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Poker Mental Game & Planning

5 Poker Books That Are Still Relevant in 2017

7,232 Views on 28/2/17

Some books aged more gracefully than others and in this article, we'll list some of the works that might be worth revisiting in 2017.

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Since the publication of Super System in 1978, books became the default source of poker knowledge. "Playing by the book" used to be a statement commonly used at the poker table and if you're one of the players who got into poker shortly after Moneymaker's win at the WSOP Main Event Final Table there's a good chance you started your education with "Harrington on Hold'em".

There's also a high chance that you owe a huge part of your success to poker books if you became serious about playing shortly before or after "The Black Friday". However, in the last few years, books took a back seat to other forms of poker education like coaching videos, articles, and various poker software.

Nowadays, the strategy is evolving so rapidly that by the time a pro player finishes writing his or her book some parts of it are bound to be dead on arrival. This is doubly true for strategy books written five to ten years ago. That being said, some books aged more gracefully than others and in this article, we'll list some of the works that might be worth revisiting in 2017.

"Easy Game" by Andrew 'balugawhale' Seidman

If you're looking for the way of optimizing your small blind defending range in the environment of modern 500 Zoom game this book is not for you. Like every other strategy oriented book written 5+ years ago this one is very outdated and offers advice that's no longer applicable in today's environment.

However, if you're new to poker or you know someone that has no idea how to make sense of this beautifully complicated game that is no-limit hold'em, Easy Game is perhaps one of the best tools for the job. Andrew Seidman has this amazing gift of framing complicated concepts in an easy to understand way so if you're starting from scratch you could do much, much worse than Easy Game.

Just keep in mind that in 2017 you should treat the knowledge that you gain from reading this book more like a solid foundation to build upon than the be all end all.

"Treat Your Poker Like a Business" by Dusty Schmidt

This was a revolutionary book that introduced the entire generation of grinders to the idea of treating poker like a business venture. "Treat Your Poker Like a Business"  managed to imprint a new and improved image of a professional grinder into the collective consciousness of the poker world. We used to be guilty of romanticizing (and often striving to be like) talented degens, but Dusty showed us a better way.

In his book, Dusty touches on many interesting concepts, most of which are still applicable in today's games, from bankroll management and dealing with variance, through motivation and diet to the importance of rakeback and investing into poker hardware/software

"The Mathematics of Poker" by Bill Chen, Jerrod Ankenman

To paraphrase a quote from a famous video game series "Math, math never changes" - and this is precisely the reason why "The Mathematics of Poker" is perhaps the most relevant book on the list even though it was written more than a decade ago.

It's a perfect position for someone who wants to build solid math fundamentals and for players aiming to expand their knowledge about the mathematics of poker. Bill Chen and Jerrod Ankenman wrote a book that was way ahead of its time. They explained the idea of GTO in times when winning regulars could get away with folding AK to a 3bet without a second thought.

If you feel like your math skills could use some work I highly recommend that you pick up "The Mathematics of Poker".

"The Poker Mindset" by Ian Taylor, Matthew Hilger

It's hard to imagine that just a decade ago the poker mindset was a foreign idea for most of the players. Fortunately, for us Ian Taylor and Matthew Hilger taught us how important of a role psychology plays in a game of tiny edges.

"Poker Mindset" explains what long run is, why there's no such thing as 'average' poker professional, how to properly manage your bankroll and deal with variance. It explained the dangers of tilt and how to deal with downswings.

The book aged like a fine wine and while you can learn a lot about psychology from non-poker related sources "The Poker Mindset" is a great 'one stop shop' for all of your poker related mental tips.

"The Mental Game of Poker"  by Jared Tendler

This book builds on the ideas introduced in the "The Poker Mindset" and introduces some powerful new concepts. If you're struggling with tilt or you want to know more about it "The Mental Game of Poker" is perhaps the most comprehensive resource on the subject ever created.

If you feel like the basic concepts regarding poker mindset aren't enough for you Jared Tendler writes about advanced ideas like adult learning, four levels of competence and flow.

"The Mental Game of Poker" is a perfect book for someone aiming at maximizing mental performance and interested in gaining as big of an edge as possible both at and away from the poker table.

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Matt VIP

Matt is predominantly a mental game and planning expert, with a terrific knowledge of science, meditation, practical methods of improvement and of course, a good level of poker skill! Look out for his strategy articles and follow him for hi ... Read More


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