Elements of Poker - Tommy Angelo

Tommy Angelo is a seasoned poker player, who has written a variety of articles, produced guest videos for different training sites and has been a mental game coach a number of high stakes pros. In his first book "Elements of Poker", Angelo brings all his experiences together to bring you a fascinating insight into the game from this veteran of the Los Angeles card rooms.

"Elements of Poker" is split into eight distinct sections addressing a variety of topics relevant to modern poker games. The first is Universal Elements, which gives an overview of on the main considerations you need to address in order to become a successful player. This starts with accepting that you will not always be playing at your best and offers advice on how to reduce the times when you are playing at your worst. It then moves onto familiar subjects like bankroll management and seat selection, as well as less talked about things such as quitting and accounting for the rake.

After this overview, "Elements of Poker" then address specific games types, with sections on Table Poker, Internet Poker, Tournaments and Hold'em, both Limit and No Limit. These include specific gems of information relating to the games mixed in with abstract examples to prove different points on randomness and long-term success. The book is then finished off with a section on improving overall Performance, which takes a very Zen like approach to issues that affect a player’s mental game.

While the vast majority "Elements of Poker" remains just as relevant as when the book was released in 2007, there are some minor issues. For example, having a whole section dedicated to Limit Hold'em is somewhat redundant nowadays, especially outside of the USA, where the game is less commonly spread.  Also, while the book does address online poker, and many of its teachings apply across all forms of the games, much of the advice is geared towards live play.

Angelo mixes his practical experience from the poker table with Buddhist beliefs to create book which has a calm and logical, yet conversational tone. His insights into the game are unique in many ways, but so simple that when presented with them you seriously ask yourself why you never considered poker in this way before. Be warned however, this is not a manual for beginning players but rather a collection of wisdom from a seasoned pro. So, while "Elements of Poker" will not teach you how to play poker, it will teach you how to become a far better player.  

Rating: 4.5 out of 5