The 64 Best Poker Books To Read in 2023 with Promo Codes

Following up on the #pokerGOAT player tournament that set the Twitter pokersphere aflame and culminated with the victory of Phil Ivey being awarded the greatest poker player of all time (did anyone else actually have a chance?), the foundation had been laid for a second iteration of #pokerGOAT – this time pitting the 64 best poker books ever written against each other in a March Madness inspired bracket battle to leave one poker book standing (do books stand or rest?) as the Best Poker Book Of All-Time, otherwise and forever known as the printed #pokerGOAT. Submitted for your review and of course your criticism, we’ve prepared the 64 Best Poker Books Ever Written for 2023, as voted by Twitter followers (amidst scandalous poker controversy!) of Chasing Poker Greatness (@cpgpodcast), founded by poker pro Brad Wilson: creator of the best poker coaching courses to improve your poker game, a massive poker podcast featuring interviews with so many of the authors below, one of the longest-running poker blogs with poker mindset insights and poker philosophy to help you approach and excel at the game of poker, and offering the most effective one-on-one poker training available today – all tied into one of the most welcoming poker communities built for poker learning and group poker training. As a matter of business, naturally we want to declare that these greatest poker books ever are hyperlinked with good old fashioned affiliate links to keep the poker world turning over here at Chasing Poker Greatness. If you should purchase any poker books below, not only are you supporting these amazing poker players / authors, their poker-friendly publishers, and the poker economy as a whole – but you’re also supporting us at Chasing Poker Greatness while at the same time improving your poker game by digesting and enjoying these top poker books. Special thanks to for drumming up the 64 finalists and for the random seedings! Without further ado, we invite you to agree or disagree with this definitive compendium and forever authoritative list (until the next #pokerGOAT) of the most popular, most helpful, most entertaining, and simply best poker books ever written, beginning with the winner of the #pokerGOAT poker book national championship…
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by Maria Konnikova (2020, published by Penguin Press)
Listeners of the Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast will be familiar with Maria Konnikova from Chasing Poker Greatness episode #71 and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #149. It’s true that Maria Konnikova had never actually played poker before and didn’t even know the rules when she approached Erik Seidel, Poker Hall of Fame inductee and winner of tens of millions of dollars in earnings, and convinced him to be her mentor. But she knew her man: a famously thoughtful and broad-minded player, he was intrigued by her pitch that she wasn’t interested in making money so much as learning about life. She had faced a stretch of personal bad luck, and her reflections on the role of chance had led her to a giant of game theory, who pointed her to poker as the ultimate master class in learning to distinguish between what can be controlled and what can’t. And she certainly brought something to the table, including a Ph.D. in psychology and an acclaimed and growing body of work on human behavior and how to hack it. So Seidel was in, and soon she was down the rabbit hole with him, into the wild, fiercely competitive, overwhelmingly masculine world of high-stakes Texas Hold’em, their initial end point the following year’s World Series of Poker. But then something extraordinary happened. Under Seidel’s guidance, Konnikova did have many epiphanies about life that derived from her new pursuit, including how to better read, not just her opponents but far more importantly herself; how to identify what tilted her into an emotional state that got in the way of good decisions; and how to get to a place where she could accept luck for what it was, and what it wasn’t. But she also began to win. And win. In a little over a year, she began making earnest money from tournaments, ultimately totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars. She won a major title, got a sponsor, and got used to being on television, and to headlines like, “How one writer’s book deal turned her into a professional poker player.” She even learned to like Las Vegas. But in the end, Maria Konnikova is a writer and student of human behavior, and ultimately the point was to render her incredible journey into a container for its invaluable lessons. The biggest bluff of all, she learned, is that skill is enough. Bad cards will come our way, but keeping our focus on how we play them and not on the outcome will keep us moving through many a dark patch, until the luck once again breaks our way.
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by Jonathan Little with Phil Hellmuth, Mike Sexton, Olivier Busquet, Chad Holloway, Evan Jarvis, Chris Moneymaker, Ed Miller, Scott Clements, Matt Affleck, Bernard Lee, Zachary Elwood, Alex Fitzgerald, Liv Boeree, Patricia Cardner, Jared Tendler, Elliot Roe, & Will Tipton (2015, published by D&B Poker)


A frequent guest on the Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast, poker pro and pro-lific poker author Jonathan Little has been featured on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #10, Chasing Poker Greatness episode #84, and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #145.

Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em is a sensation in poker publishing. Renowned poker professional and author Jonathan Little brings together 17 of the greatest no-limit experts in the world to discuss all aspects of the game of poker. These poker experts include superstars such as Phil Hellmuth, Chris Moneymaker, Mike Sexton and Jared Tendler.

Part 1 strategies are analyzed for topics such as understanding the fundamentals, satellite play, lower buy-in events, analyzing poker tells, and moving up in poker stakes. Part 2 sees a thorough technical breakdown of the game including sections on range analysis, game theory optimal play, short stack strategies, value betting, and final table play. As any serious poker will confirm, the technical side is only half the battle, and so Part 3 deals with mental toughness, psychology, and understanding tilt.

Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em provides all the tools that an aspiring player needs to understand no-limit hold’em. It is a must buy for anyone who is serious about wanting to improve their poker game.

by Tommy Angelo (2007, published by Tommy Angelo)

As a friend of the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast, we’re thrilled to have interviewed Tommy Angelo not once, not twice, but thrice: in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #25, Chasing Poker Greatness episode #94, and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #156.

Beyond statistics, beyond whether to raise, call, or fold, Elements of Poker reveals a new world of profitability for your bankroll and your life. You know tilt costs you money, but do you know how to make it go away? You know position is important, but do you really know how to profit from that knowledge? Elements of Poker is the distilled wisdom of a master. Published in 2007, this book is praised by poker pros worldwide as a timeless classic.

by Qui Nguyen (2017, published by D&B Poker)


Poker players are always told that to be successful, you have to play aggressively. What is not usually explained is just exactly how you are supposed to play aggressively. On the Final Table of the 2016 WSOP Main Event, Qui Nguyen destroyed the opposition with an absolute masterclass in aggressive play and walked away with the coveted gold bracelet as well as $8 million. If you want to understand what this mythical “playing aggressively” means in practical terms, then From Vietnam to Vegas will give you the answer.

Many of the experienced professionals commentating for TV simply couldn’t understand Qui’s play. Antonio Esfandiari, who has won over $27 million in live play, commented, “I couldn’t get a read on Qui Nguyen if my life depended on it.” From Vietnam to Vegas tells the complete story behind Qui’s magnificent achievement. In this book, Qui reviews 176 key hands from his historic victory at the WSOP Final Table, provides an in-depth analysis of his thought process on each hand, and relates the story of his life from his early struggles in Vietnam through to his transition to a poker professional in Las Vegas.

The book also includes commentary from Steve Blay, founder of and Qui Nguyen’s personal poker advisor at the final table. Blay’s commentary often analyzes the mathematical basis behind Qui’s decisions, and discusses practical ways to apply it to your own poker game.


by Jared Tendler & Barry Carter (2011, published by Jared Tendler)

Another 3-time guest of the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast, Jared Tendler was featured in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #58, Chasing Poker Greatness episode #154, and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #186.

The mental game may be more important in poker than in any other form of competition. It’s one of the only games in the world where you can play perfectly and lose—again and again. Hundreds of poker players have turned to mental game coach Jared Tendler’s revolutionary approach to help them play their best, no matter how badly they’re running. In this book you’ll find simple, step-by-step instructions and proven techniques to permanently fix problems such as tilt, handling poker variance, emotional control, confidence, fear, and motivation.

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by Michael Craig (2006, published by Grand Central Publishing)

The Players: the best poker professionals in the world. The Challenger: a wealthy banker from Dallas. The Game: the richest poker stakes of all time… In 2001, a rich stranger from Texas descended upon the high stakes poker room in the opulent Bellagio Casino in Las Vegas. A self-made billionaire by the name of Andy Beal, the stranger challenged some of the world’s greatest poker players, including Doyle Brunson, Chip Reese, Howard Lederer, and Jennifer Harman to heads-up matches in the richest poker game ever played. This is that story…

