Doyle Brunson's Super System 2
Introduction to Doyle Brunson's Super System 2
The original Super System, written and edited by Doyle Brunson, the acknowledged "Babe Ruth of Poker," is hailed by all players as the single most influential book ever written about the game of poker. Now, Super System II, pushes the envelope further, expanding on the original with new games, new strategies, and new experts. This is a brand new book-not an update. The who's who all-star studded lineup for SSII includes Chip Reese, who Doyle recognizes as one of the top three players in the world, if not the best; Johnny Chan, two-time WSOP champion and tied with Doyle for the most world series bracelets with 9, Doyle Brunson himself, two-time WSOP champion and the greatest poker player of all time, Lyle Berman, founder of the World Poker Tour, the world's best Omaha player, and owner of three WSOP gold bracelets; Bobby Baldwin, former WSOP champion and CEO of the Bellagio; Mike Caro, the greatest poker theorist and best-selling author; Jennifer Harmon, the best woman player in the history of poker and one of the top 10 overall; Todd Brunson, winner of more than 20 tournaments and the future successor to Doyle's throne;
as well as Danny Negreanu, and Barry Greenstein.
Super System 2 covers the essential strategies and advanced play on the most popular games played today -
No limit Hold 'em, Limit Hold 'em, 7 Card Stud, 7 Card Stud 8 or Better, 7 Card Stud High-Low Split,
No Limit Omaha, Omaha 8 or Better, Limit Lowball Draw, High Draw Poker, Chinese Poker, Triple Draw Lowball -
as well as important sections on professional poker play and poker psychology.
Review of Doyle Brunson's Super System 2
Super System 2 was hyped seemingly forever before it was finally released, with the release date pushed back several times. Was it worth the wait? Not really.
First of all, parts of the book, especially the online poker section, read like an infomercial for Brunson's new site - just as blatant and irritating as on TV. He refers to it over and over (and over), with no purpose except as a shameless plug.
Another aspect that's hard to miss is the authors' ego-stroking of themselves and each other. Yes, Brunson's a great player, did a lot for the game, won the World Series twice 30 years ago, etc. Most readers already know that, and don't need to be endlessly reminded. Reading the introduction, one can almost imagine Doyle pausing to allow us time to bow down and worship him. The superlatives flow again before each chapter as he introduces each author, and then most of the others reciprocate by reminding us of Doyle's greatness. In case we'd forgotten.
Some have complained that the book includes other games and doesn't cover hold'em exclusively. I think this is one of the book's strong points. Hold'em has been beaten to death, with several great books on the game and new ones coming out regularly. It's very hard to find good information on some of the other games; for example, this is the first time I've seen Triple Draw covered in print. Also, the original Super System also covered several games, so this shouldn't surprise anyone.
As one might expect from a book where each chapter has a different author, the quality varies substantially from section to section. One thing they all have in common is fairly poor writing. The problem isn't as much glaring errors and misspellings (although there are some of these) as lots of extraneous wording and logical structure that could have easily been made clearer. I don't expect beautiful prose from a bunch of poker players, but hiring an editor and proofreader could have helped a lot.
The format, where each game is covered in 60 pages or so, has its pros and cons. It is able to cover a lot of topics, like Triple Draw, that might not merit a full book on its own. However, most of the games are much more complicated and so the chapters must necessarily leave out lots of information. I've been playing hold'em and stud for years, but don't have much experience in other games, so this format is perfect as a survey of other games.
To various degrees, the material is geared toward players with a decent amount of experience. There is a brief introduction to game mechanics (who posts the blinds, how the betting works) at the beginning of each chapter, but there are much better sources for the beginner.
The No-Limit Hold'em section, by Brunson himself, was one of the main reasons for the first book's popularity, and the most anticipated for this one. With a few minor exceptions it's just a reprint of the original, mostly word for word. Very disappointing, and misleading considering a lot of players will buy it for the NLH section alone.
