Monday, July 14, 2008

New Review of Tournament Poker book

Author and poker player, Mitchell Cogert, sets down 101 “Winning Moves” for no-limit tournaments in a thoughtful, meticulous manner. These moves fall under three main categories: Pre-Flop Moves, Flop Moves and River Moves. The premise of the book is handy, and it makes you feel “armed” for your next tournament.

Part of what Cogert succeeds at is illustrating his conviction that playing aggressively is the way to win no-limit poker tournaments. And he supports his argument by giving good advice on various types of raises and bluffs.

Cogert teaches the “No-Look” Blind Steal, Under-the-Gun Steal-Raise, Leave-Something-Behind Re-Raise and the Naked Ace Bluff, among others. These are tough, but needed, moves to pull off in a no-limit tournament, according to Cogert.

Throughout the book, Cogert gives little quizzes at the ends of each section and chapter. What’s great about these little tests is the amount of detailed information given in order to make your decision. Cogert sets up scenarios well. He tells you how many chips you and your opponents have, your seat position, blind amounts and what table images you and your opponents might have, and of course what cards you’re holding.

The only place to really fault Cogert is that his full-throttle approach to tournament poker doesn’t leave much room for tight, conservative play, or anything in between. Yes, you have to make some risky plays in order to win in tournaments, but Cogert preaches a “Risk is Good!” sermon almost to a fault.

This book has its fair share of stats and percentages, which are useful in the way Cogert uses them, and he doesn’t just throw numbers at you because he can. Another useful tool Cogert offers the reader is a two-page Appendix called “Planning: Boring But Necessary.” In this section Cogert gives the potential tournament player a little “pep talk” by listing key questions the player should be thinking about before and during the tournament. It boils the book down nicely, so if you can at least walk away thinking of those questions your tournament life should improve.

More fun little sections in Cogert’s book are the little stories he writes between a few of the chapters about hands he played against pros such as David “The Dragon” Pham, Daniel Negreanu, Layne Flack and others. Cogert doesn’t take himself too seriously in these stories, so it’s a nice distraction from the rest of the book.

As far as poker books go, this is an easy one to relate to. It’s based on real experience, a little theory, and a lot of courage! At about 200 pages, it’s a quick read and worth picking up.

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