The best poker books

1 authors have picked their favorite books about poker and why they recommend each book.

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Book cover of Essential Poker Math: Fundamental No Limit Hold'em Mathematics You Need To Know

Essential Poker Math: Fundamental No Limit Hold'em Mathematics You Need To Know

By Alton Hardin,

Why this book?

This book is one of the best-selling poker books of the modern era despite the author not being a household name. It is a brilliant and dense primer on poker math with the amateur in mind. Other poker math books have arguably been written with a more expert tone, but this one is ideal for a beginner.
From the list:

The best books every poker player needs to read

Book cover of Reading Poker Tells

Reading Poker Tells

By Zachary Elwood,

Why this book?

Amateur players think tells are the biggest part of poker when in fact they are the most exaggerated aspect of poker strategy and the least important part of the modern game. Tells are, however, still a genuine part of the game and this is a fantastic introduction to them. Amateur players would still be better off working on the fundamentals first but this is an excellent addition to the bookshelf of a more seasoned player.
From the list:

The best books every poker player needs to read

Book cover of Modern Poker Theory: Building an Unbeatable Strategy Based on GTO Principles

Modern Poker Theory: Building an Unbeatable Strategy Based on GTO Principles

By Michael Acevendo,

Why this book?

This is perhaps the best poker book of the last ten years and the first great book of the GTO era. If you are a player who has been intimidated by solvers this is the best primer on what they have taught us in recent years. By no means an easy book to read, but a must for any serious player's bookshelf.
From the list:

The best books every poker player needs to read

Book cover of Poker Satellite Strategy: How to qualify for the main events of live and online high stakes poker tournaments

Poker Satellite Strategy: How to qualify for the main events of live and online high stakes poker tournaments

By Dara O’Kearney, Barry Carter,

Why this book?

There are few books that can definitively say they have solved a poker format, but Poker Satellite Strategy really is the only book that ever needed to be written on satellite tournaments. If you want to qualify for a large buy-in tournament for a small amount, this is the book for you. It is also perhaps the best book to cover the tournament concept of ICM (Independent Chip Model) which every MTT grinder needs to understand.
From the list:

The best books every poker player needs to read

Book cover of Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker

Positively Fifth Street: Murderers, Cheetahs, and Binion's World Series of Poker

By James McManus,

Why this book?

Some books seem almost too good to be true, and that’s the case when journalist McManus enters the World Series of Poker in order to use the first-person experience to anchor his book about Las Vegas poker culture. In almost impossible fashion he ends up at the final table – something unlikely to ever happen again - taking readers along for the exciting ride. He parallels the action with several other plotlines, including the mysterious and very Vegas-esque murder of tournament host Ted Binion, the progress of women competitors in the sport, and the rapid growth of poker. A classic…

From the list:

The best books for sports fans

Book cover of Harrington on Hold 'em: Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments; Volume II: The Endgame

Harrington on Hold 'em: Expert Strategy for No-Limit Tournaments; Volume II: The Endgame

By Dan Harrington, Bill Robertie,

Why this book?

To some, the Harrington series might be outdated but there is still a lot of gold to be gleaned from these pages. Some people think Super System is the classic book of the poker genre, but I would argue this title has influenced more modern online players than any single book available today. There are more up-to-date books to choose from today, but it is still worth a read even now.
From the list:

The best books every poker player needs to read

Book cover of Esquires Handbook for Hosts

Esquires Handbook for Hosts

By Inc. (Firm) Esquire,

Why this book?

Handbook for Hosts is a throwback to a golden era, when dinner parties were an artform. This book covers the whole gamut: everything from canape suggestions, food recipes, cocktail recipes, how to stock your home bar, party games, conversation tips, the dos and don’t of hosting, and even 365 excuses for a party! This is the kind of book they don’t make anymore, but you wish they would. It’s entertaining, insightful, and beautifully formatted. Read this book and you’ll be a dinner party Jedi in no time.

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The best cocktail books for the drinks enthusiast’s library

Book cover of The Music of Chance

The Music of Chance

By Paul Auster,

Why this book?

Paul Auster is known for taking motifs from noir and playing around with them. Of all his books, this one works the best as a straightforward thriller. A pair of drifters attempt to hustle some millionaires out of their money but get outsmarted. After a disastrous poker game, they end up in debt to their victims, who set them to work building a useless decorative wall. It's one of those novels that reads like it could all be a dream.

From the list:

The best thriller books that will make you question reality

Book cover of Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People

By G. Richard Shell,

Why this book?

This book outlines several important orientations to negotiations—game/poker players (who play by the rules but still want to “win”); idealists who believe in almost always treating people honestly and fairly, even if that might mean less personal advantage and instrumental pragmatists who know—“what goes around, comes around” or “your word is your bond”—reputation is everything. In the context of reporting for laypeople a lot of social science research and practical tips, this book helps orient all negotiators to think about what ethical stance they should consider in different contexts. I have taught excerpts of this book for over 20 years.

From the list:

The best books for ethical negotiators

Book cover of People Skills for Analytical Thinkers

People Skills for Analytical Thinkers

By Gilbert Eijkelenboom,

Why this book?

Since data science is, at its core, people helping people make decisions, it is essential that we can establish productive relationships with our stakeholders. This is a skill that needs to be given the same level of effort as we give to coding or statistics. Gilbert’s book is a great resource to help technically oriented people to advance their people skills.

From the list:

The best books for data science and analytics leaders

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