An Explosion of Poker Books

Sunday, June 5th, 2005, 9:38 pm

Went to Borders yesterday, and it was the usual little slice of heaven. Books, books, thousands of books. Including an increasingly massive stack of poker books. Not so long ago I had trouble finding a copy of Gary Carson’s Hold-Em Poker. No more. You can stack ’em up to the ceiling now, and it seems that every poker player with a Q-rating over 2 has a book in the works.

Most of these are strategy guides and/or biographies, but so far there hasn’t been much poker fiction published. But I just finished reading A Girl in the Game, by Dr. Mark Burtman, who writes for PokerPages and plays in big-time tournaments. It tells the story of a Tunica pro who meets up with his estranged daughter at an unusual place–his regular poker game. And then from there the father teaches the daughter how to play the game–all the way to the Main Event of the World Series of Poker.

The best part of the book is when Burtman is giving inside information about what it’s like playing in these big events, or in a big cash game. Some of the plot is a bit melodramatic, but if you’re looking for something pokery to read other than essays on starting hand selections and game theory, it’s a book that might slake your literary thirst.

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