This book, while mildly entertaining in parts, and informative on occasion, is marred by an overall unsophisticated understanding of both poker and philosophy. The blurb on the back cover says "This is post-graduate poker, not for the faint of heart", but the actual content of the book falls far short of this description. Anyone who's read even one good book on poker will be quite disappointed by the poker content of this book. And anyone who's studied a fair amount of academic philosophy would (I hope) be disappointed by the philosophical content of this book. There is _some_ good content -- more on that below -- but most of it is uninformative, silly, and/or wrong.
The most egregious claim in the book is made by multiple authors: they basically claim that they have psychic power to help determine which cards are going to come next. For example, the claim is made in the very first essay, by Michael Ventimiglia:
"I'm convinced that plays I've made based on instinct have proven to be right more often than statistics predict."
He points out that sometimes these judgments based on instinct are a result of getting a read on people,
"But sometimes they're just about which way the wind is blowing, about how the cards are going to fall. I am continually amazed by how often they are right."
Why would someone think something so clearly false? Fortunately, the answer is provided later in the book, in the nice essay by Bassham and Marchese, about how psychological biases can adversely affect one's poker play. As they point out: "research shows that people naturally tend to remember `hits' (occasions when strategies or predictions succeeded) more often than they remember `misses'." Ventimiglia would do well to read their essay.
In addition to major false claims like Ventimiglia's, there are also a number of minor errors that will irritate anyone who understands poker. For example, Kenneth Lucy claims that when you're on a flush draw before the river, there's a 1 in 4 chance of getting a flush, when in fact there's a 1 in 5. Willy Young describes a hand where, after the river, there are four hearts on the board, and you have the 6 of hearts in your hand. He writes "You reach for the pot -- you've got your flush" when in fact it turns out that someone has four of a kind. Well, in addition to worrying about four of a kind, you should be _really_ worried about someone holding a higher heart than your measly 6.
In addition to poker errors, there are philosophy errors too. Don Fallis describes David Lewis's Principal Principle -- that your subjective probabilities should match what you believe the objective probabilities to be -- as "the most famous proposal for exactly how probability should guide one's life". Actually, the Principal Principle has little to do with how probability should guide one's life -- you could have no beliefs about objective probabilities, and hence never utilize the principle, and yet still want to use your subjective probability assignments as a guide to life. This sort of fallacious reasoning leads Fallis to criticize Sklansky in a completely unfair way. I'll leave it to the reader to figure out what's unfair about the criticism -- there's a certain enjoyment that one gets in ferreting out a mistake in someone else's philosophical argument, analogous to the enjoyment one gets in outplaying one's opponent in a game of poker. This is one of the many interesting connections between poker and philosophy that isn't discussed in this book.
I'll close on a positive note. The best essay, in my opinion, is by Brian Huss, about the nature of bluffing. It points out the similarities and differences between bluffing and lying, BS-ing, accepting (in the technical philosophy sense) and fooling yourself. It's a nice piece of conceptual analysis -- probably not worthy of being published in a philosophy journal, but more sophisticated than the other essays in the book.