This is the ninth book written by Ed Miller, concerning Texas Hold’Em poker cash games. Some of the earlier books were written in concert with other authors, but all the recent ones were written solely by Miller, and concern the play of the no limit, cash version of the game. Ed is a very bright, well-educated fellow, very experienced in $1-2, $2-5 and $5-10 no limit games as played in Las Vegas, and across the country. He is a highly respected player, author and teacher.
The Course is designed for players at these levels, to enable them to win the games they currently play, and perhaps move up a level successfully. New concepts are presented in an interesting and coherent manner, and many are new ideas that even very experienced players may not have considered before. Ed has a unique ability to see what others don’t know or understand, and to lead them to the right questions to ask, and to the right answers. That ability shows up in this book.
While many of the concepts are not simple, Ed presents them in an understandable way that makes them easy to absorb and retain, and put into your game. There is virtually no “math” to speak of, though the needed math concepts are woven into the material seamlessly. “Math-phobics” need not fear!
An over-riding theme throughout the book is the idea that almost all low-level Hold’em players at these games play far too many hands, a fact which we need to understood and use advantageously. This central idea shows up one way or another in every one of the “skills” throughout the book.
The Course is arranged into three basic sections; one each for $1-2, $2-5, and $5-10 NLHE. Within each section there are several chapters, each presenting “skills” the player will need for success at that level. For example, in the $1-2 section, three “skills” are presented: preflop play, avoiding paying off opponents, and understanding the real value of our own hand, relative to likely hands the opponent might be playing. Each of the skills feeds into the next, for use as a building block.
The focus of the sections differs, too:
The first section, on $1-2, has the reader concerned primarily with his own cards, the problems he may have, and how best to play.
The second section, for $2-5 NL contains four skills and focusses much more on the other players in the game, what cards they may be playing, what their strategies might be, and how to use that information productively. Betting skills, tells, reading the opponent and evaluating the texture of the board cards are key ideas in this section, along with understanding one’s own emotions effectively.
The third section is devoted to an introduction to $5-10 NLHE, and to the skills required for success at that level. The key factor here is coping with aggression, taking on “professional players,” and playing with deep stacks for much larger sums than in the earlier two sections.
Each of the sections ends with a “Hand Quiz” in which hands are presented as unknowns, with discussion, to emphasize points made in that section.
The book is not a difficult read. Quite the contrary, in fact. I found it very interesting and enjoyable, and was able to gather a number of useful ideas for my own game. I believe even knowledgeable, experienced players will be pleasantly surprised with the amount of useful new information they find in the book.
My prediction is The Course will be very popular and will soon be known as one of the very best books on No-Limit Cash games. It was a pleasure to be able to review the book!
#excellent; #thenuts; #lovedit!.