Beginning the scintillating contest that would shock the world of poker, Andy and each opponent had $1 million, betting $10,000 and $20,000 per round. As the games intensified over the coming months and Andy developed into a great player, he realized how he could take his adversaries out of their comfort zone: he raised the stakes to put everything they had on the line. By the time the battle of wits ended, there was more than $20 million on the table. For the first time ever, here is the detailed, true account of the Big Game that has already achieved legendary status in poker lore. Putting you railside to observe the pulse-pounding action, where you can almost hear the distinct sound of clay chips on felt, Michael Craig takes you inside the iron-nerved mind and pathological psyche of the professional gambler. Filled with vivid characters, sensational tales, and riveting human drama, The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King is a unique, suspenseful journey into the world of people who live on the razor’s edge of fortune, where incredible wealth or utter ruin turns on the flip of a card.

by Paul McGuire (2010, published by Lulu)

Las Vegas lures you to shed moral responsibility and piss away your money on indulgences like decadent food, entertainment, gambling, and sex. If you don’t enjoy these pastimes, then what’s the point of visiting the land of compromised values? Where else can you get a cheap steak, crash a Mexican wedding, get cold-decked in blackjack by a dealer named Dong, play video poker for thirteen straight hours, drink pina coladas out of a plastic coconut, bum a cigarette from an 85-year-old woman with an oxygen tank, speed away to the Spearmint Rhino in a free limo, get rubbed by a former Miss Teen USA, puke in the back of a cab driven by a retired Navy SEAL, snort cheap cocaine in the bathroom at O’Shea’s, and then catch a lucky card on the river to crack pocket aces and win a poker tournament? Only in Las Vegas.

by Grant Denison & Jonathan Levy AKA The Poker Guys (2019, published independently)

The Chasing Poker Greatness podcast had the pleasure of hosting The Poker Guys back in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #36.

With a mixture of technical analysis, witty banter, and straight up arguing, poker pros Grant Denison and Jonathan Levy discuss some of the most incredible poker hands ever played. They don’t just tell you what happened, they examine (and often fight!) about the decisions each player makes. Should Phil Hellmuth call a big all-in in the 2010 National Heads Up Championship against young phenom Annette Oberstadt? Should Ike Haxton try to bully Phil Ivey on the bubble of a $100,000 buy in tournament? What should a player do with pocket kings on the very first hand of the 2018 WSOP Main Event? These and many more great hands get dissected in bite size (2-4 pages) chapters that entertain and enlighten. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get better at poker.

by Gus Hansen (2008, published by Citadel Press)

What if you were able to get right inside the mind of world famous poker pro Gus Hansen – and learn his winning secrets? Now you can. One of professional poker’s most intriguing and fascinating players, Gus Hansen has often been called “The Madman” for his crazy, fearless, aggressive style. But you can’t dispute the fact that this poker superstar knows how to win–and win big. The holder of the inaugural Poker Superstars Invitational title as well as the only player to win three World Poker Tour tournaments, Gus won his fifth major international title when he became the 2007 Aussie Millions Champion, outlasting 747 players and nabbing $1.2 million. Now, for the first time ever, Gus analyzes the hands that he played during the tournament and reveals his secrets for winning in Every Hand Revealed.

Offering unlimited access to one of the most successful, popular poker players out there, Every Hand Revealed will help you understand some of poker’s most coveted secrets–and simply shows you the right way to play the game whether you’re a beginner or a poker pro. Now with Gus Hansen by your side, you too can turbo-charge your game and watch it take off!

Superstar poker pro Gus Hansen has shaken up the poker world with his loose, aggressive style. Called “The Great Dane” as well as “The Madman,” the five-time international title-holder transforms his hands with cool logic . . .and flattens his opponents. Voted one of the world’s sexiest men by People Magazine, Gus is an avid athlete, backgammon player, and poker commentator for both Danish and American T.V.

Poker has taken America by storm. But it’s not just any form of poker that has people across the country so excited. It’s No-Limit Hold Em, the Main Event game. And now thanks to televised tournaments, tens of thousands of new players are eager to claim their share of poker glory.

Harrington on Hold Em takes you to the part of the game the cameras ignore: the tactics required to get through the hundreds and sometimes thousands of hands you must win to make it to the final table. Harrington’s sophisticated and time-tested winning strategies, focusing on what it takes to survive the early and middle stages of a No-Limit Hold Em tournament, are appearing here for the first time in print. These are techniques that top players use again and again to get to make it to final tables around the globe.

