Thursday 02 January 1997
1. Hold 'em Poker, by David Sklansky, $17.50. The first and basic guide to Hold 'em, which is a must read, for the simple reason that everyone else has read it and plays by Sklansky's guidelines.
2. Super System, by Doyle Brunson, $50, is a high-powered guide to the main variations of poker, by world champion Brunson and friends. It is full of tremendous insights, albeit geared to the American rather than the British game.
3. Poker Essays, by Mason Malmuth, $24.95. Erudite and perceptive analysis of casino poker, reprinted from his column in Card Player, followed by an equally strong volume two.
4. The Education of a Poker Player, by Herbert O Yardley, $9.95. This racy account of the author's derring-do in card saloons of the old West, mixed up with poker stories and modern espionage, has become a classic. My favourite quote: "There's something seductive about the smell of horses, moonlight, and wet dew glistening on the green grass ... Separately, they're not compelling. As a whole, no girl can withstand them." The English edition has a neat foreword by Al Alvarez, in which he confesses he learned more about life from this little book than from reading Shakespeare or DH Lawrence.
5. Alvarez himself is the author of The Biggest Game in Town, $3.95, an entertaining and revealing insight into the minds of the top Vegas professionals.
6. Keno Runner, by David Kranes, $17.95. This wild, surreal but virtually unknown novel is my all-time favourite book about the experience of Las Vegas. The author, a university teacher, has a mystical feel for gambling. "Las Vegas isn't America" is its theme; "America is Las Vegas." Although you can't, as they say, learn poker from books, you can at least skim a few lessons on the plane getting there. All these titles are available by credit card from the Gambler's Book Shop in Las Vegas, fax 001-702- 382-7594. Numbers 4 and 5 are published here by Oldcastle Books and Fontana.
Life & Style blogs
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Paris Fashion Week: Skirting the issue for the stylish boys' brigade
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The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
Miss Universe 2015: A beefeater, a yellow tree and an entire hockey game - the bizarre national costumes
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
- 1 Paris attacks: Do not call Charlie Hebdo killers 'terrorists', BBC says
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
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