More Hold 'Em Excellence (A Winner for Life)

by Lou Krieger

Poker Meat and Potatoes

For those of you who aren't familiar with Lou Krieger you'll be in for a pleasant surprise--this fellow can actually write!  If you already have some of the best known titles in your library like Hold 'Em Poker for Advanced Players by Sklansky and Malmuth you are very familiar with the concept of read, re-read, play poker, re-read, say "Ahh.", play poker, re-read, get a dictionary, re-read and then... re-read. This is a tribute to Sklansky in Malmuth in the sense that their books are so densely packed with information and implied homework (such as asking yourself "why" for every suggestion they make and then watching your answers to that question change as you gain more and more experience playing Hold 'Em). With Lou Krieger's books, however, you can read them like a novel from cover to cover in one sitting and gain some insight each time you read.  His anecdotes and analogies are always entertaining and he captures the reader with a perfect blend of strategy and humor that makes reading his books more like a pleasure and less like a chore.

It's All About Synthesis

The topics in More Hold 'Em Excellence aren't new.  This shouldn't be a surprise.  Lou Krieger spends a good portion of the book discussing the basics of hold 'em--starting hand selection, play of the streets, bankroll, drawing odds, discipline. The key in his books, though, are the meshing of ideas and the synthesis of elements into a stronger whole.  He asks you to look at your game as a cohesive unit and he asks you to work on the basics and be honest with yourself about where you are and why you are there and what you can do to improve your game and often he presents that in a way that makes you laugh.  What a powerful combination that is!

You won't find one single "tricky move" in the text to make yourself an extra bet a month or a year, instead you'll find yourself analyzing and improving decisions which come up all the time in your game which can translate to a huge increase in your monetary expectation.

From his first chapter, "What's Important in Winning Poker":

Lots of poker theorists love tactical ploys. Because complex ideas can be very interesting, some poker writers devote a substantial amount of ink to writing about esoteric, but essentially inconsequential, concepts. Should you even bother learning them? Of course, but only after learning an entire raft of information that's much more important.


Lou Krieger isn't just a great poker player, he's a great poker writer as well. More Hold 'Em Excellence is deceptively easy to read while at the same time containing a wealth of information both subtle and blunt. It is a happy medium between the sometimes over technical and arcane books from mathematicians Sklansky and Malmuth and the how-to packed books like Winning Low Limit Hold 'Em (2nd Edition) which are sometimes light on the why. We can recommend this book without reservation as an important staple in a complete poker library.