The poker playing public’s appetite for bigger and higher-stakes poker tournaments seems almost insatiable. As these events have become more popular, several authors have taken a crack at writing the definitive book about tournament poker, and to date, none have excelled in this task. Now David Sklansky, a supremely talented poker writer, makes his attempt to tackle this topic.
As this is part of Two Plus Two’s “for Advanced Slot Players” series, the reader is assumed to be familiar with basic poker tournament protocol and understand how to play ring game (non-tournament) poker well. While some introductory information is still included, it is kept brief. Less experienced players would be well advised to read books such as Texas Hold’em for Advanced Players and a more introductory tournament book, such as Poker Tournament Strategies.
After the introduction, Sklansky starts with new material, including an explanation of an important principle he calls “The Gap Concept”. Simply stated, in a tight game it is often correct to fold hands to a raise that a player would have raised with if nobody had already raised before it was the player’s turn to act. While this principle has been written about before and will certainly be familiar to any winning mid-limit poker player, this is the best explanation of this phenomenon, why it occurs, and how to use it to advantage. It is especially important here, because poker tournaments tend to feature tighter play than ring games.
Sklansky then moves on to discuss some general tournament ideas, including how to adjust one’s play at various levels of a tournament, how players might adjust their play depending on when or whether their table will be broken up, and playing (and playing against) short stacks versus large stacks. Some of this advice has been discussed in other books or articles before, but much of it hasn’t, and Sklansky always provides strong arguments to support the positions he takes.
Next, Sklansky addresses other tournament issues including deal making, last longer bets, and special circumstances surrounding no-limit events. This last topic includes an explanation of a no-limit Hold’em strategy …