No Limit Texas Holdem
The New Player's Guide to Winning Poker's Biggest Game
Brad Daugherty and Tom McEvoy
Reviewed by Stallion on Aug. 02, 2005.
Although this book advertises itself as "the ultimate resource for rookies and champions alike", it is clearly written for the beginning player. Published in 2004, it seems to have been written to cash in on the wave of new no-limit players drawn by the explosion of poker on TV. Because of this, the book is geared to providing basic no-limit strategy both for the completely inexperienced player and for the player who has only played limit poker. The book is almost entirely geared toward tournament NL poker. In providing generally sound strategic advice, the authors are constantly dropping in references to their WSOP championships, perhaps in an effort to convince the reader, "We really do know what we're talking about!"
There certainly isn't anything revolutionary here. However, given the audience that this is written for, there doesn't need to be. The most important thing that Daugherty and McEvoy do is to help the reader establish the right mindset to win at no-limit, including appreciating the importance of aggression and the fact that most pots will be won before the flop or on the flop.
Other than that, the advice is a bit rigid. The authors try to help the player come up with a formulaic system so that the player will know what to do with each hand in each situation. Under this system, very few starting hands are played. This, I suppose, is done to minimize the risk of the beginning player doing something real dumb. The approach certainly makes sense, but just following the advice in this book probably isn't going to win the beginning player any NL tournaments. However, it may save him from busting out in the first few hands.
The book is written with a concise and direct style, which is ideal for what it is trying to do: provide a simple and understandable system to play no-limit. That said, you can probably count on an obvious typo about every thirty of forty pages.
The first part of the book contains the absolute basics as well as sections on how much to bet and when to bluff. This is followed by a ton of practice hands with multiple choice quizzes. These do a good job of communicating not just what the right move is but why it is the right move. The end of the book contains an extremely brief section on cash games as well as a glossary and some tips for practicing. Again, there's nothing here that's striking for its brilliance, but this book should definitely speed up a new player's improvement.