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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Online poker

World Series of Poker Champion Doyle Brunson's reputation as a player and author (Super System, Super System 2) was established in the 1970s and continues today. His Online Poker (183 pages, paperbound (with bonus CD) $14.95) joins a new wave of books advising the novice on what to expect in the world of online play; including more than two dozen poker strategies and identifying online "tells." In a dozen concise, but well-illustrated chapters he discusses the impact of televised poker and how online poker now ushers in a new era.

One chapter offers a list of places to play with information on where you may learn to play or discuss the game and the benefits of online learning.

Brunson, ever the teacher, recommends how to download software, fund your account, and how to get a taste by playing small money before advancing to bigger.

The meatiest chapter focuses on the basic rules of play and procedures including how hold 'em, Omaha and seven-stud and other games are played followed by an interesting discussion on why online play is worse than live play.

Eight pages later, Brunson re-focuses with two dozen reasons online poker is better (including the practice factor, more hands per hour, no tipping required, playing for smaller limits).

Brunson advises avoiding doing anything fancy in a game filled with weak players. "Online, you'll find that opponents are treating poker a little more than bingo, paying attention to their own hands mostly and paying attention to you only a little or not at all ... make obvious, strong decisions. Don't try to be too fancy...."

This book might be subtitled Concise Online Poker. Brunson writes to the point -- short sentences, common sense, direct -- with examples and a world of experience to draw from. I highly recommend it to those motivated to try online poker and who have many a question about how to go about it properly.