Now, learn from one of the world’s most successful No-Limit Hold Em players how to vary your style, optimize your betting patterns, analyze hands, respond to a re-raise, play to win the most money possible, react when a bad card hits, and much more.

Dan Harrington won the gold bracelet and the World Champion title at the $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold Em Championship at the 1995 World Series of Poker. And he was the only player to make it to the final table in 2003 (field of 839) and 2004 (field of 2576); considered by cognoscenti to be the greatest accomplishment in WSOP history. In Harrington on Hold Em, Harrington and 2-time World Backgammon Champion Bill Robertie have written the definitive book on No-Limit Hold Em for players who want to win… and win big.

by Michael Acevedo (2019, published by D&B Poker)


Michael Acevedo was kind enough to join us on the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast two times: once on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #88 and again on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #103.

Modern Poker Theory is a comprehensive, rigorous guide to the most important aspects of No-Limit Hold’em. It is based around an in-depth examination of what is meant by Game Theory Optimal play (GTO) and how it can be applied at the table. Understanding GTO is fundamental to being able to make accurate poker decisions and being able to exploit players who don’t.

Modern Poker Theory uses modern poker tools to develop a systematic approach to the analysis of GTO. It organizes the ideas and concepts in an intuitive manner that is totally focused to practical applications. Next time you are at a table some of the players will have studied Modern Poker Theory and some won’t. The players who have studied Modern Poker Theory will, without doubt, have a better theoretical and practical understanding of No-Limit Hold’em. They will be the favorites in the game. Make sure you are one of them.

Michael Acevedo, one of the world’s leading poker theorists, is a game theory expert who is renowned for creating cutting-edge content for the world’s leading players. The production of Modern Poker Theory is the culmination of many thousands of hours of his research work with the most advanced poker software tools available. It is poker theory for the 21st century.

by Alex Fitzgerald (2018, published by D&B Poker)


Top poker pro Alex “Assassinato” Fitzgerald was interviewed on the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #38.

Many poker players can make good decisions at the table with a reasonable frequency. Nevertheless, there are numerous situations where even very experienced players behave in predictable ways. These deeply-ingrained habits lead them to make mistakes. The problem is that these situations won’t often arise at the table by chance – you have to make them happen.

Exploitative Play in Live Poker is a ground-breaking work that teaches you how to create the circumstances where your opponents will be likely to blunder and how to exploit them when they do. To achieve this you will need to put to one side starting hand charts, balance, and GTO (Game Theory Optimal) play. Instead, you will incorporate new concepts that may well place you outside your comfort zone. However, your style will now be forcing the other players at the table outside of their comfort zone and, unlike you, they won’t know how to adapt. Learn how to counter the auto-continuation-bettor, develop a powerful donk-betting strategy, use the overbet, utilize the check-raise, and the three-barrel effectively.

As well as being a highly successful player, Alex Fitzgerald runs a poker consultancy that serves more than 1,000 professional poker players in 60 countries. As part of this work, he has very likely trawled through more hand history databases than anyone else. This gives him a unique insight into how players really play, especially when placed under pressure and forced into unfamiliar situations.

by Chris Moorman with Byron Jacobs (2014, published by D&B Poker)


Chris Moorman is the most successful online poker tournament player in history. He leads the industry with more than $11 million in online cashes, excels on the tournament circuit with over $4 million in live cashes, and has placed in the top three in online tournaments 651 times to date. Many strong poker players have written books explaining their thought processes. However, players at the low- to mid-stakes who want to advance to the highest levels find the leap a daunting one. Chris, through years of hard work, has achieved this advance and now wants to help you do the same.

Moorman’s Book of Poker has a unique approach. Chris analyzes 80 tournament hand histories played by co-author Byron Jacobs – a typical mid-stakes player. The adoption of a coaching format allows Chris to explain in clear detail exactly what is needed to progress to the next level of expertise.

by Dara O’Kearney & Barry Carter (2020, published by Barry Carter)

Chasing Poker Greatness has had the pleasure of interviewing both Dara O’Kearney and Barry Carter; together (on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #81) and separately (Chasing Poker Greatness episode #144 with Dara, and with Barry: Chasing Poker Greatness episode #17 and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #166).

