Harrington on Holdem (Volume 2)
Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments (Volume 2: The Endgame)
Dan Harrington and Bill Robertie
Reviewed by TwoGun and Ozone on Sep. 10, 2005.
This book is the second volume of Dan Harrington's No Limit Hold'em Tournament series. Dan is considered by many to be the most successful tournament player of the last decade. He won the WSOP Main Event in 1995, finished 3rd in 2003 and 4th in 2004. The first volume in this series focused on strategy for the early stages of tournaments, specifically starting hand guidelines. This volume focuses on the later stages and how to play when the blinds and antes begin to dwindle your stack away.
Dan somehow found a way to improve upon the advice he gave in Volume 1. The first part of Volume 2 deals with "Making Moves". In this section, Dan gives wonderful advice on how to bet for value, bluff effectively, and slowplay properly. Although the concepts presented in this book are very advanced, Dan and his co-author Bill Robertie do a very fine job of simplifying things for the reader.
The most valuable section of this book (and of about every other tournament-geared book you could read) is Dan's Theory of Inflection Points. He tells the reader that "playing correctly around inflection points is the most important single skill of no limit hold'em tournaments". In short, inflection points are merely a series of guidelines on how to play your stack in relation to the size of the total pot after the blinds and antes have been posted. When reading the Theory of Inflection Points, you are likely to find yourself hoping and praying that none of the players you will be facing in the days to come will have read this book. The two volumes of Harrington on Hold'em are worth their weight in gold.
The authors of this book are very in tune with the fact that their concepts are highly advanced. This is evident in how carefully each new idea is explained to the reader. Many other books that come from 2+2 publishing tend to be very intellectual and often hard to follow. Harrington on Hold'em is an exception to this rule.
There are several large sections in this book titled "The Problems". These sections have a series of hand examples that help the reader apply their new found knowledge to a practical example. Some of these "Problems" are a little complicated and frusterating due to their high attention to detail. It might be wise to only go over 3 or 4 "Problems" per day. Reading all of these problems in one sitting could easily result in burnout, which would hinder their educational value.