Two hot new items just in at the Gambler's Book Club should appeal to baseball bettors and poker players. The new titles are Baseball Prospectus
(554 pages, paperbound, $$18.85) and Lou Krieger's newestHoward Schwartz, the "librarian for gamblers," is the marketing director for Gambler's Book Club in Las Vegas, a position he has held since 1979. Author of hundreds of articles on gambling, his weekly book reviews appear in numerous publications throughout the gaming industry. Howard's website is www.gamblersbook.com
work in collaboration with Sheree Bykofsky, titled Secrets the Pros Won't Tell You About Winning Hold';em Poker
(262 pages, paperbound, $14.95).
Lou Krieger has teamed with the very talented Sheree Bykofsky in Secrets the Pros Won't Tell You About Winning Hold'em Poker. Krieger, author of a cluster of important books on the game (Hold 'em Excellent, More Hold 'Em Excellent and Winning Omaha Eight Poker among others), here offers 11 vital chapters in this new work.
In the chapter titled Basic Concepts and Play, areas covered include material on why better players fold more frequently; why bad beats can be your best friend; how to duck trouble hands; how to notice people's betting patterns; position betting; why aggressive play can protect your hand.
In another chapter titled Tactics, Strategies and Ploys, the authors discuss changing speeds; raising on the button; why pocket jacks are a dilemma; stealing blind; inducing bluffs. This is followed by a section on Image which examines betting with consistency; playing off your opponents' view of you; tells -- including the Adam's apple, the eyes and posture changes.
The section on Hands may be one of the most important, with discussions on position; playable hands; small pairs and smallish connectors; and hands you can play in late position.
Those who believe money management is vital will find a major chapter on the subject including capitalization (bankroll); playing in tournaments and side games. There is a 20-page section on tournaments including getting knocked out with kings; how to play the small stack and a rebuy strategy.
Ten pages cover online play which include online tells. One major section examines the mathematics of the game titled Minimal Math, which includes a short course in pot odds; a cheat sheet for figuring odds and outs; how to use game theory to bluff; a look at how many possible flops exist; ands figuring the odds for straights and flushes.
Nolan Dalla, who wrote the book's foreword, is right on target with his philosophy: "Great teachers do not tell you what to think. They teach you how to think. There's a difference. A big difference"
That's what makes this book so special -- Krieger can write, Krieger can play. It's a winning combination.
Baseball Prospectus is valuable to bettors because it projects how teams should do in 2006 based on trades, free agency, young guns up from the minors, management changes and teams on the mend from previous season's injuries. The book should help identify "sleepers" or those players, especially pitchers, due for potential breakout seasons -- good for bettors, good for fantasy league players.
Through essays, analysis and statistics, the compilers take us team by team through the leagues, examining talent development, franchises on the upswing and those going down like the Titanic due to poor general management and scouting decisions.
Overall, a fine package of material, full of value for the price, but must be studied before the season gets too far in to take advantage of trends, streaks, surprise starts.