Let There Be Range Review
While the majority of poker books are authored by players who have become household names, an increasing number of texts are emerging by names that are familiar more to the online set and less to the recreational player. Add to that list ‘Let There Be Range: Crushing SSNL/MSNL No-Limit Holdem Games’, co-authored by Cole ‘CTS’ South and Tri ‘Slowhabit’ Nguyen, an ebook aimed at intermediate NLHE players.
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Small and midstakes NL makes up the fat majority of online poker cash games, so it’s no surprise that a variety of training aides are focused on that market. LTBR is a focused course on how to beat a limit range that roughly spans 1/2 to 5/10.
The book is only available as an eBook (DRM protected) and is about 80 pages long.
Cole South is one of the more respected instructors at CardRunners, and his presence on the writing team allows average players access to some proven insights about no limit specifically and poker in general. Nguyen is also a proven player with a history of articulating tricky concepts in concise, understandable terms. The result: an effective author pairing that blends the esoteric and the execution to good effect.
The content is generally presented with a very tight focus, so even though the book is a bit short by most standards, it still measures up quite well against your typical poker book in terms of quantity of ideas. As far as content quality goes, LTBR outshines most of its peers by investigating the modern no limit cash game from some intriguing, yet ultimately pragmatic angles that yield applicable conclusions.
The book does a good job of presenting a mix of logical, empirical and ancedontal support for the author’s take on the game. The book really shines in the parts where South and Nguyen don’t only offer you a strategy, but also articulate the internal struggles you’ll likely face when attempting to implement the strategy and how to combat those as well. That’s a multi-tiered approach that owns up to the fact that there’s a real gap between book-based strategy and actual application, a fact most texts simply ignore (at the reader’s expense).
The price of this book simply puts it out of reach for a good chunk of its intended audience. Some midstakes players are no doubt ballers, but a good amount will flinch at the $947 price tag.
You can also buy the book in two parts, with Part 1 costing $297 and Part 2 coming in at $697.
Value is a tough thing to judge since it’s pretty relative to what the individual can afford. What we can say is that you’re certainly paying more dollars per idea for this book than for competing titles.
Another complaint: The book is littered with hand examples, which is a good thing. However, their dry layout – while possibly appealing to forum readers used to a converted HH format – often renders them awkwardly separate from the accompanying text, and misses an opportunity to engage the reader.
The ideas and advice in this book are bound to improve the game of anyone who reads it. Whether that’s worth the price is up to each individual.
The book is tight in each individual chapter, but sometimes jumps from idea to idea inbetween chapters without a clear motivation.
Quality of advice: 10/10
Some interesting insights backed up with an arsenal of varied support.
Sufficient, but not always integrated well into the text.
It’s picky, but there are a number of small grammatical issues with this book that interrupt the flow for the reader.
Overall (not an average): 9/10
Cost issues aside, this is an excellent book.
VERDICT: If you’re a break-even player or small winner at 1/2 to 5/10, this book will improve your game. If you have the money to spare, consider a purchase.