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Poker: The Real Deal

Phil Gordon

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Strengths: An easy read.
Weaknesses: Depth of poker strategy is fairly shallow.
Year: 2004
Page Count: 304

Reviewed by TwoGun and Ozone on Feb. 10, 2005.

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Phil Gordon quietly snuck a gem onto the market with Poker: The Real Deal. It is a fun read that does a great job of reminding the reader that poker is a game meant to be fun, friendly, and competitive. If you are looking for a book full of theories, percentages, and advanced concepts, then this is not the book for you. This book is for people interested in learning what it feels like to play in the World Series of Poker and how to make it as a professional poker player.

Poker Advice

This book is about the poker lifestyle. Don't expect to learn how to play ace-king offsuit from middle position. Poker: The Real Deal covers a wide range of topics on poker, from the absolute basics of strategy to the development of the different variations of the game throughout history. This wealth of rarely discussed information makes it valuable to an experienced player or someone just beginning in the game. Few books have bothered to take a glimpse into the secret society of poker. Kudos to Phil Gordon for doing so.


Poker: The Real Deal is offered in a very classy hardback form. With a little dedication, the entire book could be read in one sitting. While most poker authors are somewhat snobby and talk down to the reader, Phil Gordon talks across to the reader. Although he has won WPT and WSOP titles, Gordon's ego is entirely in check. He gives the reader confidence by putting everyone in a scenario (such as the final table of the "Big One") and guiding us through it with sound advice. This book is not discouraging or overwhelming; it is simply enjoyable and valuable. A great read for all poker players.


Poker: The Real Deal can be purchased at Amazon

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