Not so much a poker book as a math primer with frequent illustrations that draw exclusively on poker. Chen and Ankenman have created a unique text, one that deals far more with a meta approach to the game of poker from a mathematical perspective and offers very little in the way of traditional, scenario-focused advice. While not for everyone, this book has the potential to reshape the way poker is played.
Clocking in at about 400 pages (with none of the large-face type or wide margins you’re accustomed to if you’re a 2+2 reader), this book covers a lot of ground. The book is broken up into 5 sections: Basics, Exploitive Play, Optimal Play, Risk and Other Topics. Each section is segmented by chapters, and each chapter is capped off by a review of the key concepts it contained.
This is really the only (modern) book of its kind. You won’t find another text that takes such an in-depth approach to the meta-math of poker. Other books that talk about poker math are content to settle on the surface, focusing on concepts like pot odds, reverse implied odds, equity, stack ratios, and so on, but this book bridges the gap between fundamental game theory and application of said theory to poker.
Some books will change the way you think about a given situation; others will change the way you perceive certain tactics. This book has the potential to completely change the way you think about poker as a game as well as the proper method for approaching the game from a developmental perspective.
This is also a unique book insomuch that it has utility for just about every player (truly novice players will likely be in far over their heads).
You can’t write a book like this without using a lot of numbers and letters that represent numbers arranged in weird ways unfamiliar to the average reader. There’s a lot of mathematical language deployed in the book, and while Chen and Ankenman do a good job of walking you through difficult concepts, this book is still not going to be a casual read for the average player. It’s going to demand some effort on your part (which should actually be considered an advantage, but might be a turnoff for more casual players).
Chen and Ankenman have broken the mold of what a poker book should / can be, and in doing so, are offering a template for a new era of poker. This book may well end up being regarded as the SuperSystem of its era – a text that marked a fundamental shift in the way that poker is played.
No filler. This book is about developing and employing mathematical models that can be used to understand proper play in poker, and just about every word goes to that end.
Quality of advice: 10/10
Outstanding. This book very rarely, if ever, makes a claim without valid warrants.
Good but, given the complexity of some of the concepts, additional examples would have been helpful in spots.
This is a dry book. It’s more akin to reading a textbook on a subject you enjoy than anything. I don’t know that there’s any way Chen and Ankenman could have avoided this without sacrificing focus and clarity.
Overall (not an average): 10/10
A groundbreaking book.
VERDICT: Buy it and get ready to go back to school.
|Don't want to deposit? Try free bankrolls.|
Merge Network, $50 deposit
Major room, easy qualify
Good for MTT / SNGs Only
Get paid to play poker - up to 102% rakeback or more. Learn more and apply today.
read the net's most popular summary of all the day's breaking poker news.
Join 40,000+ members - talk strategy, meet other players and get staked.
access dozens of free strategy videos from top pros
over $15,000,000 staked so far. sign up today and get in on the action; membership is free.
Online since 2004, PartTimePoker brings together a unique combination of the largest staking community online, top-paying poker rakeback and prop offers and a variety of poker-related content including poker news, strategy articles and free poker training videos. PartTimePoker.com - your best source for online poker.
Some examples of the more popular content on our site include our PTP Daily Hit N Run, our weekly High Stakes Poker Report, our comprehensive list of poker training site reviews and our CardRunners review.
PartTimePoker is also well-known for our large poker forums, where over 30,000 members discuss staking, strategy, poker news, culture, and just about everything else you can imagine. Registering for our forums is free.
PTP offers several rakeback and free bankroll offers for our viewers. If you're not familiar with rakeback, read our guide to online poker rakeback. To learn how much you could be earning with rakeback, check out our rakeback calculator. If you're ready to get started, our most popular rakeback offers are True Poker Rakeback, Cake Poker Rake Back and Carbon Poker RakeBack.
Free and no deposit bankrolls (also called free poker money) are essentially promotional deals we've arranged with rooms where they give you a small amount of money (usually $10-$150) to try out their room. These offers are a great way to get your feet wet at a room without going through the hassle of depositing, and provide players nervous about depositing at an online gambling site with a risk-free way to play poker, bingo, and other games online. View our current free poker bankroll no deposit offers.