Quick Review: Annie Duke’s Poker Book

A quick review of Annie Duke's new poker book...

Just finished reading Annie Duke’s poker book (as opposed to her memoir.) Surprisingly good, and gets away from the standard format of formulaic ABC, if this than that poker. Kind of a refreshing read to someone brought up on Sklansky and Malmoth. It’s all about the thought process that goes into decision making, rather than giving you blackjack-esque charts of exactly what to do in a given situation (which is obviously a fool’s errand.) I really enjoyed it.

Only real issue I have is that the book drastically over-estimates the level of thinking that the average low-to-middle-stakes player is likely to be using, so playing as she describes will often land you in bad situations. I think reading her book probably improves my play against superior opponents, but I maintain a bigger edge against weaker opponents by ignoring much of her advice.

I did pick up a few genuinely useful tidbits, and recommend it to anyone who is losing chips to superior opponents. However, if you’re playing against a field of typical low-limit players this level of thinking will just get you in trouble. (To be clear, she pays lip service to this… I just think at a low limit table you should assume your opponent is playing their hand and their hand only until proven otherwise.)

Note: I’m talking about the book here, not the author. I think Annie Duke should be deeply embarrassed by her behavior in the Epic Poker bankruptcy and her involvement in Ultimate Bet. I still think the book is worth reading.