Mean Gene
Mean Gene
Pittsburgh's most decorated poker blogger, which I admit is like being the best shortstop in Greenland

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My Articles

Presto, the Arlo, & the Hammer
An Online Code of Conduct
The Ethics of Ratholing
"The Professor, the Banker..."
"Ace on the River"

My Columns

Lose the Shades
If You Can't Say Something Nice
Whither the Kicker
The Lady is a Champ?
Covering the WSOP (or not)
Statistics, Luck, and Poker
Poker and New Orleans
Managing a Bankroll
How To Tell A Bad Beat Story
Telling Lies
The Power of Poker Tracker
Advanced Card-Handling

My Greatest Hits

5 Things To Do Before I Die
Cafeteria Nostalgia
Mean Gene's Dubious Dating Tips
Poker and Business?
There's No Such Thing As Luck?
Isabelle, Je t'adore
No Shirt No Shoes No Service
Well, The Food Was Good
Good Morning, Mr. Matusow!
The Weekend of our Discontent, I
The Weekend of our Discontent, II
Books That Left Their Mark
Ode to a Fish Sandwich
Bill Simmons Ain't the Poker Guy
The Sports Guy Still Ain't the Poker Guy
Again, The Media Tackles Poker
Five Years After 9/11
Hitting Pretty Girls in the Face
Sixth-Graders Suck

Fellow Poker Bloggers

Guinness and Poker
Cards Speak
Tao of Poker
Up for Poker
Boy Genius
Chris Halverson
Poker Grub
The Fat Guy
Todd Commish
Poker Works
Bill Rini
Bad Blood
Love and Casino War
Double As
Lion Tales
Paul Phillips
Daniel Negreanu
Poker Nerd
Poker Nation
Poker in Arrears
Human Head
Sound of a Suckout
Chicks With Chips
TP's Table Talk
Royal Poker
This is Not A Poker Blog
Chick and a Chair
Go Be Rude
Poker Cheapskate
Poker & Other Stuff
Seven Two
Musical Poker
WPBT Online
Isabelle Mercier
Cardschat Blog
Amy Calistri
BJ Nemeth
Annie's Blog

Poker Sites

Cardschat Poker Forum
Barstool Sports
Card Player
Internet Texas Hold-Em
Poker Pages


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    Tuesday, January 25, 2005

    Adding to your Library

    I've been reading Matthew Hilger's book Internet Texas Hold'em for the last month or so, meaning to write a quick review of it for my dear readers. However, I am genetically incapable of writing "quick" anything, and as my review ballooned upwards of 2,000 words I realized I needed to shut up and not retype the whole book.

    Because it's a very good book, especially for the novice player who's thinking of jumping into the online poker game and wants to be armed with more than just bad intentions. I liked how the book was set up, taking you through some basic poker concepts and then through the game of Hold'Em step by step. It's well-written, direct and with important points highlighted for those of us whose minds tend to wonder when presented with lots of information.

    Actually, what I liked best about the book was that at the end of each chapter there is a handy review that reiterates the main concepts in an easy to digest format. Poker books aren't like novels--you don't read it, put it down, and stare off into the sunset a changed man. They're reference books, you keep going back to them again and again and AGAIN (especially the way I've been playing lately) and having a handy review like that is a good way to bring those important points to the fore again as well as prompt you to go back and re-read the whole chapter.

    Another excellent feature is that, scattered throughout the book are little tabs that say "Internet Tip". As this book is title "Internet" Hold'em you'd figure on information that differentiates it from books about B&M play, and I liked that Hilger scatters these nuggets of insight when appropriate and not just in a separate chapter. Although there IS a separate chapter just about Internet poker, which gives advice on site selection, table hopping, and multi-table play, all of which is important for the newby online player to think about. Alas, there are no supersecret tidbits like, "Everyone who picks the cowboy avatar at Party Poker is a maniac", but if there had been I'd be a wee bit less likely to recommend it.

    This book is targeted for beginners and for that group I think this book would be an excellent addition to your poker library. Hilger won $80K in the most recent World Series of Poker, getting knocked out by Greg Raymer...have to cue up my tapes and see the expression on his face when he got beat. That's one thing Hilger (and every other poker book I've read) has neglected to put in their books--how not to puke on the table when you get booted from the WSOP.

    If there was one thing I could change with this book (and, indeed, with all poker books) is that I wish it came with a spiral binding instead of the normal "perfected" binding. "Perfected", is that the right publishing lingo? As I said, you go back to poker books for study and research over and over, and it'd be SO nice to be able to lie the thing flat on your desk as you read and make notes. But that's just me.

    Another thing I noticed--on the cover of "Internet Texas Hold'Em" you see a cartoon guy playing on the beach, and on his laptop you see he has a royal flush. That got me thinking, and I went to my bookshelf and pulled down Gary Carson's book. That cover also shows a player with a royal flush. down Cloutier and McEvoy's Pot-Limit and No-Limit book...royal flush on the cover. Did some more digging and books like "Poker for Dummies" and "The Idiot's Guide to Poker" and "Winners' Guide to Texas Hold'Em" ALL show players with royal flushes. Now, nothing wrong with a little positive association (buy this book and you'll be up to your ARMPITS in royals!) but I daresay not one of these books tells you the proper way to play a royal flush! And I need to know, as someday maybe I'll get one.

    Be forewarned, Mean Gene is in a philosophical mood. I got that way thanks to playing Omaha/8 for the first time last night. Multiple long posts forthcoming, once I brush up on my Nietzsche and reacquaint myself with good 'ol existentialism. get this widget Please visit Pokernews site for more poker news, poker strategy articles or poker rules.

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