The Stud/8 or better section by Todd Brunson (Doyle's son and a top pro himself) is excellent, covering lots of material in its
50 pages. This is particularly valuable since there isn't very much good material on the game elsewhere.
Jennifer Harman on Limit Hold'em is also excellent, but again, it would need to be hundreds of pages longer to be truly complete. As it stands, it's a good supplement for thought after reading other books on the game.
Pot Limit Omaha coverage by Lyle Berman is not great. Omaha/8 or better by Bobby Baldwin is good, but not spectacular. I really liked Daniel Negreanu's Triple Draw section, but that's probably because the game is totally new to me and any information is great.
The list of "contributors" for the book overall is very impressive, but also seems deceptive. Johnny Chan is listed... for writing the preface, which is another Ode to Doyle. No poker content. Negreanu is well known because of all his Hold'em success recently, and he covers Triple Draw, which is rarely played except at the highest limits. Most readers probably didn't even know he played Triple Draw, if they've heard of the game at all.
As primarily a stud player, I was very surprised and disappointed that it wasn't included at all. With the possible exception of hold'em (which was invented as a variation on stud), 7-card stud is the most consistently popular, most skillful poker variant. It was well covered by Chip Reese in the original Super System - they must have decided that the game hasn't changed much (which is mostly true).
Another oddity: the book is almost 700 pages, making it quite thick and heavy, but the first section covering a game doesn't start until over 200 pages in, with more filler at the end - a glossary (defining terms like "sucker"... someone who buys this book?), and a few more pages of ads at the end.
Overall, Super System 2 has a place in any serious player's library, but only as a supplement to more in-depth coverage of the various games. The original achieved the popularity it did because it was the only decent book on the market at the time, in the early '70s. Today, there's a lot of good poker books, and this one wouldn't be particularly notable without the names on the cover. Fortunately, it's relatively cheap, and a good value for the amount of material it covers.
Doyle Brunson's Super System 2 Reviews
to post your thoughts and review Doyle Brunson's Super System 2!
Please use your registered FTR Poker Forum handle
when posting your review.
You may click here to register.
| “ss2” by maxbetty, 31 Dec 2005
Limit: No Limit: Tournament: Other Highlights: Overall Rating:
first when this book came out, I knew I
just gotto buy it, afterall I had the
first Supersystem, and this one would
look really good next to it, so I bought
it on amazon.com the very first day it
was released, waited and waited, then it
came, wow, atlast I tought, started to
read it right away, then it crossed my
mind, what? haven't I read this before,
hmm, maybe not, strange? I continue to
read a bit, I HAVE READ THIS BEFORE! I
dusted of my old Supersystem 1 , started
to compare them,and guess what, exactly
the same thing is written in Supersytem
1,I guess the old goof wanted to squeze
out the last pennys, I think this is
really bad, a new book from the one of
the best players in the world and with
the same content? it's almost as if
they only printed a new cover, thats why
my ratings is so low, the book also
contains some material from Mike Caro
wich is the only good thing about the
book, but that material can be read for
free at he's website, so if you already
got Supersystem 1, dont buy this book,
it's basicly the same book. I can't
believe my ears when I hear people say
what good book Supersystem 2 is? they
can't possible have read a line in the
first one, well ofcourse it is a good
book, just as good as the first one,
it's the same book.
| “Super System 2 Review” by Real, 23 Aug 2005
Limit: No Limit: Tournament: Other Highlights: Overall Rating:
Super System is a great addition to any
Poker library. SS2 is no exception it
includes key chapters on Holden, Stud
Hilo and Omaha (PL). I will not bore you
with elaborating on the NLHE chapter or
the Aceball Chapter (Who's going to
play that anyway?) or the online
chapters. One of the book's strong
points is that it covers so many
different games some of which have very
little information or erroneous
information particularly Stud 7 hilo and
Omaha Pot Limit. Each card variant is
covered by a world class player in about
60 pages, and much of what they talk
about is not covered anywhere else.
