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Charlie Shoten's Living The No Limit Life

Charlie Shoten's Living The No Limit Life 0001

When people normally look for poker books, they are drawn to the ones that normally are all about starting hands, position and attacking your opponents. Others are filled with formulaic equations that detail out the mathematical consequences of poker hands. Finally, there are those that present the game from a historical analysis.

Veteran poker player Charlie "Scotty Warbucks" Shoten has come up with probably the most unique and, potentially, the most helpful book for a poker player with "No-Limit Life". While it features no starting hands, complex math or history, it does improve a part of a poker player's game that most have trouble with: the mind!

Shoten readily admits that the majority of his life was dominated by what he calls "Thought Terrorists", those thoughts and ideas that, in many ways, serve to drag a person down not only at the poker tables but in the game of life. He is honest and forthcoming about how he lived over six decades with the "TT's" (the shortened version) and how it affected his life.

While he details these out, he also gives the Golden Key to what drew him away from that behavior. Charlie has expertly dealt to the reader his "Ten Commitments" that have allowed him to get away from his "TT's" and experience the richness of life and all that it offers. It has also accentuated his poker game, and he has also given the clues to applying the "Ten Commitments" to his play. The "Ten Commitments" must have helped; over the last two years he has made almost $260,000 and, in 2003, he was one of the top ten tournament players in CardPlayer Magazine's Player of the Year race with four wins, four seconds and nineteen final table appearances.

What is most special about the book is not the poker approach, however. It is the approach that Charlie has shown to apply what he has written to everyday life. One of the things that he emphasizes is that a person should remove expectations and desires to allow someone to lead a more fulfilled life. While this may sound foreign to what we have been taught during our formative years, Shoten shows that it is these same expectations and desires that, in many cases, drags us down to not be the success that we could be if we released them. There are many other things that the book teaches, but to detail them out would require me to write Charlie's book here!

When I talked to Charlie during the preliminary events at this year's Series, he talked to me about the book and showed me several passages that were helpful. He even included a business-size card that someone could carry that listed off the "Ten Commitments". I looked everything over and said to him, "This looks very interesting. I will TRY to get into this as soon as possible." Charlie paused as I said this to him, rubbed his head and replied, "Well, most people can finish it in about an hour and a half." (A note to Charlie: I now understand why the TRY was not good enough, and I should have read it right then! If it is any consolation, I am smiling more, so it did get through!)

Charlie is correct on the short reading time. At 115 pages, it is a quick read and very easy to understand. There are short little cartoon images that help to emphasize the points a particular chapter is making, as well as quotations from great minds such as Einstein, Churchill and Shakespeare that Charlie shows are actually thoughts from his "No-Limit Life" (maybe that's why they were such great figures in history!). The price, you might think, at $30 is a little high, but the lessons learned from the book can make you richer than that price tag, in both your poker game and your everyday living. The book can be procured by contacting Charlie Shoten at

It is a book that makes you think about how your thoughts affect you, from your everyday life to the situations you might find yourself in during a poker tournament. Whereas most "self-help" books offer their guidelines and then a list of other devices that will add into your "self discovery", Charlie has captured what all of them say and gives the formula (the "Ten Commitments") to make yourself better. It is some invaluable advice from someone who has put them into practice and is a living example of the "No-Limit Life"!

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