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Book Review

Title:  Super System
A course in Power Poker
Author:  Doyle Brunson
Publisher:  Cardoza
Price:  $19.77 & $23.07
Pages:  605 & 624
ISBN:  1580420818 & 1580421369
rating:  texas holdem poker book review stars

If there is a living legend in poker, his name is Doyle Brunson. If there is a bible in the field, it is Super System. First published in 1978, this bestseller has still very high sales rank in Amazon at around 2300. A newer version called Super System 2 was published in 2004. It includes material about more recent variations of poker, which became popular in the past one or two decades, such as omaha. Each book has over 600 pages full of strategy and tips.

Super System covers a few poker variants. Doyle Brunson obtained the help of five prestigious poker players to write the chapters of Super System. Mike Caro wrote about Draw Poker, Chip Reese did the Seven-Card Stud chapter, Joey Hawthorne took care of Lowball, David Sklansky wrote about High-Low Split and Bobby Baldwin concocted Limit Hold'em. Doyle himself wrote the chapter about his favorite poker variation, no-Limit Hold'em.

Super System contains Doyle Brunson's detailed No-Limit Texas Hold'em strategy, and just this part should be worth the price of the book, if not more. Doyle often says that publishing this material has cost him more than he has ever received in copyright, as it has allowed his opponents to improve so much. This material was quite groundbreaking in 1979. If you find some of these ideas more mainstream in nowadays poker, it just shows the book's immense influence.

In the NL holdem chapter, Doyle emphasizes his very aggressive system. He first unveils his approach including what hands to play, the importance of bluffing, how to bluff, how to play draws, and how to play differently against various players' styles. Then he goes on providing in depth discussion about how to play all types of specific hands, top pairs, AK, small connectors, etc.

Super System 2 is a more recent version with a different line up of poker superstars. Daniel Negreanu wrote about Triple Draw, Jennifer Harman Limit Hold'em, Bobby Baldwin Omaha Hi/Lo, Todd Brunson Stud hi/Lo and Lyle Berman Pot Limit Omaha.

Super System 1 & 2 belong to the library of all Texas Hold'em Poker connoisseurs. But these are not book for beginners. Super System 1 is a collector item and its value for nowadays play mostly stems from the Brunson's chapter on NL holdem and the Reese's chapter on Seven-Card Stud, as the other poker variations are rarely played nowadays. Super System 2 is like a supplement for in-depth coverage of a few more modern games.

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