A book review: Sklansky & Malmuth's Hold'em poker for Advanced players
For any player looking to improve his or her game, look no further than to the ideas discussed in the 1980s in 'Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players', by Sklansky & Malmuth, which only a select few people at that time knew about. Now it is open for anyone to learn about the many ideas and concepts they shared all those years ago, but I think it is frightening how relevant these concepts still are, and how few players in the game today actually use them. Players who read this book and allow themselves to think about the ideas expressed on a deeper level, will give them the knowledge to become a winning player. Like taking a gun to a sword fight, it will give the player a real edge over his or her opponents, and provide greater transparency over the game during play, as long as they stay patient and disciplined.
Different strategies talked about in the book include; play on the first two cards, semi-bluffing, the free card, desperation bets, playing fourth street, playing when the flush hits the turn, and overall poker psychology as well as much more.
While the older version I read (1988 first edition) is outdated, the tips given are still almightily invaluable. Apparantely there was a newer version of the book produced in 2001, updated with an extra 100 pages on 'loose games' and 'short handed games' and you can buy a copy of this edition for around £20 on eBay (postage included).
I really like the style of the book, it has been well presented and combines rustic images of antique style cards that are pleasing to the eye with an aesthetic text font. It is well written by combining poker slang terms which engages the appropriate audience and the ideas are clearly and concisely conveyed, resulting in a highly enjoyable read. I don't think I put down the book for two days!
Unfortunately, I've already forgotten a lot of the ideas and strategy concepts in the book, as there were so many, so I won't hesitate to return to flicking through the chapters again, to remind myself of what was said. I'll be doing the same with Sklansky (& Millers) other book Texas Hold'em Theory & Practice as well, and I definitely feel more confident about certain plays I can make now due to the content shared in the book.
For any disciplined and aspiring patient intermediate poker player who follows the guidance of this book, with further discipline and commitment to the strategies, as well as practise and re-learning, they will find themselves a long term winning player.
Overall mark given: 10/10