In the first part of this article a couple of weeks back, I looked "outside the box", so to speak, when it comes to poker books. D&B Publications (dandbpublishing.com) out of England seem to be pushing their way onto the poker racks with some excellent offerings to help any player improve their play and perhaps seal up some leaks within their game. With these books that are offered, they are taking a look at a game that many seem to have some problems with, the Pot Limit versions of Texas and Omaha Hold 'Em.
Stewart Reuben is a veteran of over thirty years of battle throughout the card rooms of Europe and America and has co-authored books on poker with Bob Ciaffone. He has come up with two books that address the often overlooked field of Pot Limit games. He has followed along the lines of one of the previous offerings from D&B with the books "How Good Is Your Pot Limit Hold 'Em?" and "How Good Is Your Pot Limit Omaha?". Both are excellent primers for someone who is new to the games (and their nuances) or can be used to accentuate someone's game who has played for some time.
In "How Good Is Your Pot Limit Hold 'Em?", Reuben points out the differences between Omaha and Texas Hold 'Em, and it is something that new players sometimes aren't aware of. In the book, he states, "Hold 'Em is a much purer form of poker than Omaha. Unlike Omaha, where two players may have hands of virtually equal merit (a made hand versus a draw), in Hold 'Em one player almost invariably has the better hand." This is an observation that keeps many players from excelling at both forms of poker; the nuances of the games lend themselves to differing styles and, as such, are treated to different books on the subject.
The book is comprised of fifty eight multiple choice questions (from Reuben's own experiences in poker) that test every aspect of your game. Admittedly, I am a Pot Limit poker novice, so my scores weren't very good in some aspects of the game. I found, however, that through the reading of the book and taking the tests, I began to pick up on some of the ideas that were being presented and definitely improved my abilities in the Pot Limit arena. The true test of that, of course, will be attempting to apply what I have learned!
"How Good Is Your Pot Limit Omaha?," continues on the same thread as Reuben's previous work, except it changes the game to Omaha. Fifty seven hands are featured here and they also provide an excellent learning experience into a game where many players often overestimate the potential of their hands. Through the study of both this book and Reuben's previous work, a novice player should be able to adequately step into the Pot Limit arena and perform at a decent and winning level.
D&B Publishing also has many other works on the way. Stewart Reuben will make a return with an autobiography that is culled from his thirty five years in the game and young (and successful) professional Rolf Slotboom will make a contribution to the D&B library with a tome on playing the game of poker "on the come", which should be an interesting look at playing poker on the draw. These books will be out within the next couple of months.
Overall, I have to say that D&B Publishing has come up with some excellent material that can only improve your game. They cover the gamut, from Limit and Pot Limit Hold 'Em to the always changing Omaha style of poker, and provide ways for you to improve your play and maximize the potential for profit. What I would like to see from them in the future is a look at tournament poker, whether it is Omaha or Texas Hold 'Em, as so far they have only looked at the ring game format with the books they have available. Perhaps it could be coming in the future and I'll be keeping an eye on D&B Publishing to see what comes next.
Ed note: Why read books? Just go play at Titan Poker