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Winning at Internet Poker For Dummies Paperback – 4 Feb 2005


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Product details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons; 1 edition (4 Feb. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764578332
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764578335
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 1.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 413,841 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"easy–to–follow guide" and also "great value" ( The Manx Independent, July 2006)

From the Author

You'll get best use from this book if you either already have good basic understanding of poker, or read it in conjuction with a solid introductory poker text. It was designed to dovetail with "Poker For Dummies", but something like Lee Jones's "Winning Low-Limit Hold 'Em" or David Sklansky's "Theory of Poker" would also be superb.

In W.A.I.P.F.D. we focus on what makes the online world unique, turning over every stone and difference between the 'Net and casinos/home games.

Once published, Chris and I will be manning a chat area for this book on pokerbook.gamesgrid.com.

Thanks very much for considering our book.

- Mark "The Red" Harlan


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 10 Mar. 2005
Format: Paperback
Sometimes when I read--and I use that word with some restrictive license--a "Dummies" or an "Idiot's" guide to a subject, I find myself thinking, "how aptly named!" This book is no exception. However--and really this is what is important--if you're new to online play, this is the book you want to peruse. It's very basic, almost painfully so in some respects, as all "Dummies" books are; but whether you are a neophyte poker player or an expert, this book will give you everything you need to know to begin playing online.
Notice I am not talking about reading the book from cover to cover. As the authors say in their introduction: "Read any chapter at any point. Feel free to skip around." They do a good job of giving the links and naming the sites--playing sites and sites associated with online poker. They explain how you can deposit money and they alert the reader to some of the dangers of online play. They even give advice on how to play. However, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this might not be the best book to buy if you are interested in becoming a better player. What advice they do give is generally good although not of world class quality.
Here are a couple of examples that the causal player might want to skip:
[First, there's their analysis of a hold'em hand they observed being played at the $3 & $6 level (p. 138). I won't rehash the hand, but will observe that their conclusion that "Player 1 may have had A-K, or a large pocket pair, but dropped the hand when the other players clearly showed the board had paired" is faulty in several places. One, of course, is that the board had not paired.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 July 2005
Format: Paperback
Let me start off with a warning: in the first few pages of this book, it states that you need a WORKING KNOWLEDGE of poker strategy before getting use out of the book. The authors then go on to recommend/plug another 'Poker for Dummies' book as essential reading before their own. Frankly, I'm not a fan of this kind of tie-in and you shouldn't have to discover that warning AFTER purchasing the book! So, if you are a complete novice, don't buy this book.
Having said that, this book doesn't seem particularly advanced to me. I'm no Howard Lederer, but having skimmed through the books by Slansky and co, this seems like kid's reading in comparison.
The book itself is very, very flabby. To be honest I was hoping for a book which gave straightforward poker strategy for the internet arena. What you find instead is a whole truckload of pages dedicated to reviewing online poker sites, telling you the differences between online play and bricks n' mortar play (duh), online security, payment systems and generally spelling out the most obvious elements of internet poker. This is all stuff that is discovered through trial and error by 99% of people, but even if you are a fastidious individual you'll find it's all information that is freely available on numerous Poker Review sites online.
Then the authors proceed to turn their flabby book into a clinically obese case as they define and give their verdicts on the different types of poker (Omaha, Stud, Texas Hold'em etc) and then the different types of tournaments (multi-tables, ring games, single tables). It's all very unnecessary and takes up needless amounts of pages. It's really the kind of thing you don't need to know unless trying to explain internet poker to a toddler in a life-or-death situation.
But, finally, they get to the juicy stuff.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 17 reviews
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Surprisingly Good for a "Dummies" Book 21 Nov. 2004
By Robert Tsuk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As a budding online player, and working in the computer industry, I had heard some buzz surrounding this book. I was anxious to see it and managed snag an early review copy.

On the whole it is excellent.

Harlan and (especially) Derossi are fairly well-known insiders in the computer industry and are working on a next-generation poker site (I think it's shown in the book as a "Modern" table, and if that's what they're doing, it's very cool). This book is different from the other online books I've read in that it focuses exclusively on the differences between what they call "brick-and-mortar" poker rooms and those online.

Refreshingly, basic poker knowledge is assumed, you won't find even a sentence in here about what-hand-beats what. Although they make continual reference to "Poker for Dummies," to learn the basics, I think you're better off with Sklansky's "Theory of Poker," Jones's "Winning Low-Limit Hold 'Em," or Miller's "Small Stakes Hold 'Em."

