30-min. poker prescription

Book Review

By Raymond T. Akers

The vast majority of instructional books on poker are simply much bigger bites than you or I are likely to be able (or want) to chew. Full of charts and highly nuanced maneuvers, their aim is to take you to the very top of the game. They assume you’re willing to put in the long hours of study and practice to get there.

Ashley Adams new book “Winning Poker in 30 Minutes a Day” (D&B Poker) offers a unique approach to improving the games of recreational players. It’s not a book aimed at beginners, although they would benefit greatly from it, but rather targets the average Joe (or Joan) wanting better results at their local cardroom or home game.

As he says in the preface, “This book looks to turn losing, break-even, beginning and intermediate players into winning players.”

Adams is not a top poker pro. You haven’t seen him on the World Poker Tour or World Series of Poker broadcasts. In fact, if you look him up on the Hendon Mob database, you’ll see a dollar figure just north of 4,000. That means, as a player, he’s a lot more like you and me, so his goals and motivations should also be similar to ours.

He has, however, more than enough of a pedigree as a poker author (more than 1,000 articles and two books) and host of an internet radio poker show since 2007.

The concepts presented are not unique, as all the usual topics are covered: game selection, pre-flop and post-flop play, position, estimating opponents’ ranges, variance, tilt, etc. But Adams’ exercises and scenarios are special in that they are designed to help you fine tune your thinking and decision making in a typical $1/2 or $1/3 no-limit Hold’em game, without memorizing a bunch of charts.

He has put together a system for improving your play by taking about half an hour a day to reinforce your approach or maybe even give you something new to think about. The vast array of possible situations and decisions is simplified rather than complicated, leaving you with several layers of thinking instead of dozens and dozens.

If that’s all it takes to move up a notch or two and increase your confidence and profitability, most likely you’ll be happy to spare the half hour!

“Winning Poker in 30 Minutes a Day” is published by D&B Poker (wwwdandbpoker.com) and is available through all good retailers.