Doyle Brunson’s Super System a Course in Power Poker – Doyle Brunson
Released in 1979, Doyle Brunson's "Super System: A Course in Power Poker" revolutionized the game and contributed to the rise in popularity of Texas No Limit Hold'em. Originally titled "How I Made Over $1,000,000 Playing Poker" Brunson, who won the 1976 and 1977 World Series of Poker Main events, revealed many secrets previously unknown to all but the top professional players of the time. Often been referred to it as "Poker's Bible", it one of the very first real strategy books and has taught a generation of players since.
"Super System" opens with a short autobiography on how the author became a top poker player. The journey covers many of the backroom games around Texas, along with the characters Brunson encountered, eventually leading him to Las Vegas and Binon's World Series of Poker. He then steps aside and lets his friends and peers contribute sections on different poker variations, starting with "Crazy" Mike Caro on Draw Poker. The other collaborators - Chip Reese, Joey Hawthorne, David Sklansky and Bobby Baldwin, add their sections on Seven Card Stud, Lowball, High-Lo Split and Limit Hold'em before Brunson finishes off with No-Limit Hold'em.
There is no doubt that much has changed in the poker world since "Super System" was released. Many of the games described are now rarely spread either in casinos or online, and No-Limit Hold'em has been examined in far more depth in recent years. That being said a lot of the information in this book still holds true. Much of Brunson's advice for No-Limit is still relevant and he presents many fundamentals which still apply to the modern game. Chip Reese's chapter on Seven Card Stud remains one of the most informative pieces on a poker variant which commonly appears in Mixed Games, and the other authors cover concepts which can be adjusted for the games played today.
Brunson has claimed on many occasions that by revealing all his secrets this book has cost him more that he received for writing it, which is most likely true. However nowadays "Super System" is as much a window into poker's past as it is a playing guide. With colorful descriptions of Brunson's early adventures, combined with the various images of the times, it is a fascinating read, even though some might feel occasionally lost during the sections of games which are unfamiliar today. While it may no longer deserve the title of "Poker's Bible" it definitely belongs on the shelf of any serious poker player or fan.
Rating: 5 out of 5