Reviews - What do customers think about How Good is Your Pot Limit Hold'em??
A mixture of dangerous and contradictory advice Dec 23, 2007
This is a review of "How Good is Your Pot-Limit Hold'Em" by Stewart Reuben.
In the introduction on page 6 the author states: "Except where I have dabbled on the internet and now one tournament, I have not played any hold'em for some years." Uh-oh.
On page 9 is given the ranking of starting hands. Q-8 suited is listed twice: in position #47 and again in position #53 (which is still in group eight but the odds of occurrence are given as different). Also, 10-7 offsuit is listed in position #70 whereas 10-7 suited is not on the list at all.
Here are two questions and their scores from HGIYPLHE:
From page 66: The board at the river is: 9d 8s 4d 3c 3h You have: Ah Jh The pot contains: $6250 Your only opponent bets: $6000 Do you (a) pass, (b) call, or (c) raise $4000 all-in? The answer on page 67 is: four points for (a), ten points for (b), and one point for (c). Yes, you read that right: the highest score is awarded to calling a pot-size bet with only Ace-high.
From page 58: The board at the turn is: Kh 10d 7h 4h You have: Ah Ks The pot contains: $9075 You check (!) and your only opponent goes all-in for $8500. Do you (a) pass, or (b) call? The answer on page 59 is: ten points for (a) and zero points for (b). I guess the pot odds of over 2 to 1 just aren't good enough for Mr. Reuben here, since he is only (!) holding top-pair top-kicker with the nut flush draw (and quite possibly aces and kings are outs ... and also if the board pairs with a 10 or a 7 or a 4 it may counterfeit our opponents hand of two pair rather than giving him a full house).
Now it is true that further details behind these two hands are given, but those details just highlight the inability of Mr. Reuben to adapt to changing conditions and instead point out his stubbornness in sticking to his opinion of what his opponents must be holding, while disregarding the information contained in the actual bets that lead up to the situations upon which these two questions are based.
Having read these and a couple of other examples in the book, I decided that taking any advice from Mr. Reuben on pot-limit hold'em would be a bad idea. And as others here have noted, the "bonus" CD-ROM attached in the rear of the book is worthless.
questionable and frustrating Jun 3, 2006
In the introduction, it is stated: "no-limit cash games are seen relatively rarely these days". Really? Why are so many of the book's examples from actual no limit games?
The format is making decisions step by step playing 58 hands. Then you compare your choices against the answers.
The first example hand is played without looking at your pocket cards. In the answer it is stated that you must make sure no one knows you are raising blind. Can you use this advice?
Most of the answers are not explained sufficiently. Usually, when I got a "wrong" answer, the book answer did not help me understand.
If you are learning, advoid this book; it will frustrate you.
Instructional and entertaining Dec 15, 2005
The main thing this book has going for it is its format. Reuben describes a hand and a situation and then quizzes you on each part of playing that hand. He tells you what he or the player he is following, did. Then, at the end, he tells you what mathematically correct strategy would be. Reuben does not always max out the score with his own actions and when he errs, it tends to be toward the more aggressive play.
The correct answer has nothing to do with whether or not you win the hand.
Reuben's writing is humorous and entertaining. Comments such as "A perfect score. You are not welcome at our table." He does use "gay" as an adjective far too often and that is irritating, but I can live with it. Most Americans think most Brits are gay, anyway, except for tough guys like Sean Connery and Margaret Thatcher. It is a sophmoric term for an adult of a reasonable age. I have never met a raise that wanted a civil union.
The drawbacks of this technique occur when the correct strategy is to fold, yet the quiz goes on. If I folded before the flop, I don't have much of a decision on the river.
Still, the few nit picking things aside, a truly enjoyable book. And the Royal Vegas cds on the back inside cover make nice frisbees.
Rock Solid Instruction. Aug 14, 2005
Even before I started writing reviews for this site, I was always a customer who made use of the review section. This was particularly true in regards to poker books because I assumed that the raters had the same goal, getting better, that I did. For this book, I read the insights of the two reviewers below, and made the call. My interest in studying Pot-Limit stems from playing the $10.00 table at a popular website. I wondered if there were some tips I could absorb which would give me an advantage over the other No Limit players at the PL table.
I have to say that I was taken aback when I first opened "How Good Is..." because it looked kind of like a workbook with check in boxes and little quizzes for each hand. Then I saw that the free CD actually was the download disk for Royal Vegas poker, which, in my mind, is an awful site. So, with some trepidation, I began to read this one, and must admit to being pleasantly surprised by the advice it contained. American readers should not be put off by the fact that some of the pot values are represented in English pounds because, you'll soon realize, that the exact amounts have little to do with the functionality of the instruction.
Stewart Reuben is a retired professional, and he definitely knows what he is talking about. He has a engaging personality and is an enjoyable narrator. Inside, he offers up 58 hands for analysis. Over the course of them, many mentions are made of his old poker pals and famous players like Jack Keller or Devilfish Ulliot. Personally, I did not take the quizzes as I went along but I read a couple of the hands twice after recognizing the way in which I mishandled similar scenarios at the table. Lastly, there's a chart on page 9 that shows hand rankings which was so good I forever marred my copy by tearing it out and placing it alongside my computer monitor as a guide.
Advanced concepts and strategies for various hands Jun 8, 2004
How Good Is Your Pot-Limit Hold'em? is a handy and straightforward guide to Pot-limit hold'em, a poker variant characterized by big bets that can spring out of nowhere, as well as opportunities for bold bluffs and counter-bluffs, which has become wildly popular from coast to coast in recent decades. Written by an experienced pot-limit player, How Good Is Your Pot-Limit Hold'em? offers not only basic introductory and "how-to" play instructions, but also advanced concepts and strategies for various hands, and some complex math to better gauge one's odds during play. An accompanying CD-ROM rounds out this excellent primer for those interested in learning more about this exciting style of gambling.