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Best Selling Poker Books of 2014How did the new books compare to the old classics? Well, we will let the data speak for itself. Take a look at the list of the best selling poker books of 2014.Deal Me In and Eat Professional Poker Players Alive ReviewedThere isn't a clear path by which people become professional poker players. There aren't any good courses at the local vo-tech for a person to study. The road to becoming a poker pro is inevitably difficult, circuitous, and filled with setbacks. Deal Me In is a book describing the course by which twenty top poker players became professionals. Poker Winners Are DifferentThere is a big difference between what's typical human behavior and what is called for to play poker at a high level. There aren't a lot of people for whom maximizing their expectation in poker games comes naturally. Poker Winners Are Different by Alan Schoonmaker examines this conundrum.
Interesting gambling books
Betting Baseball 2007
by Michael Murray
Book Picture
Murray, an admirer of the legendary Sabermetrics genius Bill James, says about betting baseball, "... it can be the most profitable game out there." He understands the important of analyzing statistics and explains it well. He looks at the money line; follows with the run line. The section on totals looks at two seasons and what the key numbers were and how often they were landed on. He answers questions such as: How does one measure offense? How much weight do we give to pitching and what three categories does a pitcher have complete control over (strikeouts, walks and home runs allowed)? Can one measure consistency in starters and what about injuries? How does a bettor factor items like number of innings pitched? And he dissects and examines unique areas like wind, temperature, humidity and overall individual ballpark effects to help totals bettors be more disciplined. Explains how to create your own baseball line.

Howard Schwartz' New Baseball Book Picks

Sure it’s what you’d call “a stretch” to imagine any book can prepare you for what’s to come in the 2007 baseball season. But as some famous philosopher (probably fromHoward SchwartzHoward 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  the Bronx) once said: “It can’t hurt.” With that thought firmly implanted in your subconscious, here are two books to update you on which teams have improved, which players are (hopefully) about to upgrade their numbers and what to watch for this season:

Baseball Prospectus edited by Christina Kahrl and Steven Goldman (602 pages, paperbound, $19.95) examines 1,600 players and their teams for upgrades and downslides. Was the team smart in the off-season, with trades or free agent acquisitions and were the minor leagues kind to them? For example, you can examine the Detroit Tigers’ rebuilding process, year by year. You can see how the general manager smartly acquired players, how staying healthy made a big difference in performance and where Gary Sheffield fits in for 2007. Best young prospects get proper attention, as do performance predictions with a look at who’s about to get the spotlight and who’s hanging on for one final season with a big salary package.

There are several vital (one might say controversial) essays in this book including one titled Playing Naked: The Non-Impact of Baseball’s Amphetamines Ban. Simply, the piece looks at player ability to adapt to long road trips, day-night switches and higher use of coffee and power drinks. Was the original problem overstated and will the fact players always seek and edge, legal or illegal be a factor in 2007?

Another interesting area focuses on pitch counts. This examines a pitcher workload since 1998, looks at pitch count trends and provides a formula for estimating pitches in an appearance. It comes to some conclusions about how pitch counts affect back to back performance.

The nicely indexed book compares which teams are oldest and youngest based on roster ages in each league, and overall, it should give readers or bettors a fine analytical look ahead.

Another book which falls into a variety of categories is titled Who’s Who in Baseball (352 pages, paperbound, $9.95). Now in its 92nd year, it contains lifetime records of more than 750 players, plus photos and it’s annually a very hot item.

Unique for its simplicity and accuracy, it helps the reader find a player’s career numbers from earliest minor league play to, if he should be so lucky, the World Series, with year-by-year figures and a summary of lifetime performance. Also listed are the player’s trades, free agency history, injuries, awards, nicknames, real name and birth dates.

The book is 5x8 in size so it’ll fit into a jacket pocket or automobile glove compartment. It always makes a nice gift for a young fan, player, bartender (who may have to settle an argument or bar bet); sportscaster or sports talk show host. On occasion, individuals have purchased a dozen or more copies as gifts to young players in the Caribbean. In any case, it’s priced right, does the job and should even help a sharp-eyed fantasy league player make some smart choices.

Baseball bettors love to look ahead during the season as they wait for an angle (a certain pitching match-up for example) and often, they want to look back for historical verification of that angle. For those fans, here are two fresh-off-the-presses baseball tools for serious players who need their information fast and accurately.

The first is simply a record-keeping device. Titled the 2007 Baseball Schedule and Record Keeper (180 pages, 118x plastic spiralbound, ($18.95), this item allows the handicapper to record results and details about every game for the entire season. These records include the starters for both sides, the final score, the money line and the total, the home plate umpire, how much was wagered. There’s a section for notes that could help those tracking number of strikes and number of pitches or the fact the starter was knocked out early, ejected, injured or if an error impacted the final score.

The record-keeping grid includes the day (Saturday, Sunday, etc.) the game will be played and the date are listed for each game as is the location. There is room for listing rainouts and games rescheduled for other reasons.

Overall, this is a much-needed organizer for those who tend to become a bit disorganized during the more than 2,000 games to be played this season.

