Harrington on Holdem

Harrington on Holdem

People dream of playing in a large main event tournament. They watch various tournaments on television where the urge to play sets in. What the televisions shows don’t show you are the strategic play at the early stages in the tournament. This is where strategy plays an important factor and where you need to make all your chips to get to that final table everyone dreams of.

Harrington on Holdem Volume I Strategic Play focuses on the early stages of no limit tournaments where you have lots of chips and the blinds are generally small. These early to middle stages of a no limit tournament are often overlooked. People tend to forget that they need to gather as many chips as possible early on to have a better shot at that final table. Without the early strategic play, chances of playing that type of poker you see on television diminishes.

Strategies by Example

There is great difficulty in explaining poker theory and strategy to someone. There are just so many factors to take into account at any moment. How many times has someone asked you: “I have QQ and someone goes all in over top of my raise, what should I do?” To make an educated suggestion to that person you’d need to know:

  • How many chips do you have?
  • How many does your opponent have?
  • What are the blinds and how much is in the pot?
  • What is your table image?
  • How has your opponent been playing?
  • What is your position?

And it doesn’t stop there. All these factors is what makes poker such a great game, but mastering it means understanding all these factors.

Harrington does an excellent job conveying what factors you need to know and then building upon that with more factors. He starts with playing styles, reading the table, and pot odds. This progresses through the hand to include betting before the flop, after the flop, and betting on the river. There are some very deep strategies and analysis that are explained. It is not that other poker books don’t already do this, just that Harrington’s book does it better.

The layout and progression of the book is designed very well. As he flows through numerous hands and situations, the ideas are brought out as you should be thinking about them. This along with some simple illustrations makes this book an easier read. The key here are the plentiful examples put forward. Harrington lays out the full situation with a little diagram showing the layout of the table and tells you the action. At this point you can stop and think about what you would do before reading his answer with full explanation of why. This format gives the player the experience of all these situations without yet actually playing them.

If you are serious about no limit hold’em and want to improve your game, start with Harrington on Hold’em Volume I Strategic Play. Read it, play a bunch of tournaments, and come back to read it again. If you though poker was a simple game of chance, then reading this book with definitely change the way you see the game.