Comparing poker tournament books Part 1: Introduction

When it comes to mastering the principles of poker tournaments there are a lot of factors to consider. A book can only cover so much and the numbers of concepts that need to be covered to play a tournament are numerous, which is why most tournament strategy guides are multi-volume sets. In this series I will take a look at the four major tournament series that are out there, as well as the stand-alone books on tournament poker.

Here is a look at the Tournament strategy guides I will discuss, compare, and contrast:

  • Harrington on Hold’ Em, by Dan Harrington Volumes 1-3
  • Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker, by Jonathan Little (Volumes 1 and 2 have been released and Volume 3 is in the works)
  • Kill Phil, Kill Everyone, and The Raisers Edge, by Lee Nelson, Blair Rodman, Bertrand Grospellier et al.
  • Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time, by Jon Turner, Eric Lynch, and John Van Fleet (Volumes 1-3)
  • The Poker Tournament Formula, by Arnold Snyder (Volumes 1 and 2)
  • Standalones: Every Hand Revealed, by Gus Hansen: Tournament Poker for Advanced Players, by David Sklansky: The Full Tilt Strategy Guide (tournament edition)

So what will I be looking for as I compare these books? Basically there will be several areas where I grade each book:

  • How well the book covers the basic strategies
  • What new concepts or ideas are outlined
  • Is the book clear and concise
  • Will the book stand the test of time
  • What kind of bang for your buck do you get

Each book(s) will be given a score of 1-5 in each of these categories with a score of 1 meaning the book falls very short, with a score of 5 would indicating the book is a must-read in this area. Hopefully by the time you have finished reading this series you will have a clearer picture of which tournament poker books will be the most helpful to your game; which tournament poker books offer unique ideas; and which tournament poker books are simply unnecessary, offer bad advice, or are outdated.

I’ve intentionally left off some of the older tournament poker books (which have little application in today’s modern poker world), as well as Sit & Go books (as these are an entirely different genre in my opinion). This series will focus on Table Tournament books ONLY, and mainly on MTT books that were produced in series.

Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Harrington on Holdem

Part 3: Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker

Part 4: Kill Phil/Raisers Edge

Part 5: Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time

Part 6: Tournament Poker Formula

Part 7: Standalones

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