The Course: Serious Hold 'Em Strategy For Smart Players – Ed Miller

Ed Miller has been one of the most prolific and respected names in poker literature, since the early days of the poker boom. The title of his ninth book, "The Course" is taken from a piece of golfing wisdom which states a golfer's main competition is the course rather than the other players. Miller applies this advice to No Limit Hold'em, explaining that on a poker table your focus should be on correctly navigating the different scenarios you encounter (the course), rather than worrying about the uncontrollable actions of your opponents.

"The Course" begins by comparing the pros and cons of Cash Games and Tournaments, in both Live and Online settings, along with where players can expect to profit. The book then continues with a focus on live No Limit Hold'em cash games, with three sections looking at the commonly found buy-in ranges of 1-2, 3-5 and 5-10. Each contain advice and strategies for beating those limits, starting off with basics like pre-flop strategy and accessing hand value, before moving into more advanced subjects such as barreling and deep stack play. At the end of each part, you will find Hand Quizzes which review the key concepts as you would encounter them in an actual poker game.

Despite the author's admission of not being an expert in certain areas, such as live reads, it is reassuring to see "The Course" does not simply dismiss these. While many subjects in this book could easily be looked into in far more detail, Miller prefers to take an overview of the game, presenting a number of tried and tested concepts which will benefit many readers. Because of this there is nothing groundbreaking to discover, although newer players may be surprised to see certain common beliefs disproven.

While the book is written primarily with live cash players in mind, much of the advice within "The Course" can be applied to all games, including online. You will however need a basic understanding of the No Limit Hold'em poker and be familiar with how it plays. Miller, as always, presents his strategies in a clear and concise manner, making the book easy to read and understand. Although some ideas may seem obvious to the more advanced players, the book succeeds in providing serious recreational players with the solid base needed to help them improve their game and consistently succeed against weaker opponents.

Rating: 5 out of 5