One of the great things about poker is that it's arguably a game of skill. Your success at the tables depends on much more than just sheer luck of the draw. That's the premise behind Decide to Play Great Poker, which illustrates what it takes to win. Poker pros Annie Duke and John Vorhaus run through all the factors that come into play during a poker hand. This informative book will be most useful if you have some working knowledge of the game, but absolute beginners won't be disoriented even if some of the concepts and terms might be a little unfamiliar.
Guides helping you to get better at poker aren’t exactly few and far between. This means that any new book hoping to breakthrough into this already saturated market must be of a high quality. Fortunately, Decide to Play Great Poker is.
Co-authored by a World Series of Poker bracelet winner and a poker journalist of more than 20 years, no one could argue with this book’s pedigree. Together, Annie Duke and John Vorhaus have created a poker guide that’s not only helpful, but also readable.
Admittedly, we’re not outstanding poker players, so much of what’s included in this book was certainly new to us, if not possibly a little above our level. However, the key to making it readable was that it was fairly easy to understand. Granted, there are a few technical terms in there, but that comes with the territory.
What stands out is that Decide to Play Great Poker is a book that covers many of the variables which so often affect a hand of poker. As any poker player will know, how to play a hand isn’t black and white, as there are a vast number of different factors which affect your decision. While it would be impossible to cover all of these factors, Duke and Vorhaus certainly give it a good go and achieve considerable success.
Advice on how to play situations as specific as river play in position against an aggressive bettor with a medium-strength hand is included. It’s this attention to detail that makes Decide to Play Great Poker an invaluable tool for poker players.
Admittedly, this is a book more ideally suited for the more accomplished poker player, but that’s not to say that those relatively new to the game will be lost. Chapters such as Everyone Bluffs and Responding to Raises are just two of the many which provide crucial advice on general poker play that can be used by all players.
A theme present in this book that we found particularly interesting, is the importance of decision making over winning. This is something that John Vorhaus stressed in his description of Decide to Play Great Poker and means that if you ignore bad outcomes when you’ve made correct decisions, you’re well on the way to playing better poker.
With guides such as this the real proof is, as they say, in the pudding, meaning that it’s no good unless it actually helps you play better poker. Numerous reader comments that we came across highlighted how this book had helped them to win more consistently. While some may have gone slightly over the top in their praise, it answers the most important question asked of a poker book – can it improve your gameplay? Anyone who has read the book themselves or looked at any of the customer reviews will certainly say that the answer to this question is a resounding yes!