The fastest growing format in online poker is without doubt Progressive Knockout tournaments, abbreviated as PKO tournaments. Online poker rooms like them, recreational poker players love them, yet a lot of serious poker players struggle to get to grips with the way the strategy changes compared to regular Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs).

In PKO Poker Strategy, professional poker player Dara O’Kearney has done rigorous study using the latest poker solver technology to show you the biggest adjustments you need to beat these poker tournaments. This book fixes your biggest poker leaks and takes the uncertainty out of PKOs. You will learn how to adjust your ranges in a PKO, when to gamble for a big bounty, how to adjust when the payouts and final table are a factor, when you should stick to a more standard strategy, and quick PKO math you can do at the tables.

Dara O’Kearney is a professional poker player from Ireland, specializing in online tournaments and with a reputation as one of the great teachers of the game. He is the co-author of the best-selling Poker Satellite Strategy, the co-host of the award-winning Chip Race Poker Podcast and is sponsored by Unibet Poker.

This book uses the most up-to-date poker ICM solvers, however it has been written in a way to make the poker math you need to do at the tables very simple. Every chapter starts from a poker GTO framework but then explains how you should deviate when the players or table dynamics change.

It covers major adjustments in PKO play, including a shorthand way to decide on calling ranges, the poker game theory behind why you should never late register, post flop play, poker mindset issues unique to PKOs, and much more. It has everything a Texas hold’em player needs to crush knockout tournaments.

by Bill Chen & Jerrod Ankenman (2006, published by ConJelCo)

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the bond and option markets were dominated by traders who had learned their craft by experience. They believed that their experience and intuition for trading were a renewable edge; this is, that they could make money just as they always had by continuing to trade as they always had. By the mid-1990s, a revolution in trading had occurred; the old school grizzled traders had been replaced by a new breed of quantitative analysts, applying mathematics to the “art” of trading and making it a science.

Similarly in poker, for decades, the highest level of pokers have been dominated by players who have learned the game by playing it: “road gamblers” who have cultivated intuition for the game and are adept at reading other players’ hands from betting patterns and physical tells. Over the last five to ten years, a whole new breed has risen to prominence within the poker community. Applying the tools of computer science and mathematics to poker and sharing the information across the Internet, these players have challenged many of the assumptions that underlie traditional approaches to the game. One of the most important features of this new approach is a reliance on quantitative analysis and the application of mathematics to the game.

The intent of The Mathematics of Poker is to provide an introduction to quantitative techniques as applied to poker and to a branch of mathematics that is particularly applicable to poker: game theory. There are mathematical techniques that can be applied for poker that are difficult and complex. But most of the mathematics of poker is really not terribly difficult, and the authors have sought to make seemingly difficult topics accessible to players without a very strong mathematical background.

by Jason Su (2020, independently published)

Jason Su has graciously dropped into the Chasing Poker Greatness poker podcast twice: the first being Chasing Poker Greatness episode #64, and the second was Chasing Poker Greatness episode #122.

If you’ve ever had a poker session where you felt completely at ease, your instincts were spot on, and you could effortlessly make the right play without fear or hesitation, you were likely playing from a place of deep presence. Poker with Presence is your guide to playing this way each time you sit down. The experiential exercises inside bring you into presence and flow so you can win more money and enjoy your time at the table more each day.

Have you ever wondered what a poker champion is thinking when he is facing a huge bet that puts his tournament life at risk? Jonathan Little, a two-time World Poker Tour Champion with over $6,000,000 in career tournament winnings opens up his playbook for everyone to see. He will not only show you how he cashed in the 2014 World Series of Poker Main Event for $22,678, but he will also teach you why he made every crucial move in 54 detailed hands. Cashing the WSOP Main Event: In-Depth Analysis of 54 Poker Hands from my WSOP Main Event is set up in a quiz format, forcing you to reevaluate your default poker strategy and alter it drastically based on your opponents’ tendencies. By questioning your decisions, you will be able to progress as a poker player and increase your profits at the table. Cashing the WSOP Main Event: In-Depth Analysis of 54 Poker Hands from my WSOP Main Event also includes information for how to download Jonathan’s Tournament Cheat Sheet.

The Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast has enjoyed Jonathan Little’s company on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #10, Chasing Poker Greatness episode #84, and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #145.

by Doyle Brunson | (2002, published by Cardoza Publishing)

A master course in power poker from one of the greatest players ever, Super System is considered by many to be the poker bible. With a captivating intro painting a picture of the legend’s personal life and humble beginnings, Doyle “Texas Dolly” Brunson gives the definitive lecture in “power poker” that defined profitable poker for much of the late 20th century and well into the 21st.

by Mike Sexton (2016, published by D&B Poker)


In his four decades as a poker professional, Mike has excelled as a poker player, poker businessman and poker ambassador. He was instrumental in the creation of PartyPoker in 2001 and was a key player in the launch of the World Poker Tour in 2002, an event that changed the world of poker forever. He has been a commentator on the WPT, along with Vince Van Patten, since its inception.

Mike is also a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner. Mike was recognized as poker’s Top Ambassador at the Card Player Magazine Player of the Year Awards gala in 2006. That same year, he won the World Series of Poker Tournament of Champions, collecting $1 million in prize money – half of which he donated to charity.

In Life’s a Gamble, Mike recounts his personal experiences and gives his take on some of poker’s legendary characters over the past 40 years. If you enjoy poker, are fascinated by the evolution of the game and enjoy compelling poker, golf and gambling adventures, then you’ll love Life’s A Gamble.

by Andrew Brokos (2014, self-published)

We’ve been lucky enough to have Andrew Brokos join the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #68 and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #157.

Experience the thrill, the glory, and the occasional terror of the World Series of Poker Main Event through the eyes of professional poker player, writer, and coach Andrew Brokos. This quick and entertaining book chronicles Brokos’ first Main Event, interspersing humorous anecdotes and colorful portraits of his fellow players with the incisive strategic insights for which he is famous.

Brokos, who has five cashes in the WSOP Main Event including three finishes in the top one hundred, has helped thousands of poker players improve their skills with his articles, videos, and personalized coaching. He’s entertained tens of thousands more with the Thinking Poker blog and podcast. Now he brings those skills together in a new series that invites you to share in the excitement of high stakes poker and improve your game in the process.

by Eric Raskin (2018, published by Huntington Press)

This is the story behind the most dramatic World Series of Poker ever and its lasting effects, told by the players, the TV execs, the tournament directors, techs, writers, and the 2003 WSOP champ himself, Chris Moneymaker.

Moneymaker, an amateur poker player with a name too good to be true, defied the odds to win the 2003 WSOP Main Event, just as the twin inventions of online poker and the hole-card camera simultaneously arrived to revolutionize a game long-relegated to smoky bars and living rooms. More than a decade later, with the online poker world in an ongoing state of flux, the “Moneymaker Effect” continues to reverberate while the recollections and insights of the more than 30 eyewitness contributors remain as relevant and insightful as ever, whether the reader is a poker player or simply interested in a great real-life narrative. compelling poker, golf and gambling adventures, then you’ll love Life’s A Gamble.

by Matthew Janda (2013, published by Two Plus Two Publishing)

One of the most daunting moments in a poker player’s career occurs when he realizes his knowledge of how to play a specific hand well is incomplete without the additional understanding of how to play every other hand in his range well. This task would be impossible if a player had to actually think about every other hand in his range, but by understanding theoretical sound poker, he can quickly design balanced ranges using the proper bet-sizing while playing.

Applications of No-Limit Holdem teaches theoretical sound poker, and thus the ability to create the bet sizings and ranges which will beat the better players. The theory in this book is not designed to be complex or abstract, but rather it is intended to be applied immediately, producing better overall results.

Many confusing concepts such as overbetting, balancing multiple bet-sizing ranges, donk betting, and check-raising as the preflop raiser are crucial to a player’s strategy despite few players implementing them or talking about them. And after reading Applications of No-Limit Holdem, you should be able to not only conceptually understand these ideas, but also know how to begin incorporating them into your game, and thereby successfully compete against tough opponents.

by Lance Bradley (2018, published by D&B Poker)


We’re thrilled to have interviewed Lance Bradley on Chasing Poker Greatness previously, on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #91.

Why do some poker players become immensely successful while others fall by the wayside? What is it that separates the successes from the failures? Is there a magic formula? Over the last 12 years, Lance Bradley has been one of poker’s leading journalists and now finds himself at the helm of as President and Editor-in-Chief. During his time covering the poker world, Bradley has interviewed hundreds, if not thousands, of the world’s best players. This experience has revealed one fascinating trend; contrary to what might be expected, there is no single guaranteed path to success.

