Bank holiday weekend was nice. Firstly, I started reading two new poker books – Professional No Limit (PNL) and NLHE Theory & Practice (TaP). Both books had some good points, some awesome points, and some pretty bad points.
PNL: Good book and well worth a read, however two sections concerned me. The REM section (Range, Equity, Maximise) failed to account for future betting, which was strange. I would have called it SIR EM (Stack sizes, Implied odds, Range, Equity, Maximise) but what do I know, eh?
Also, this whole thing about SPR confused me. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but to hit your ‘target’ SPR with a hand like AQ, AJ, KQ, you would need to either a/ buy in less than full (40-60 BBs) or b/ bet larger pre flop. If you bought in for the standard 100BBs and got dealt AQo, you’d have to raise 10BBs to hit your target SPR of around 5, or minraise to hit an SPR of around 20 (which the book says is also an acceptable SPR for a TP hand). I honestly feel like I missed the train on this one because a lot of people on the forum seem to love the SPR concept, but the fact that this section implies that you should use non-standard PFR’s or buy in shallower worries me. Maybe I’ll make a BC thread on this and find out where I’m going wrong.
Having said that, on the whole this book is great. The sections on pot commitment and planning the whole hand before you even VPIP are thorough and detailed. I will be reading this book more than once.
TaP: Whoa, what a mess. I’m an accountant and even I got lost in some of the maths they were laying out. This is widely regarded as one of the best dedicated NL books out there, but I’ll warn you that it feels like a Where’s Waldo book on more than one occasion, as you sift through a sea of (IMO largely pointless) numbers to get to the point they were making. However when you do eventually find Waldo you can mug him and you’ll find out that he’s got a wallet stuffed with money.
I have issues with just about everything they wrote about pre-flop strategy though. I mean, this book actually has a starting hand chart in it for one. As well as this, Sklansky goes on to say that the industry standard ‘4xBB+1 for every limper’ is troublesome and in some cases just wrong (I smell controversy), saying that you should raise by whatever the hell you feel like, just mix it up 20% of the time to keep the villains guessing. The example given advocates open limping(!) many hands, 3xBB for the next ‘group’, and 6xBB for the top hands. I will run some numbers on it, but the starting hands and raises they outlined looked borderline loose-passive when I read it, certainly far looser than anyone on ftr would advise. I have been thinking about this a lot, and I’m certain that this sort of strategy could kill any poker player that wasn’t capable of adjusting very, very quickly. If I ever saw someone at a table using this strategy I’d raise every limp and 3bet every 3xBB and eventually force them out of playing that way. Maybe it was meant for deep stack poker but at 100BBs, I could rip it apart.
Just like PNL though, there is plenty of +ev in this book. My comments here have focused on the negative but I can assure you that I was mostly impressed by both these books.
In other news, I have moved down to $2nl for the month of May. Not because I suck, although I do suck, but that’s not why I moved down. I have finally started multitabling!
While I feel like I could make more single tabling $10 & $20nl short term, long term the eevees are in running more than one table at a time. On Saturday I fired up 4 tables at $2nl and got to work, it was hella fun. Despite consistently getting my money in as favourite (except for a set over set) I finished down over 300BBs, but it’s far too small a sample to make a judgement so I’ll be running a whole month this way to see how it goes. There were a couple of moments where I had good pf hands on 3 of the 4 tables and it got a bit hectic, but on the whole I felt that I could comfortably run with four tables without getting lost. Will up it to $5nl in June, there’s no rush.
P.S. If you disagree with my comments about the two books please tell me, as stated I really feel like I missed the point in a couple of places.