I have two copies of this book. I did not have access to my first copy so I bought another one from Amazon. I said to my wife that the second copy would pay for itself over a year. I was wrong; it paid for itself within a week.
First of all, for anyone looking only for in-depth no-limit and limit holdem strategy should forget this book. The Education of a Poker Player was first published in 1957 long before holdem exsited and there are already dozens of excellent, detailed strategy guides available for anyone interested in holdem.
Yardley's book, though, is an entertaining autobiography that charts his rise from his first experiences as a 16-year-old learning 5 card draw poker to his poker playing life while working as a codebreaker for the Chinese later in life. Along the way, he does give easy to learn tips and advice gained from his poker life on draw, 5 card stud, 7 card stud high and 7 card hi-lo.
Many of today's players would say that this advice is to play too tightly (cautiously) but many of today's online players are, in Monty's words 'simpletons' and you do not need fancy play to beat them just good cards and patience. This is exactly what Yardley tries to impart on the reader.
One criticism I have seen of this book is that these games are no longer played but many - 5 card draw and 5 card stud - are making a comeback and few other books of any kind published in the last 15 years have any advice for these games, never mind one so well written.
I remember being slightly disappointed at the shortness of the book and the quickness with which I zoomed through it but I have now read it about 5 or 6 times and although the cosy feeling of settling down with it is starting to fade, just a little, I am now able to play in .50c/$1 5 card stud games and expect to win at every session with Yardley's help.
Overall, this is a well-written, but shortish, book which would make a good present for any poker playing friends or relatives. It has extremely common-sensical concepts which an understanding of, and ability to implement, will improve any poker player's game.
I strongly recommend it as an easy introduction to a sound basis for winning poker.
This is a brilliant book. It will be a treat to anyone who is a poker fan already, as the best amalgam of poker and narrative that I have come across. I think it will also be enjoyable for anyone who is new to poker. It will serve as a lesson and introduction. It is a book that I will always go back to, as I know that i will each time learn something new - about poker, and about life.
For me personally this is one of the finest books on poker ever written. It has everything we use today, albiet in a non scientifically distilled manner. Tells, card rating, judging your opponents, bluffing and a damn good set of stories to boot. I can just picture myself sat at Monty's table watching by the flickering unshaded lightbulb, Yardley dealing and Monty slamming his right fist, full of dollar bills, onto the table, after standing pat while his opponents each drew three cards. And sitting at a table filled with Nazi spies, and Chinese secret agents, playing for high stakes as plots to bring down Chiang slowly unfold. Sheer heaven. But dont expect this book to be the end of your poker education, it really is just the beginning.
This is one of the greatest books ever written. I've read it a dozen times and will keep going back to it. If you are not a poker player, it's an entertaining read full of Yardley's exploits in the backrooms of Indiana to high-stakes poker during the Cino-Japanese war of the early Forties. As a poker manual it provides you with a good grounding in draw, stud, low-ball and hi-lo. Nothing on Hold 'em, thank God! He teaches you the basic tenets - when to stay, when to fold, when to raise,etc. Above all, discipline. If you stick to what he says you must win in the long-term. Whenever I lose a hand at poker I know it is because I ignored Yardley. Highly recommended. I love it.
I play poker. I used to play with the boys when I lived in Liberec in the Czech Republic. We played for tiny bits of money as we got drunker and drunker. Goodness it was fun! But with this little book, I feel like I could go to Las Vegas and give the big boys a run for their money.
This book is great. I love the little stories - rough bars, exotic locations, German spies in China in the 1930s - the laconic wit of the writer and the straight forward advice on when to bet - it all adds up to a great read and a great education for a poker player.
I don't want you to buy or read this book. I want to play poker and win.
A fantastic read, great characters, superb explanations. Where a great story meets a great manual. Read it years ago and spent hours trying to find it again. Was glad I did. I read it almost every year and enjoy it every time. I also learn a lot about 5 card draw and as I am well up overall I guess it helped somewhat.