Each and every poker player featured in The Pursuit of Poker Success: Learn from 50 of the World’s Best Poker Players has taken their own route to becoming one of the world’s best players. The players interviewed for this book include World Series of Poker bracelet winners, World Poker Tour champions, online poker wizards and some of the best cash game players on the planet. Bradley spoke to each player about the way in which they found success in a game that can be humbling for so many. What worked for them can work for you.

by Mike Caro (2003, published by Cardoza Publishing)

One of the ten greatest books written on poker, this must-have book should be in every player’s library. If you’re serious about winning, you’ll realize that most of the profit comes from being able to read your opponents. Caro reveals the secrets of interpreting tells, which are physical reactions that reveal information about a player’s cards. These are small quirks such as shrugs, sighs, shaky hands, eye contact, and many more. Learn when opponents are bluffing, when they aren’t, and why – based solely on their mannerisms. Over 170 photos of players in action and play-by-play examples show the actual tells in Caro’s Book of Poker Tells. These powerful ideas will give you the decisive edge at the poker table.

Ace on the River is designed to improve the play of everyone from beginners to seasoned professionals. The unique play-by-play section will challenge readers to think beyond simple starting hands and make better decisions on other streets.

Ace on the River addresses elements of the game that are unfamiliar to many players. Included are chapters on the poker society, money management, family matters, and even sex. This compilation of philosophies and real-table scenarios provides a rare chance to see the poker world through the eyes of someone who lives it.

by Al Alvarez (2009, published by Picador)

Al Alvarez touched down in Las Vegas one hot day in 1981, a dedicated amateur poker player but a stranger to the town and it’s crazy ways. For three mesmerizing weeks he witnessed some of the monster high-stakes games that could only have happened in Vegas and talked to the extraordinary characters who dominated them: road gamblers and local professionals who won and lost fortunes on a regular basis.

Set over the course of one tournament, The Biggest Game in Town is both a chronicle of the World Series of Poker–the first ever written–and a portrait of the hustlers, madmen, and geniuses who ruled the high-stakes game in America. The Biggest Game in Town is a brilliant insight into poker’s appeal as a hobby, an addiction, and a way of life, and into the skewed psychology of master players and fearless gamblers. With a new introduction by the author, Alvarez’s classic account is “the greatest dissection of high-stakes Vegas poker and the madness that surrounds it ever written”.

by James McManus (2009, published by Picador)

In the spring of 2000, Harper’s Magazine sent James McManus to Las Vegas to cover the World Series of Poker, in particular the progress of women in the $23 million event, and the murder of Ted Binion, the tournament’s prodigal host, purportedly done in by a stripper and her boyfriend. But when McManus arrives, the lure of the tables compels him to risk his entire Harper’s advance in a long-shot attempt to play in the tournament himself.

This is his deliciously suspenseful account of the tournament: the players, the hand-to-hand combat, his own unlikely progress in it, and the delightfully seedy carnival atmosphere that surrounds it. Positively Fifth Street is a high-stakes adventure and a terrifying but often hilarious account of one man’s effort to understand what Edward O. Wilson has called “Pleistocene exigencies”–the eros and logistics of our competitive instincts.

by Dara O’Kearney & Barry Carter (2019, published by Barry Carter)

The best way for small stakes poker players to earn life-changing amounts of money is to win a satellite into a bigger tournament. Yet there is surprisingly little poker theory written about how to win satellite tournaments, until now. In Poker Satellite Strategy, professional poker player Dara O’Kearney gives you a framework for how to approach every stage of a satellite tournament, from the early levels right up to the bubble. This book takes the stress and uncertainty out of satellites.

You will learn: adjustments you need to make from regular poker tournament strategy, what hands to shove / call / fold on the bubble, when to tighten up and when to keep accumulating chips, easy poker math to do at the tables, the correct poker GTO ranges (and how to adjust to to different player types and situations), and when it’s correct to fold Pocket Aces preflop.

Dara O’Kearney is a professional poker player from Ireland with a long standing reputation as the best satellite specialist in the game. He has won over $1 million in satellite tournaments alone and twice won the PokerStars UKIPT satellite leaderboard. He is sponsored by Unibet Poker and is the co-host of The Chip Race Podcast.

