Comparing poker tournament books Part 5: Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time

We are now up to Part 5 in this series and have come to the series with perhaps the most unique layout and structure of all, Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time by John Van Fleet, Eric Lynch, and Jon Turner.

Here is a look at each of the entries I will cover in this series:

  • 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)

Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time (1-3), by Jon Turner, Eric Lynch, and John Van Fleet

Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time is an interesting series where three of the top tournament players in the game each dissect a specific hand giving their thoughts and opinions on how they would play it. Since there is sometimes small, and even wide, disagreements in their thought process the book shows you how there are no concrete decisions in poker and how different players will see things from different perspectives.

While not a crash course in how to play poker tournaments, the series does do a good job of explaining a number of different concepts regarding tournament play, although it requires the reader to have a good footing in poker strategy and the ability to think through situations for themselves.

Basic Strategies (3)

There isn’t a specific section of this series focused at beginners, but the authors do a good job of explaining every aspect of the hand, which covers most of the basic strategies, even if it is in a non-standard way.

 New Concepts (4)

While there is nothing groundbreaking in the series, the layout and structure is definitely innovative and the group pulled it off masterfully. You are basically getting inside the head of three different star players for every hand and can see the points of agreement and where the players may diverge from one another.

Clear and Concise (4)

I’m a big fan if this series as it allows you to really pinpoint your weaknesses and look at things from different perspectives. Despite the seemingly Helter Skelter nature of having three commentators and using hand histories the book is easy to follow and well written.

Will it Stand the test of Time (2)

With how fast tournament strategies evolve I don’t know how the series will be viewed in five or ten years, since there aren’t many generalities and the basic strategic concepts that will always ring true aren’t really covered in these books.

Bang for your Buck (4)

If you are a current tournament player and are struggling with your game these books should be high on your priority list, and the $20+ per book price tag shouldn’t be too costly to your bankroll. If you are a new player they should be a little farther down your list.


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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