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Mason Malmuth's Poker Essays Volume 2

Mason Malmuth's Poker Essays Volume 2

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Overall Rating: 3

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Mason Malmuth was born and raised in Coral Gables, Florida. In 1973 he received his BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech, and completed their Masters’ program in 1975. While working for the United States Census Bureau in 1978, Mason stopped overnight in Las Vegas while driving to his new assignment in California. He was immediately fascinated by the games, and gambling became his major interest.

After arriving in California, he discovered that poker was legal and began playing in some of the public cardrooms, as well as taking periodic trips to Las Vegas where he would play both poker and blackjack. In 1981 he went to work for the Northrop Corporation as a mathematician and moved to Los Angeles where he could conveniently pursue his interest in poker in the large public cardrooms in Gardena, Bell Gardens, and Commerce.

In 1983 his first article, "Card Domination — The Ultimate Blackjack Weapon," was published in Gambling Times magazine. In 1987 he left his job with the Northrop Corporation to begin a career as both a full-time gambler and a gambling writer. He has had over 500 articles published in various magazines and has authored or co-authored 14 books. These include Gambling Theory and Other Topics, where he tries to demonstrate why only a small number of people are highly successful at gambling. In this book he introduces the reader to the concept of "non-self weighting strategies" and explains why successful gambling is actually a balance of luck and skill. Other books he has co-authored are Hold ’em Poker For Advanced Players, written with David Sklansky, and Seven-Card Stud For Advanced Players written with David Sklansky and Ray Zee. All the "advanced" books are considered the definitive works on these games.

His company, Two Plus Two Publishing, has sold over 400,000 books and currently has 26 titles to its credit. These books are recognized as the best in their field and are thoroughly studied by those who take gambling seriously.

In this follow-up to his first Poker Essays book, poker expert Mason Malmuth shares new insights that separate good players from great players. His bite-sized essays contain illuminating anecdotes and examples of great and terrible play. As in his first book, he offers the categories of general concepts, technical ideas, structure, strategic ideas and card room play. Included this time is a section on erroneous concepts that's worth careful reading and a section of humorous true stories titled "Something Silly." Poker beginners may get lost in here, but if you're a competent player looking to master the game, Malmuth is an excellent mentor.

Success at poker does not come easy. However, poker can be extremely rewarding since it will allow you a degree of freedom that virtually no other profession can offer. Yet, very few people ever achieve this level of competence even though many try. The reason for this is that very few players are able to master all the skills that a top poker professional needs. Some are unwilling to make the effort — "these players usually come to gamble" — and others who try are not quite able to grasp the depth of sophistication that is required.

This text contains those essays that this author wrote from 1991 through early 1996. Topics covered include: General Concepts, Technical Ideas, Structure, Strategic Ideas, In the Cardrooms, Quizzes, Erroneous Concepts, and Something Silly. In addition, advice is offered on handling rushes, moving up, poker skills, simulations, maximizing your expectation, betting when first to act on the river, whether limit hold’em should have two or three betting levels, playing the overs, adjusting to the big ante, how to play well, low-limit hold’em, how many hands you should play early in a tournament, chopping the blinds, cardroom theory, and much more.

As with the original Poker Essays, this book is designed to make the reader do a great deal of thinking about the game. In fact, very few readers will agree with everything this text offers, but the information provided should help most people become better poker players.

Overall Rating: 3

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