Winning In Tough Hold’em Games: Short Handed and High Stakes Concepts and Theory For Limit Holdem - Nick Grudzien & Geoff Herzog

From the title, there’s no question who this book is directed at, which are high stakes limit Holdem players.  Since there are so few books on limit Holdem of such an advanced level, it definitely does fill a need.  As a matter of fact, this is clearly one of the most advanced books on poker ever written, period.

So getting much from this book does require that the reader have a pretty advanced understanding of both limit Holdem and poker in general.  It also requires readers to be able to follow along with a multitude of various alternative lines which are not laid out in a very easy to follow format, to say the least.

While the authors are definitely strong players, they seem to presume and require that their readers are of a similarly advanced level, and while some may be, many will not be.  I do think that this book would have been much better if the material was laid out in a much more simpler fashion, and in fact this is a big complaint that many have had with it.

A lot of mid stakes players in fact may struggle with the material, and as a matter of fact it isn’t even directed at these stakes, as it’s more for $100/$200 and up.  So that alone really narrows the potential readership out there as there obviously aren’t very many people who play these stakes.

However, if you are a mid stakes limit player, playing $10/$20 and above, this is certainly worth a read I would say, but at the same time you do need to keep in mind that some of the most sophisticated plays that the book teaches are really to be used against a more sophisticated player type than normally plays mid stakes.

I also think that it is a real shame that the authors did not share more of their thinking processes in going through the lines they suggest.  They seem to assume way too much here, as in their rationale would be obvious to an expert player such as themselves, but few readers would have this much expertise.  So laying things out more clearly and in more detail would have been a real benefit.

More hand examples would have been better as well, although there are a few at the end of the book which are very well done.  There’s also probably way too many tables in this book than most readers would like to see, and while some readers may find some of these tables helpful, I would like to have seen the authors put more work into the actual meat and potatoes of the book rather than the countless extra hours it took to do up this massive amount of poker tables.

Overall, this book is not for everyone, and in fact it isn’t for very many people at all.  If you like to play fairly high stakes limit Holdem though I would suggest you pick this up, otherwise your time would be much better spent reading something else.

Rating: 4 out of 5