He was part of the All-State Texas basketball team. In the Texas Interscholastic Track Meet, he won the one-mile event with a time of He would go on to work as a school principal. Brunson had begun playing poker before his injury, playing five-card draw. He played more often after being injured and his winnings paid for his expenses.
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There is more than a little truth to this accusation. Poker is an ever-evolving superset of games with the individual games changing over time as the players learn how one game and then another should be played. Write a revealing book and the old games disappear more quickly and the "rocks" have to learn the new game in order to continue to make a living.
I used to play with Sklanski and MJC back in the sixties in Gardena when the only legal game in the California clubs was draw poker, both lowball and jacks or better. Not everything is explained and some of the tricks are held back.
Reese in particular, in his chapter on seven-card stud is somewhat reticent. He presents a tight strategy that is sound but withholds more aggressive strategies that, in the proper hands, would make more money.
By the way, "no limit" really means table stakes since you are NOT, as is sometimes seen in the movies, allowed to go to the bank and get some money when you hold a killer hand!
THAT does make for some interesting psychological situations! The latter game is much more of a psychological game in that you can lose pot after small pot and yet come out ahead by winning one great big monster, and also because it takes a lot of nerve to either call a huge bet or to make a huge bet. Because of these psychological factors, some of the top players at limit have never been able to make a satisfactory jump to the no limit game.
Third, there are the brilliant caricatures of the players by Stan Hunt. Just to see those again in print is worth the price of the book.
Fourth are the poker odds and statistics by Mike Caro. Believe me they are completely accurate. I and a number of others players checked and rechecked them, hoping to catch MJC in an error. No such luck! I was a little disappointed that Mike chose to recall an odds story that showed him in the right, because I, among a very small number of people, actually did beat him out of a twenty dollar bet in the sixties on some odds we were discussing.
Of course Mike would "give away" money just to support his carefully cultivated image as a "madman. I mean eyebrows raised and heads shook incomprehensibly at this totally "irrational" play. Yet it worked because people then would call him when he really had something.
Caro was also an expert on poker tells. He wrote a book on the subject. He would, when playing, do parodies of the other players by betting and acting as they would in an exaggerated way. Sometimes he actually did unconscious parodies of himself. Doyle Brunson on the other hand loved the psychological struggle and just being in action.
He had nerves of steel and an intensely competitive nature and a deep obsessive love of the game. He overpowered his opponents with a constant energy that was always, always pushing.
He had a few tricks and his knowledge of the game was among the best, but perhaps his greatest gift was his ability to bet when he knew the other guy would toss in. What you can learn from this book about poker is really almost priceless. This is, in my opinion, still the best how-to book on poker ever written.
Doyle Brunson's Super System 2: A Course in Power Poker