Bad Beats and Lucky Draws
Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour
Reviewed by Ozone on Feb. 10, 2005.
This is Phil Hellmuth's gift to himself. It is finally his chance to let the world know what he thinks about everyone in written form. He immortalizes his friends by detailing great plays that they made. For his enemies, he tells a story about a bad play they made and then proceeds to spend several paragraphs second-guessing the moves of everyone in the pot. There are very few books dedicated to telling the stories of the high-stakes poker world, so this book does have a certain charm to it. Its value is high for anyone who loves watching poker tournaments on TV and following the circuit online. Bad Beats and Lucky Draws is simply a series of stories of big pots that took place during big tournaments.
The advice in this book is sound, though most of the advice in this book is Phil second-guessing the play of ohers. It is easy to second-guess someone after the cards have been revealed and the pot has been rewarded; it is much more difficult to write a solid poker strategy book. Furthermore, nearly every hand discussed is a tournament poker hand, not a cash game hand. This is probably a good thing, though, because tournaments are Hellmuth's expertise. Whether you like him or not, it is undisputable that Phil Hellmuth is one of the best tournament poker players ever. Those not fond of Hellmuth should at least be happy that he isn't giving too much Limit Hold'em ring game advice, which his first book, Play Poker Like The Pros made a pathetic attempt to do. Anyone aspiring to join the tournament circuit should read this book. Not only does Phil give away the playing styles of many professionals you are likely to run into, he also gives the reader a glimpse into the lifestyle of a professional tournament player.
At 220 pages, this book is very easy to read. No story in this book is long winded, and anyone could polish it off on a cross-country flight. The most enjoyable part of this book is Chapter 6, which was not authored by Phil Hellmuth. Titled "From the Other Side of the Table", Chapter 6 is a collection of poker stories written by other famous poker players, such as Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, and Daniel Negraenu. For anyone who is a fan of professional poker, this book is a must-have. Nevertheless, if you don't like Phil Hellmuth, the ultra-high dose of Hellmuth's ego may be too much for you.