Their section on judging a poker site for quality is great. The bit about online pitfalls and their piece about how to read Internet "tells" are both good. The single table tournament section is the best I've ever read on that topic specifically.

There is some mention in the book of Omaha, even less on Stud, but the book (like online players, I guess) clearly has a Hold 'Em bias.

What's a little strange is, aside from the chapter on single table tournaments, you will find very little general poker strategy. So if I have any bone to pick with this book it's that it's misnamed. It shouldn't be called "Winning at Internet Poker for Dummies," instead it should be called something like, "Nuances of Internet Poker for Everyone."

Don't buy this expecting to learn how to play poker (you won't). Do buy this if you're interested in gaining an extra edge in the online world that you might otherwise miss. (Which is to say, if you're playing online, you should read this.)
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
All the online tips & tricks without the Poker 101 3 Feb. 2005
By Tim Enwall - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've played in home games for over 20 years and just a little bit in casinos (I don't really like the idea of paying a rake, tipping a dealer and tipping a cocktail waitress - I also prefer to eat my buddies' free food). But lately I'm toying around with playing online (I STILL don't like that rake idea) and was looking for a book that would essentially tell me everything about online poker without giving me some ridiculous Poker 101 lesson. Man did I ever get that in spades. Harlan and Derossi are clearly hardcore poker guys who're also computer geeks.

Their checklist on what to do on disconnection is great and they spend a long time drilling on idiosyncrasies of the online world . Their sections on strategy for single table tournaments, head's-up techniques and short handed play are excellent.

The only thing I completely disagree with them on is they seem to have a real beef with freeroll tournaments (they essentially think they're a waste of time), but everything else they talk about I'm cool with.

I just happened to be in the bookstore as they were putting this book out for the first time and bought it on a whim along with the Hilger book that I'd already picked up. I was sorta skeptical and more than a little ashamed that it said "Dummies" (is that REALLY a good marketing strategy for a book?); but after looking 'em both over I have to say that even though this one is half the price, it's about four times as valuable as the other.

The great thing is they didn't try to re-teach me poker theory. Their philosophy is all the poker stuff you know from RL (real life) applies here, but there are lots of wrinkles to be aware of: A player with Internet playing savvy will beat the exact same player that doesn't have it.

They refer a lot to "Poker for Dummies," a book I've never read. What I have read is all of Sklansky's Hold 'Em books, and this one seems to fit right along with them just fine.

I didn't consider myself a "dummy" even before I bought this, but I'm even less of one now.
33 of 43 people found the following review helpful
YOU WILL NOT BETTER YOUR GAME WITH THIS BOOK 19 Jun. 2005
By M. L. Trudnos - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
First off this is not a 'WINNING AT INTERNET POKER' book...it is a 'EXPLANATION OF INTERNET POKER'. I bought this book hoping to learn something. The first (and I am not exaggerating this) 2/3 of the book has nothing to do with actual poker playing. Throughout those chapters they discuss how to use your computer to choose and download a poker program. I saw that they had a chapter on tournaments. All they do is simply explain the enviroment of the tourney (i.e. how many people are in certain tournaments, how much you have to pay to get into them...) You will not learn any actual strategies or what to do in certain situations. I recommend buying this book if you have never in your life played any poker over the internet. If you saw the world series of poker on your TV and thought to yourself 'hey maybe i can play online' then right at that point this book wouldn't be the worst idea. Let me take an exerpt from the book...page 18 5th paragraph..."If your screen is kind of fuzzy, and you don't normally stare at it for excessive periods of time, you may want to consider upgrading to a new monitor. Gawking at fuzzy images for hours at a time is draining,"...

And if you want more examples of what you are in for buy the book and read the whole thing. Once again to emphasize...YOU WILL NOT BETTER YOUR GAME BY READING THIS BOOK, IT IS A WASTE OF TIME.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A surprisingly helpful book toward Internet Poker skill 28 Feb. 2005
By C. K. Ogi - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I make no bones about the fact that I tend to be a big fan of the 'For Dummies' series of books. The smaller bits of informatio, and the way they are highlighted to stand out with relevant information is presented, I appreciate.

So, I was not surprised when I found Internet Poker for Dummies to be very helpful as well. I am an avid online poker player, and feel recently that my developement has been stalled. I purchased this book, because I liked that it related to Internet Poker, which has several different nuances that you can't overlook when playing online vs. live game.

