Etymology of Daniel Negreanu’s Power Hold’em Strategy book in today’s poker world.
There are few poker players in the world more famous than Daniel ‘Kid Poker‘ Negreanu. He’s a gregarious player with an extraordinary ability to read opponents. He’s famous for calling out a player’s hand strength, if not exact hole cards, based merely on their betting tactics. He’s friendly, shrewd, takes no crap from the game’s mouthier pros, and has the second largest live tournament cash earnings in the world, totaling $39.83 million to date.
If asked who I would like to mold my own poker skills after, this world-class Canadian poker player immediately comes to mind. If you feel the same, you might be interested in knowing he’s written a trio of poker books, sharing his wisdom of the game with anyone willing to spend a few bucks on his literature.
His first book, Hold’em Wisdom for All Players, is a general poker guide designed to give players the tools to become a better player, regardless of what level they are at the time (beginner, intermediate, or veteran).
You can read my full review of Hold’em Wisdom here. What it basically says is that yes, you should read that book, but that afterwards, you’ll want to sink your teeth into a more situational strategy guide, such as his second book…
Power Hold’em Strategy by Daniel Negreanu
Kid Poker published this strategy guide one year after his first book, and I have to say, it’s a perfect sequel. Where book one offered general advice, this one gets down to the nitty-gritty of the game. Again, it’s built to suit all player types and skill levels, geared towards beginners, intermediates and veterans. this time, he teaches us the finer points of bet sizing and circumstantial game play.
One problem with the book, however, is that it was written as a tournament strategy guide. Why is that a problem? Because it isn’t advertised as a tournament strategy guide. If you’re strictly a cash game player, a lot of the knowledge in here will be lost on you, especially when it comes to escalating blind structures, and managing your bankroll and player position accordingly.
Power Hold’em Strategy is where Negreanu first introduces us to his “small ball poker” philosophy. While this method has a lot of value, it’s not as relevant today as it was 11 years ago, when the book was published. I try to mingle the small ball system with other betting strategies at a rate of about 70/30, helping to preserve longevity in tournaments, without becoming too predictable.
Poker Tips from Other Notable Pros
While Daniel did supply the largest amount of content for the book, he’s not the only contributing author. He gathered some of his dearest—and most successful—poker friends to write a few chapters of their own. Within the text of Power Hold’em Strategy, you’ll find additional poker strategies from the likes of Todd Brunson, Erick Lindgren, Evelyn Ng, Paul Wasicka, and David Williams.
Their combined knowledge spreads the valuable nature of the book across multiple fields and concepts. While the bulk of the text deals with NLHE live tournaments, other chapters cover things like high stakes cash games and playing NLHE online.
Is it worth a read? Absolutely! Is it relevant in today’s poker culture? Yes, but not 100%. All knowledge is valuable, but until he teaches us to become seemingly-psychic reader’s of our opponents, few can ever hope to really play on Negreanu’s level.
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