Holdem Wisdom for All Players

Holdem Wisdom for All Players

Author: Daniel Negreanu

Hold’em Wisdom for All Players is Daniel Negreanu’s first entry into the poker tutorial market.  He did contribute a chapter to Doyle Brunson’s Super System 2, but until Wisdom, he had yet to pen an entire book.  While nothing found in the pages would by any stretch be considered revolutionary, it is a solid read for those looking for quick lessons.

The title of the book is a bit misleading.  While there is definitely “wisdom” offered, it is not really for “all players.”  Negreanu’s work comes off more as a book for novice to intermediate players, not experts.  Seasoned veterans are not going to find anything that they have not heard, read, or experience before.  His writings in Super System 2 are much more in-depth than those in Wisdom.

Wisdom is a very easy read, thanks to two things: 1) Negreanu’s conversational writing style, and 2) the concise lessons.  Readers will have no problem whatsoever picturing Negreanu himself reading the chapters aloud, as they read just how he speaks.  And the fifty short chapters, none of which are longer than four pages, make it very easy to start and stop reading at one’s leisure and eliminate any chance of poker overload.  The structure is quite comparable to Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book, albeit a lighter version.

Negreanu describes the book well in the introduction when he writes, “It’s not intended to be a heavy-handed poker encyclopedia, but a fun primer and reference guide that can be read and re-read to help keep important game concepts fresh in your mind.”

The different lessons cover the usual topics such pot odds, short stack vs. big stack play, how to play or not play certain hands, etc.  There are a handful of gems, however, that aren’t commonly found in other books.  Chapter Six, “Home Run Hitters vs. Small Ball Players,” is interesting, as Negreanu advises novice players on how to play to combat more experienced players.  Chapters Ten through Thirteen are interesting as well, expanding a bit on the “Home Run Hitters” discussion and continuing with lessons on aggressive play and betting strategies.  Again, nothing that will come as a revelation to most readers, but Negreanu explains these concepts particularly well and adds his own unique perspective.

Two later chapters, “Why the House Always Wins,” and “Poker Math and Conditional Probability,” are also excellent reads.

Put simply, if you already have a solid understanding of poker, but would relish the opportunity to sit down with Daniel Negreanu for a couple hours and get a crash course on how to become a better player, you will enjoy Hold’em Wisdom for All Players.  It won’t make you an instant winner in the “Big Game,” but it will give you a glimpse into the mind of a pro in a way that is simple and to the point.  Where you go from there is up to you.