Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Literature of Poker

Poker booksNow and then I’ll post reviews here of various poker (and some hard-boiled) books I happen to have picked up. Those posts get tagged “By the Book” and if you click on that picture on the lower right -- or just click here -- you’ll get to a page collecting ’em all. Would like to write more of those, but that sort of thing takes a little more time than does the average post.

I’m more apt to review a poker narrative -- or perhaps talk about a hard-boiled novel that bears some relation to poker -- than to discuss a strategy book. There have been several strategy books I have read straight through, but more often than not I’ll read and reread certain sections, then try to apply what I’ve picked up at the tables, then go back and read some more, and so forth. Not enough (usually) to commit to a fully-informed review. Indeed, I’ve never really posted reviews any of the strategy books I most admire and from which I’ve derived the most benefit (e.g., Small-Stakes Hold ’em, The Theory of Poker, Omaha Poker), though you might see me referring to ’em now and again in the context of discussing a hand.

Anyhow, for those of you interested in reading solid reviews of numerous poker books (strategy and/or narrative), I wanted to point you to a website called “The Literature of Poker” that Tim Peters is maintaining. Peters reviews books for CardPlayer and has written for other poker publications as well. He also appeared as a guest on Rounders last Sunday, where he discussed and recommended several of the books he has reviewed.

Peters’ website contains dozens of reviews of poker books as well as links to other articles he has written. Although Peters tends to review books he likes, not all of his reviews are laudatory. He’ll tell you if a book has flaws or isn’t really contributing anything new. Along the way Peters also throws in some good reflections about the usefulness of strategy books, generally speaking.

The non-review pieces are also worthwhile. I particularly like his article about the Gambler’s Bookshop (especially since I got the chance to go there back in April). There are some other goodies on the site, too, such as a blog he’s updating regularly and a page of neat poker postcards. Good stuff all around.

If you’ve liked any of my occasional “By the Book” efforts, you should enjoy Peters’ site.



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