I just finished No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice…for the fourth time. The last time I read it was about five years ago. Five years ago, I knew little poker theory. So, this is the first time I’ve read NLTAP (we’ll use this acronym for No Limit Hold’em Theory and Practice) with something of a critical eye. And, I do have criticism for this book.
First, my view of the authors. I’ve never been a fan of Sklansky’s writing. Just me or whatever…I just don’t appreciate his style or the way he teaches. Miller, on the other hand, I’ve always admired for his ability to teach. NLTAP seemed much more Sklansky’s work than Miller’s. I’ve no idea if my thoughts reflect the writing load, but it feels that way to me.
I had mixed feelings going through this book over the last two months. On a five-star rating system (5 the best), I often thought a 2 was in order. Other portions I considered a 4 or even a 5. The book is a mixed bag. And perhaps that’s my biggest criticism. It felt like someone made notes about poker while thinking/researching and then threw the notes together in random order…and called it a book.
The mix of theory and practice is a bit awkward. The theory is timeless; however, the practice is outdated. A writer can present practical poker advice without making the material susceptible to being outdated by the evolving player pool. NLTAP didn’t take that approach. I would guess a quarter of more of the book is outdated. Which means the information is better off unread by a novice.
The theory is unorganized. Also, as is Sklansky’s style, he introduces a complex topic, spends 4-5 paragraphs on it, and moves on. They tried to tackle too much in too little space, imo.
However, I found about 15 pages of material—scattered throughout—to be exceptional material. While exceptional ideas, the concepts were merely introduced. This is great for someone looking for ideas to prompt them to research—I’m one of those guys. Not-so-great for someone looking to be taught.
All things considered, I’d give the book a 2.5 out of 5.
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