It has been said that, to become proficient in any endeavor, you have to have 10,000 hours of actual hands on experience in the said activity to become “world class.” Poker is one of those activities where 10,000 hours might not be enough, to be honest. But writer Ashley Adams has come up with a way for players to improve their games – and with a minimal expenditure of time – in his new book from D&B Publishing Winning Poker in 30 Minutes a Day.
No Excuse for “Not Enough Time to Study”
Adams admits up front that this book isn’t
for those who are “winning” players, nor is it for those who are newcomers to
the game. “This book looks to turn losing, break even, beginning and
intermediate players into winning players,” Adams writes. “It presumes you know
something of the game…(but) that you don’t seem to consistently be beating the
game.” Over the course of 206 pages and 10 segments, Adams gives critical
information that players should be considering, in some cases before they even
step to the tables.
The ten segments of the book are intended to be digested in 30-minute bites, but their application can extend beyond that. Adams makes sure to espouse on the logic of table selection at the casino (which table would you rather sit at – one with players all around $200 stacks or one with a few bigger stacks?), hand selection, hand ranging for your opposition, the mental approach to the game and further information into such actions as three-betting “light.” Along with the discussion of this and many other aspects of the game, Adams has provided quizzes that are meant to help a player expand their knowledge of the game.
The 30-minute approach is an important one
to remember for the book. More often than not, players will rip through an
instructional tome and fail to fully grasp the information given. Adams often
will remind the reader that they should become proficient with each section of
the book, perhaps even before moving on to the next section, lest they not
fully understand the concepts that they are reading.
Informative Without Being Too Detailed
The charm of Adams’ “30 Minutes” is that
it isn’t too detailed for the average person to be able to understand. Recent
poker books, especially those that are trying to educate people on the game,
delve way too deeply into the minutiae of what is going on. Players aren’t
going to understand GTO philosophy and the complicated thoughts that go into it
if they aren’t understanding the game from a basic point to begin with.
This is where Adams’ book is outstanding
in that it presents some complicated ideas without getting too detailed. The
quizzes that go along with each section are tough and deservedly so. If you’re
going to improve as a player, you’ve got to be able to apply more to the game
than just an ABC philosophy.
Adams’ work in estimating hand ranges for your opponents, in particular, is an excellent example in not making it too complicated. He goes beyond putting an opponent on “one hand” (an error that many players make) and explains the decision-making process in putting an opponent on a range of hands. Adams doesn’t, however, get too complicated on this process, enabling the reader to easily comprehend the reasoning behind the process of determining ranges. This is important because many players (even some winning ones) still get locked in on “one hand” hand determinations rather than a multitude of possibilities.
If you’re a recreational player, Ashley Adams’ Winning Poker in 30 Minutes a Day could be the kick-start your poker game needs to become a more competent and, dare we say it, a more consistently winning poker player. For a semi-pro, it will serve as an excellent reminder for some tactics you should be already employing. It may not help a full-time pro that much, but the book could be useful during periods where the professional is having a tough time. Overall, Ashley Adams’ Winning Poker in 30 Minutes a Day can offer something to everyone – if you’ve got 30 minutes a day to really study!