Phil Erwin of Portland, OR, who has been at the helm of Baseball Insight for decades, has his Baseball Insight Annual 2007 (201 pages, 5x8 plastic spiralbound, $32.95) ready. This resource offers a look at the 2006 season game by game for each team. You can see who flopped immediately as the season began and which teams put together impressive winning streaks after the All Star game.

Game by game, you get the opening line and total, who the starters were, where the game was played, whether it was day or night, on grass or turf. You also see how many innings the home starter went, the amount of innings the bullpen went and number or earned runs allowed by the starter and bullpen, unearned runs allowed and which starters were lefties.

For some researchers, there are indicators a team is beginning to hit or their starting pitching has collapsed.

Erwin tells you how each team performed overall at home, at night or during the day; on the road versus lefties; on grass; against groundball, flyball or power pitchers. He also lets you know how often a team went over or under eight runs a game for the past three seasons for or over 11 runs a game. It’s all listed.

From page 169 on the book concentrates on starting pitchers (all pitchers who started five or more games in 2006). Here you’ll find each hurler’s earned run average and record against all other teams, and there’s a breakdown on performance on grass, turf, day, night, home, away, how often they went over or under, how they did against above .500 or below.500 teams. Erwin has assigned game ratings to each pitcher based on strikeouts, walks and home runs allowed as well as innings pitched and hit allowed.

There’s a five-point maximum and if a pitcher failed to go five innings, he gets a zero rating for the game regardless of hits, walks, strikeouts or homers.

Read this one before the season starts; it’ll prepare you better to compare pitchers from last season to this one and possibly get ready for a spot where, for example, one pitcher seems to dominate another team no matter what the line or circumstances.

Are you looking for something to read to help you get a feel for off-season trades, free agent signings, coming off injuries and young guns on the mound at the plate for baseball 2007

Sure, you should be following spring training action to see which arms are back from rehab and such. But it’s also important to see who’s up from the minors, who’s trying to squeeze out another year or is over the hill and who the “sleepers” are before the linemakers sharpen their pencils on teams who have momentum or who weren’t expected to surprise.

A quick introduction to it all is through a variety of baseball annuals. From them you’ll get schedules; ball park modification essentials and “projections” (opinions) on who’ll win divisions, league championships and eventually, the Series.

Let’s look at four of the top magazines. You may not need them all, but some offer more than others:

Street & Smith’s Baseball (200 pages, $6.99) tells you who is shooting for an all-time record at bat or on the mound. Example: Barry Bonds is 20 homers from tying Hank Aaron’s 755 lifetime mark. They have an interesting piece on why 20-game winners are rarer than ever these days and another why pitchers over the age of 40 can still cut it in modern day play.

Fantasy League players will find good reference material with player ratings and money value for each, by position.

The magazine examines each division, with team strengths and weaknesses; then moves to individual teams with projected lineups; pitching rotation and bullpens.

A short chart shows the past five years for wins, and showing for example, the Red Sox ranging from 86 to 98 wins during that period.

Who are the off-season acquisitions and losses? What are the birthdates of each roster player; place of birth; uniform number and who are the top prospects; rated, with their chance of making the team? If you want it, this one has it.

There’s an eight page section of college baseball, with teams and players analyzed; followed by a six-page section on top high school teams and individual standouts.

A final 10-page section offers team and individual statistics for the 2006 baseball season, plus a postseason recap (playoffs and World Series) in case you missed it all.

The Sporting News Baseball magazine (208 pages, $7.99) analyzes more than 750 major leaguers with five pages of questions and predictions for 2007 including picks for MVP and Cy Young. For each team you’ll see a complete season schedule, showing home and away games, the All-Star break; a scouting report on each team’s top pitchers and hitters; projected lineup; a list of hot prospects; minor league affiliates; what the 40-man roster may look like; fantasy tips on who to buy or sell and who’s a “sleeper.”

Athlon Sports Baseball magazine (176 pages, $6.99) examines who gets paid top dollar this season in salary and who’s really worth it; then focuses on each team with a look at rotation; bullpen; middle infield; corners; outfield; catching; bench; management and offers a final analysis.

Their fantasy section tells you who the best buy and sell people are; what the potential lineup might be for each team; the potential full-team roster with date of birth; home town; uniform number and last year’s numbers offensively and on the mound. There’s an alert to the best in the farm system also. One page looks at the top 100 Fantasy Baseball names in ranked order followed by a dozen pages looking at players by position with comments about each player’s strong points or cloudy future.

A final section reviews individual and team statistics for the 2007 season.

Lindy’s Baseball Preview (184 pages, $6.99) offers features on Detroit’s revival; a feature on the Phillies’ Ryan Howard, then examines each team by pitching (projected starters and relievers; catchers; infield; outfield and designated hitter plus a quick summary of each team’s organization and management skills.

Each team’s schedule is listed along with a projected 40-man roster with birthdates and uniform numbers. The team’s top prospects and what they might contribute are lusted for each team as well. Four pages are devoted to the top 25 major league prospects; three pages to top college players and one page to the top 10 high school phenoms.

If you’re saying “So—which one’s the best of the four in your opinion”? I’d have to give an easy nod to Street & Smith’s 66th annual effort, for depth of information, statistics, ease of reading, layout and because their Fantasy League coverage has more depth than the others.


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