Quick peeks at 50 top poker players

Book Review

By Raymond T. Akers

“The Pursuit of Poker Success” (D&B Poker) by Lance Bradley is a compendium of interviews this journalist did with 50 of the top poker players in the world. Each entry is five pages of quotes, preceded by a quick lead-in provided by the author.

The players give brief glimpses into their lives, what brought them into the poker world, and/or how they go about being the best they can possibly be both on and off the felt. The behind-the-scenes looks are informative and interesting but, most of all, brief.

I think if there were a lot more pictures it could be the poker book equivalent of “People” magazine. If you’re looking for in-depth revelations of an individual’s history, or step-by-step descriptions of how they go about dismantling the field in a tournament, then you’ve come to the wrong place.

For these reasons I found the subtitle: “Learn from 50 of the World’s Best Poker Players” a bit misleading. Sure, I learned a little about what makes them tick and got to know them a little bit better, but when I see a subtitle like that I’m looking forward to some serious knowledge being imparted.

This is not a book to read straight through from page one to the end. In fact, in the opening pages entitled “Read This First,” Bcradley lists five rules for reading the book and number two is, “Do not read this book in a linear fashion. Reach Chapter 1 and then skip ahead to Chapter 23 if that’s what suits your fancy. You’re not going to miss anything by bounding around from chapter to chapter.”

If you have somewhere that you like to sit and read for, oh … a few minutes at a time, and are interested in the thoughts and stories of 50 top poker players, then this is a great book to enjoy. If you’re looking for detailed discussions, someone’s revelatory life story, or minutiae-filled strategic advice, then keep on looking.

“The Pursuit of Poker Success” is published by D&B Poker (www.dandbpoker.com) and is available through all good retailers.