Last year, I had the opportunity to review Jonathan Little’s Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker Volume I, which I found to be quite impressive. At the time, I knew a follow-up was planned, aptly titled Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker Volume II (SOPTPII). This book recently hit the market.
Like Volume I, Little has personally written every word in the SOPTPII, and as I said in my previous review he has a natural ability to transfer complex concepts and thoughts to paper in an uncomplicated manner. The same holds true here. He has taken his years of experience as a poker instructor and written a text that connects with the reader.
As Little explains: “In this book I will explain how to alter your game at each level of a tournament and squeak the most equity out of every situation.” Little focused on tournament fundamentals in Volume 1, but he has now taken things to the next level by focusing on the more minute details of tournament play, some you may have never considered.
For example, while Little talks about traditional things like Stages of a Tournament, Short-Handed Play and Practical Tips for Tournament Play, he intersperses more innovative sections like Breathing, Endurance and The Long Run. Take the section on Breathing as an example. How many of us really pay attention to our breathing at the poker table? I don’t necessarily mean when you’re trying to run a big bluff; I mean your breathing throughout the day. I know I didn’t.
In SOPTPII, Little points out that this is a big mistake and that most people tend to breath incorrectly all the time. Seriously? As Little explained:
“Learning to breathe optimally is important for numerous reasons. Just about everyone breathes incorrectly. Their shoulders rise when they inhale. The correct way to breathe is for your stomach to extend outward when you breathe in, with little to no movement of the shoulders. This helps your body get the most oxygen from the air. I suggest that you learn to breathe this way all the time so that is happens naturally when you play poker.”
After reading this and examining myself, I discovered that, sure enough, my shoulders rose every time I took a breath. The very next time I sat at the poker table, I tried Little’s breathing advice and immediately felt more relaxed and refreshed. In general, players these days know what they’re doing when they play poker, meaning often the differences between success and failure lay in the details. The breathing section is a great example of such a detail, and just one of many you’ll find in SOPTPII.
Here is a quick look at some of the other sections in SOPTPII:
- Be Open Minded but Skeptical
- Tells Based on Who You Associate With
- Poker Gear Tells
- Checking in the Dark
- Do Not Talk to the Person you Just Beat
- Do Not Set Silly Goals
- Do Not Try to be Macho
Of course, that is just a small sample of what you can expect to find in the book. Little not only shares strategy, but also gives plenty of advice. For example, there is a whole section on Going Pro where he hits you with some hard truths and tells you what you’d best expect if you want to make that leap.
Another thing I liked about SOPTPII is that it can stand apart from its counterpart. By that I mean if you haven’t read the first volume, or are confident in you tournament fundamentals, you could pick up Volume II and find it worth your while. In fact, I think the second volume provides a plethora of pertinent and interesting information that would appeal to both new and existing readers of Little.
Little readily admits that one day his books will be rendered obsolete as the game of poker progresses and transforms; however, Little’s knack of getting you to think about poker from unexplored angles ensures SOPTPII remains relevant for quite some time.
To get your copy of Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker Volume II, visit Amazon.com today.
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