Every Hand Revealed - Gus Hansen
Gus Hansen shot to poker stardom in 2002 by winning the first ever WPT at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Las Vegas. However, it was not just the early success of the 'Great Dane' which caught the attention of both his fans and opponents - it was his loose aggressive style which flew in the face of traditional poker teachings. Because of this he quickly gained the reputation of a mad man, but this did not stop Hansen's success as he has since taken down two more WPT titles, won a World Series bracelet and claimed victory in the 2007 Aussie Millions.
"Every Hand Revealed" tells his journey through that 2007 Aussie Millions field. As the title indicates Hansen shares all the hands he plays from start until finish. The book starts with an outline of the event and comparing the pros and cons of tight conservative play versus a more aggressive and loose style. It then moves through hand which was not folded before an action was taken. This goes from the start of day 1 until that last hands of heads up, giving a full description of each and the reasoning behind the author's actions.
The book follows a set format throughout, starting each hand description by listing the blinds, author's position, cards and chip stack. What happens in the hand is then described, with images of the board cards where applicable. The commentary of the action free-flowing making it feel like an easy to read story, rather than just a collection of hand histories. Hansen is completely open with his thoughts throughout, on what he felt he did both good and bad, both at the time and with the benefit of hindsight. Bets, reads and other surrounding information are described in a relaxed manner, even some mathematical break-downs of certain hands are brief and not too heavy.
To those new to poker, after watching Gus Hansen play on the TV, it could be easy to dismiss this book as the ramblings of someone who just gets lucky, however it soon becomes apparent that a lot of thought has gone into his No Limit Hold'em game. This is not surprising however, once you hear how he is a world class backgammon player and realize a lot of his "crazy" plays have a sound mathematical base behind them. Overall this is a great read, especially for those looking to loosen up their game, with a fascinating insight into the mind of a successful loose aggressive player.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5