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Power Hold 'Em Strategy by Daniel Negreanu

Release date: 17th June, 2008
Publisher: Cardoza Publishing

List Price: £22.95
Our Price: £16.07
You Save: £6.88 (29%)
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Some people might wonder how Daniel Negreanu finds time to play poker, for if he's not staging musicals, or selling his branded merchandise, he's writing a book. According to one reviewer, his latest tome, Power Hold 'Em Strategy, offers "a great deal of useful instruction to the serious hold 'em player" - something one might expect in a 500-page book.

But here's how Danny Boy does it: just over half the text has been written by other people, although his co-contributors do know a thing or two about poker themselves. Evelyn Ng, Todd Brunson, Erick Lindgren, Paul Wasicka, and David Williams, poker's 'famous five', are each in their 20s or 30s, thus ensuring that Power Hold 'Em Strategy has enhanced appeal amongst younger players.

Most buyers of Power Hold'em will probably turn to Negreanu's contribution, a hefty 200-page tutorial instructing the reader how to apply his preferred "small ball" approach to deep-stacked, no-limit hold 'em tournaments.

The "small ball" approach may be summarised as being somewhere between a traditional style of play popularised in the Harrington on Hold'em series and the much more aggressive techniques referred to by Doyle Brunson in his Super/System.

Negreanu insists the small ball strategy can confuse opponents, giving the impression that the player following it, "appears to be in control of the table, yet at the same time, seems to be playing with reckless abandon, giving little thought to the strength of his starting hand."

One core principle of "small ball" is searching for ways to increase one's chip stack without taking undue risks. To do this, players must apply themselves, focusing on how to exploit situations such as position and weak or predictable opponents in order to keep steadily adding to your chip stack as the tournament progresses.

It's a style which requires concentration, caution, keeping pots small where necessary and being prepared to give free cards, or even dip out of some pots when the alternative is to jeopardise your participation in the tournament.

Negreanu's contribution is well-written (he has had plenty of practice) and unusually, instead of concentrating upon different stages of a tournament, he focuses his attention primarily on the four betting rounds, although he does offer several recommendations on starting hands. Anyone boasting four WSOP bracelets and two WPT titles deserves an audience, but it would be no surprise if, following this excellent manual, Negreanu set his literary ambitions to one side for a while.


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