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Harrington on Hold'em - Volume 1

25 September 2008, By:

Harrington on Hold'em Volume 1 provides everything you need to know to compete and win in both sit-and-go and multi-table tournaments, both live and online.

The book operates under the assumption that readers have some understanding of the basics of poker and tournament Texas hold'em. Beyond that, it is a step-by-step approach to the game. Harrington starts out by explaining the importance of pot odds, a given for any discussion of no-limit Texas hold'em poker, and then offers a great analysis of a sample hand with an "alternate" analysis of another way the hand might have gone.

After whetting the reader's appetite, Harrington gets into the nuts and bolts of Texas hold'em tournaments. He explains and analyzes the various styles of play, then talks about how to establish your own style. Next comes some ideas about the different types of tournaments you may find yourself in, followed by talk about tells and betting patterns.

The middle section of the book is devoted to approaches to betting at each phase of the game. Harrington crystallizes ideas such as "continuation bets," bets on the flop by a pre-flop raiser designed to continue the aggression and pick up the pot even if the bettor missed, "probe bets," designed to determine where the bettor is in the hand, and "value bets," bets designed to get more money into the pot when the bettor has the best of it.

The book ends with a discussion of drawing hands and a brief mention of "inflection points," critical junctures at different sections of a tournament, which will lead into Volume 2. In addition to Harrington's engaging prose and clear analysis, one of the great appeals of the book is the "problems" section. An idea that Harrington adopted from chess training books, the "problems" section is an illustrated section at the end of each chapter that tests the reader's knowledge by taking him or her through an actual game situation.

Harrington on Hold'em Volume 1 is a great start for those who are looking to do well in no-limit Texas hold'em, but it is just a start. This book really sets the table for Volume 2, where more interesting, complex aspects of the game are handled and where a player who properly grasps the concepts can go from an average tournament player to a winning one.

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