It's a good format you get the fillet
mignon rather than the whole side of
All sections assume that you know the
games basics leaving plenty of space for
advanced concepts and play.
The No-Limit Hold'em section, by
Written by Brunson himself, has been
revised to a much greather extent than
the other reviewers are stating. I would
say at least 15% has been changed with
about 10% being new info or stated
differently. The typeset is also much
easier to read. Doyle's recent 55th
placing in the WSOP main event at age 70
plus and 1st place on one of the WTP
events shows he still has what it takes.
Also his 10th braclet at the 2005 WSOP
shows he's still cutting edge.
The Stud/8 or better section by Todd
Brunson is fantastic, covering lots of
material which has never been printed
elsewhere. It is compulsory reading for
all Stud Hilo players. Its great to note
that Tod has finally won a WSOP 2005
Limit Hold'em by Jennifer Harmon is
also excellent, it's a great supplement
and refresher to any other HE books you
may be reading or have studied. She
emphasizes several new concepts not
focused in other books. I would rate her
section as a must read for any HE
player. The chapter is very
complementary to the SS1 HE chapter by
Bruce Baldwin. Baldwins chapter was more
basic and mechanical.
The Pot Limit Omaha chapter by Lyle
Berman is outstanding and is probably
the best chapter ever written on Omaha
(btw there are only a handful of books
on Omaha). Berman is the best living
player in PLO (This is confirmed in the
TJ Cloutier Omaha book) and he
introduces several new learning's
including the use of small connectors
with a suited ace e.g. A,4,5,6, and
double suited pairs. In the case of
double suited pairs I would advise only
play QQXX and up, from computer
simulations I have seen every pair down
have negative expectations. My guess is
that a lot of negative comments in
respect of poker book is from players
that do not want others to read the book
and improve their play. Omaha/8 or
better by Bobby Baldwin is very solid.
The essentialness of having an Ace in
the hand is interesting. In fact many
pros are commenting on how good the
chapter is. Overall, Super System 2 has
a place as a supplement to other books
that give greater coverage to a
particular game. The chapters are great
for revision and alternate points of
| “SS2” by jwind, 23 Aug 2005
Limit: No Limit: Tournament: Other Highlights: Overall Rating:
I think it's a book that belongs on any
serious poker player's bookshelf, but
it shouldn't be one of your first
Let's start with what your expectations
should be of the book, because the title
is misleading. This isn't a coherent,
unified system of approaching poker.
Instead, it's a collection of essays
from an all-star cast of contributing
authors on a wide range of poker games.
I think that's a fine thing, and I
appreciate the different approaches and
insights, but the title could lead you
to expect something very different.
I think it's fair to say that I took
away a profitable nugget from most every
chapter. I play predominantly limit hold
'em, and Jennifer Harman's chapter on
the game is fantastic. While most books
I've read spend the bulk of their time
on pre-flop hand selection
(understandable), Harman does a great
job of discussing how to approach common
flop & turn scenarios. I ended up
recouping the cost of the book the day I
purchased it by following some of her
advice on how I approach catching middle
or low pair on the flop.
Downsides to the book:
Personally, I could live without the
long waxing on Doyle's life history.
Don't get me wrong, I'd happily buy a
well written biography of Doyle's life,
but I bought this for poker theory and
strategy. (And Doyle shouldn't be the
one to write the biography... he may be
a brilliant poker player, but his
writing is so so.)
Another reviewer mentioned this, but it
deserves repeating: the plugs for
Doyle's online poker site are annoying
In the end I think this is a great
follow-up book to any of the great
fundamental books on the game.
fyi, by fundamental books on the game I
For general poker theory: Sklansky and
For hold 'em limit discussion: Lou
Kreiger or Ed Miller
For no limit: Dan Harrington
Have you ever come across a confusing poker term? Our poker dictionary has 1224 definitions!
Play for FREE and practice your game at...
Would you like to submit your own poker article to be featured on FTR? You can by clicking here - Submit a Poker Article!