once a new player starts developing their style in “hold’em” there is a big temptation to play like “a rock”, keep it tight and wait for the nuts, and yes I’m sure this strategy can win you money, especially online. The Poker Jokers League games are small buy in recreational games and this book reminds us that we should not just try and win the match, but play with a bit of sportsmanship, and that victory is even sweeter if you know you have made an opponent fold the better cards. Percentage poker may be the way to grind out a few dollars an hour in online poker, but in a pub game where the glory is more important than the money bluffing is where the artistry of great hold’em play is.

Lessinger’s style is journalistic; his introduction recounts how the online rookie Chris Moneymaker bluffed his way to the 2003 WSOP title with the bluff of the century. This should whet our appetites to learn how we can top this play, there are still 94 years for one of us to claim this title! Chapters 1-10 list the different types of bluff and give examples of situation where they have worked. They are systematically listed and helpfully each has a degree of difficulty, success rate and frequency with which they should be attempted.

If you have become used to playing the percentages, open a chapter before setting out for a league or home game and see if you can win a pot or two without going as far as a showdown. This is the sort of thing that can reignite a mans enthusiasm for low stakes poker, and the beauty of a successful bluff in one of these non-televised games is that you are the only person who knows for sure that the river did indeed complete your flush.

The last Chapter moves away from the “how to play poker” genre and describes some interesting and not widely reported bluffs from the WSOP with entertaining interviews and commentary.

Even if you don’t read this book remember it basic tenet – poker is a game of skill, but poker IS gambling and bluffing is what makes it both, and such a great game for the recreational player.

Review sent in by the Professor.

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