While some of the concepts and tips they recommend go in direct opposition to my normaly conservative style of play, I do really find value in their explainations about WHY these would be good/better bets to make or better ways to play certain hands. It also covers freeroll tourney's, which I found a very honest look at the nature of freerolls and how to succeed with them.

If you have any interest in online poker success, this is a book that belongs in your home poker library.
16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
A good, if very basic, introduction 10 Mar. 2005
By Dennis Littrell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Sometimes when I read--and I use that word with some restrictive license--a "Dummies" or an "Idiot's" guide to a subject, I find myself thinking, "how aptly named!" This book is no exception. However--and really this is what is important--if you're new to online play, this is the book you want to peruse. It's very basic, almost painfully so in some respects, as all "Dummies" books are; but whether you are a neophyte poker player or an expert, this book will give you everything you need to know to begin playing online.

Notice I am not talking about reading the book from cover to cover. As the authors say in their introduction: "Read any chapter at any point. Feel free to skip around." They do a good job of giving the links and naming the sites--playing sites and sites associated with online poker. They explain how you can deposit money and they alert the reader to some of the dangers of online play. They even give advice on how to play. However, it doesn't take a genius to figure out that this might not be the best book to buy if you are interested in becoming a better player. What advice they do give is generally good although not of world class quality.

Here are a couple of examples that the causal player might want to skip:

[First, there's their analysis of a hold'em hand they observed being played at the $3 & $6 level (p. 138). I won't rehash the hand, but will observe that their conclusion that "Player 1 may have had A-K, or a large pocket pair, but dropped the hand when the other players clearly showed the board had paired" is faulty in several places. One, of course, is that the board had not paired. What they mean is that the bet, raise and re-raise action after the flop of 9s 10s Qd indicated that at least one of the players had a queen in hand and therefore had a pair. The fact that Player 1, with 17 bets in the pot, giving him 17 to 2 odds on his money by calling the raise and reraise, did NOT call strongly suggests that he did not have AK, since if he had he would have had two overcards and a draw to the nut straight, which has something like a 40% chance of improving on the river to a hand that could very well win the pot. It's hard to say what he had. It looks like he misplayed his hand. Furthermore, the authors don't give us the full story. At the showdown they reveal that the winner had AQ and won with just a pair of queens and the top kicker. They remark that the site folds the caller's cards because "the runner-up doesn't show." That's correct, but if you are in the hand and refer to the record of the hand that is sent to your computer on sites like PartyPoker, it will show all hands still in play at the showdown, and you could find out what the runner-up had.]

[Another example is on page 190 in the box discussing 2-2 vs. A-K. They say that it's a 50/50 proposition, but then contradict themselves by pointing out what most players know, namely that the deuces are a slight favorite head-up. Then they muddy these waters by saying, "The true odds vary from 50.3 percent versus 49.7 percent in favor of the pocket deuces to 53.2 percent versus 46.8 percent for the deuces, depending on the suits involved." Note that this is quote, unquote. It's a little unclear exactly what they are saying, but trust me the deuces are always the favorite. Their point (apparently) is that if the deuces are in the same suit as the aces, then, should four of either of those suits fall on the board, the deuces will always lose, thereby lessening their small advantage. However since one can never know until the hand is over just which suits the other player is holding, the proper way to figure the odds is to ignore the suits, since the distribution is not only unknown, but evens out over the long run. Furthermore, they are relying on the calculator at Card Player's Internet site, which is a Monte Carlo simulation, not an actual calculation of the odds. For most purposes, a simulation of a few thousand hands is sufficient. However, the real odds can only be figured out mathematically, which nobody these days, it appears, bothers to do. Well, I'm sure David Sklansky still figures his odds.]

These quibbles aside, Harlan and Derossi's book is well worth the investment, especially if you are a total newbie. They cover just about every aspect of the experience that a beginning online player would want to know about. Here's an example of their guidance under the subheading "Grappling with the Psychological Basics" on page 70: "From a psychological point of view, the biggest differences between online play and the brick-and-mortar world include the radical increase in the speed of play and a heavy (mental) disassociation from the money you put in play."

The plain fact of the matter is that when the dollars seem like virtual dollars (although they are not) there can be a tenancy to bluff too much, to play too loosely, and perhaps to play at a higher game than one can afford.

Another good (and very different) introductory book on cyberspace poker is John Vorhaus's Killer Poker Online, which I also recommend.

Incidentally, if you really are a beginner at poker, I recommend you buy a computer game and practice with that for a while, and then--as the authors recommend--play at the "play money" games that the online poker sites offer before you risk any real money.
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