With the explosion of televised, online, and home poker games that has taken
place in recent years, an influx of new players has hit the poker world, and
most of them find themselves starting out at the lower limits. As a result,
small-stakes limit hold'em games have become not only more profitable, but at
the same time more challenging. A different style is needed to beat a passive,
loose hold'em table: a style that enables the skilled player to win the large,
multi-way pots that are commonplace in small-stakes games.
The duo of David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth, legendary though it may be, lacked
an experienced low-limit player who could offer firsthand knowledge of how the
small hold'em games can be beaten. Enter Ed Miller, an MIT graduate and hold'em
expert, who joins the Two Plus Two team fresh off of a successful climb through
the ranks of limit hold'em players. Miller brings a strong outlook on his 1/2,
2/4 and 3/6 hold'em
experiences to the Sklansky-Malmuth team, and together, the three experts have
produced a masterpiece on success in passive hold'em games.
Don't be deceived by the book's title; it is not a beginner's guide to hold'em.
As the book's conclusion says, Sklansky, Malmuth and Miller don't just want you
to beat small stakes games, they want you to crush them. And crushing any game
requires a complex understanding of its concepts. Small Stakes Hold'em is an
intensely mathematical and analytical look at a game that, to many of your
opponents, is thought to be much simpler. The three authors are there to teach
the reader to think about poker on another level; to outsmart his opponents.
You're not ready to open this book unless you're ready to take a look at the
intricate details behind such concepts as expected value, pot equity, and of
course, the mother of all poker concepts in any Sklansky book, the pot odds.
The book teaches the reader to, first and foremost, always consider the size of
the pot before making any decision. The cash game player's goal is not to win
pots, it is to win money, and to do so, the successful player is always looking
to win the biggest pots that he can. In order to do so, he must be willing to
gamble when the price is right. Unlike many other guides to limit hold'em,
which teach the player a safe, super-tight style, Small Stakes Hold'em reminds
the reader never to refuse a bet with positive expectation; in other words, not
to give up on a potentially profitable hand.
These authors are not looking to protect your bankroll. They're looking to
teach you to gamble, because after you've read this book, you will know how to
get the best of it. But take the words within these pages with caution; they
can ruin you if you're not careful. Small Stakes Hold'em is a book about the
typical small-stakes games: passive, loose, and profitable. But if you try to
apply the concepts taught by this book to a different hold'em environment,
whether it be too solid or too aggressive, you are bound to lose. If you want
to beat the best players in the world, there are other books out there for you.
However, if you're trying to dominate a games of small stakes hold'em, then look
no further than David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth, and Ed Miller.