Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Randy and I took a trip to Borders tonight (because somehow I can always justify spending money I don't have on books... it's educational, right?) I held in my arms:

1 CPU (Computer Power User) magazine
1 Maximum PC magazine
1 Card Player magazine

Assorted books:

  • ASP .NET Web Matrix (programming)

  • Sitepoint's CSS Anthology (more web programming)

  • Phil Gordon's "Poker: The Real Deal" (I have a confession to make... Phil Gordon cracks me up! OK fine, I admit it!)

  • Dan Harrington's new book (more on that later)

  • Some random book on internet poker (probably sucks but I can't help myself)

I had a couple of gift cards to spend, though they didn't nearly cover everything in my arms. I had to put something back. Decisions, decisions. I came face to face with a shocking reality of the modern-day me: I actually put back BOTH of the computer books, in favor of the poker books. (Those dear to me have just gasped in dismay). Let me explain: The CSS book has been on my wish list for months and months - meaning, I've made it this long without it, and it had the highest price tag of all of my items, weighing in at $40 (ouch). I put it down. The ASP .NET book - well, I did have a recent web project that required me to use ASP (I prefer PHP and open source solutions over Micro$oft), but I'm pretty much done with that project, so this book would just go on my bookshelf till the next time I ran into an ASP project (probably no time soon). So I made a mental note that the book exists, should I ever need it in the future (or have another gift card to spend), and put it down.

I almost chose the ASP book over Dan Harrington's book. I don't think of Dan Harrington as a very entertaining poker superstar - and thus I imagined his book to be a plain, dry read. But, his back to back WSOP final tables is an amazing feat to me, considering the size of the fields. So I cracked open the book and started reading a hand. I liked it immediately, for a couple of reasons. First, I really liked how he played both sides - he spoke from my train of thought as a player, then from his train of thought as a mentor, and then as a third person, narrating the hand. It really drew me into the hand - whereas a lot of descriptions of how to play hands bore me, where I have to force myself to concentrate on the play. They have no storytelling quality to them. For that alone, I wanted to read Dan's book.

Then I actually finished reading a full hand - a tale of QJ suited, where the player had bet all the way down, put his opponent on a AK suited, hit the flush at the end, and ends up losing to K8 suited. It was hysterical to me because Dan says simply, "Ahh well, you were wrong, bad luck. Don't go on tilt - just be glad you're still in the game, because the other schmoe won't be for long!" (I'm paraphrasing here). I laughed my ass off - it was so REAL! Dan Harrington, talking about a total suck-out by a player making a sucky play, describing it not so much as a learning experience but as a reality - a demonstration that no matter how well you play a hand, you WILL get sucked out. Deal with it and move on.

I'm sold. Dan's book stays.

Randy graciously bought the internet poker book for me, as my fundage has been a bit lean. This afforded me the luxury of buying the magazines.

In other news... I just got an email from Party Poker saying they'll give me $20 to come back and play there (I've been on Empire and PokerStars... haven't touched Party in a few months). Woohooo, twenty bucks! I'm in! :) Maybe I will seek out some of the infamous Party bloggers and just gawk at them like they're celebrities.... ooooohhhh..... ahhhhhh!!


  1. Jeffro said...
    Your Borders has Card Player magazine? I'm so jealous.

    I was sold on Dan Harrington's book after reading the excerpt at the 2+2 web site. Ordered it from Amazon and it's on the way.

    Keep up the blogging and good luck at the tables!
    Shelly said...
    Yup they carry Card Player mag. They had a new one called "Bluff" once but it seemed to vanish?

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