One of the most remarkable things about the rebirth of the game of poker in the 21st century has to be the wealth of information that is out on the market right now. Whereas there used to be only a few select tomes that even approached teaching the game at the highest levels, now it seems that they simply fall from the sky. After reading Phil Gordon's "Little Green Book", it is definitely one you want to add to your library!
Gordon, whom I like to call the "James Brown of Poker" (a.k.a. the hardest working man in the game!), has come up with a book that far exceeds his previous effort, "The Real Deal". In the "Little Green Book", Phil has been able to get down on the pages the actual mindset of a top-level pro. He also has done it in a manner that will be easy for anyone to pick up on. Implementing his thoughts into your game, however, is completely up to the reader, as Phil states in the book:
"If some of the concepts in this book make you a better player, I am thrilled. If you disagree with some of what I've written, you may very well be right. As I have said all along, there is more than one way to win. I've presented here, to the best of my ability, the way I play. Play your own game and style."
The book (the title is a homage to legendary golfing teacher Harvey Pennick's seminal "Little Red Book", which taught the mindset of a pro golfer) is a excellent way to take a new mental approach to poker. "I know how I win tournaments, and it is everything I put into the book," Phil said to me when I interviewed him about the book. "The "Little Green Book" can give a person the right mental approach to the game. It is straight to the point and anyone, at any level of experience, can take what is in the book and learn from it."
Over the 286 pages that comprise the "Little Green Book", you will be able to pull something from it. Each area of a hand are detailed out in pre-flop, flop, turn and river sections, including instruction on how to play particular hands once you have either hit or missed. While he admits that he learned quite a bit on the subject from Mike Caro's work (and Phil is quick to give credit to the teachers and the books that taught him), there is an excellent section which breaks down tells as well. The book is chock full of information to allow a player to excel at the game of poker.
Of all of Phil's work with the game, the "Little Green Book" has to be the one he was looking at doing from the start. While "The Real Deal" was a solid base for the game, Gordon presents the art of poker with the "Little Green Book". "The first book answered many questions I was getting about the game from people," Phil said to me. "After reading the first one, I think people were ready and their games had matured to the point where the second was useful. It presented a clear strategy that people could easily pick up on."
When you put the "Little Green Book" together with another one of Phil's works, the DVD "Final Table Poker with Phil Gordon", you have a good literary base that is acted out in the production of the DVD. "You're right, the DVD is a visual depiction of the "Little Green Book," stated Phil. "By taking the two together, you can get a clear view of what I do at the tables."
The book is currently available in any local bookstore and, for $21 US ($28.95 Canadian), it is certainly a must to have. The book will open your mind into the inner workings of not only a professional player but into the workings of poker as a whole. You will pick up on things at the table that you haven't either thought of previously or hadn't recognized in the game before.
With the "Little Green Book," Gordon has solidified his position as one of the best teachers of the game of poker. "I am finding that I am actually having more fun teaching the game," he mentioned to me during our interview. "I was a little burned out after this year's World Series, so this is something that I am enjoying and look forward to continuing to do!" By having the "Little Green Book" and its visual component "Final Table Poker", you'll have a thorough look at the inner workings of the mind of one of the elite professionals in the game today. Be sure to pick the "Little Green Book" up for your library and check out "Final Table Poker" as well at expertinsight.com. It is well worth the time and money spent studying these two excellent works!
Ed Note: Phil Gordon uses his little green strategies at Full Tilt Check it out.