Friday, May 28, 2010

Bad Beats and Lucky Draws by Phil Helmuth

Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker TourWell, I couldn't find the book by Doyle Brunson that I was looking for on the shelf at the library, so I settled for this book by Helmuth, instead. This book provides an interesting look at some of the history and personalities of professional poker. Phil describes a lot of the venues where the game has been played, and seems to have nothing but good things to say about many of the other pros in the game.
I like to play online poker, though not for real money, and it's often frustrating to me how often I catch a "bad beat", get "rivered", or just can't seem to catch a decent flop with a strong set of hole cards. Reading this book at least let me know that it happens to everyone, even the skilled professional players. Despite the fact that the odds may be against a particular run of cards, it can and still does happen.
There's a lot of commentary by Phil on game situations he's encountered, and more from other players, as well. The bottom line seems to be, in the words of Kenny Rogers, "You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em." I don't know if it will help me be more philosophical about my bad beats, but it's somewhat comforting to know that even World Poker champs lose to lucky draws.

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