Poker Satellite Strategy: How to Qualify for the Main Events of High Stakes Live and Online Poker Tournaments uses the most up-to-date poker ICM calculators, however it has been written in a way to make the poker math you need to do at the tables very simple. Every chapter starts from a poker GTO framework but then explains how you should deviate when the players or table dynamics change.

It covers every aspect of satellite play, from the important bubble stage, but even explaining the poker game theory behind late registering, post flop play, poker mindset issues unique to satellites, and how to adjust in live poker tournaments. It has everything a Texas hold’em player needs to qualify for big poker tournaments like the World Poker Tour, European Poker Tour, or World Series of Poker.

Chasing Poker Greatness has had the pleasure of interviewing both Dara O’Kearney and Barry Carter; together (on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #81) and separately (Chasing Poker Greatness episode #144 with Dara, and with Barry: Chasing Poker Greatness episode #17 and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #166).

by Dutch Boyd & Laurence Samuels (2014, published by Pocket Jacks)

Dutch Boyd is a three-time World Series of Poker bracelet winner who has won and lost millions. Read his amazing true story of the sky highs and cavernous lows living the life of a professional poker player, and his struggle to hang on to his bankroll and his sanity.

by David Sklansky (2007, published by Two Plus Two Publishing)

Tournament poker is very different from standard ring game poker. While they might appear the same from a distance, there are many differences in proper strategy that are often unknown to many experienced cash game players. Some players excel at tournament poker. This is not luck — these are players who have a very strong understanding of what the proper strategy adjustments are, and when they come into play. It is no coincidence that the same players make it to final tables far more than their fair share.

Tournament Poker for Advanced Players explains tournament strategies that only a small number of players have mastered. It assumes you already know how to play poker well, but aren’t knowledgeable of tournament-specific concepts and when and where to use them. Some of the ideas discussed in Tournament Poker for Advanced Players include the effect of going broke, the Gap Concept, how chips change value, adjusting strategy to rising stakes, all-in strategy, final table play, making deals, the “System,” focusing on weaker opponents, unusual plays with aces and kings, moving in against the blind, and much more. This newly expanded version contains over 100 new pages of updated tournament poker material dedicated almost entirely to today’s most popular form of tournament poker: no-limit hold ’em.

by Phil Gordon (2005, published by Simon Spotlight Entertainment)

Phil Gordon plays poker with the best players in the world. He has won — and lost — in tournaments and cash games around the globe, all the while studying the game and learning from every hand dealt. As the resident expert and co-host of Celebrity Poker Showdown, Phil has quickly become one of the most sought-after teachers of No Limit Texas Hold’em. It’s a tough game, but anyone can become a winning player with the right amount of courage, patience, aggression, observation, and, perhaps most important, dedication to becoming a better player.

After fifteen years of keeping notes on the things he’s learned, the greats he’s played with, and the celebrities he’s taught, Phil Gordon has poured every single thing he knows about No Limit Texas Hold’em into this little green book. Taking a page from Harvey Penick’s bestselling book of golf wisdom, Phil plays the role of both teacher and student, offering up insightful tips on how to think about poker and how to develop a singular style of play.

Through philosophy, psychology, strategy, math, and the knowledge gleaned from playing poker with everyone from T. J. Cloutier and Phil Ivey to Hank Azaria and Ben Affleck, Phil breaks down the game into enlightening instructional tidbits and illustrative anecdotes that inspire the kind of persistence and motivation necessary to improve your game. A book to rank with Doyle Brunson’s Super System and David Sklansky’s The Theory of Poker, Phil Gordon’s Little Green Book deserves a spot on the shelf of every serious student of the game.

by Nolan Dalla (2005, published by Atria Books)

Now in paperback comes the first and authorized biography of Stuey Ungar, the greatest card player of all time, who was backed by the Mob in New York before moving to Las Vegas where he won the World Series of Poker three times, then died mysteriously in a seedy motel on the Vegas strip at the age of 45.

He was the Jim Morrison of the casino, a legend before he was of legal age. Stuey Ungar, the son of a Jewish bookie on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, dropped out of high school to become an underground card-table sensation, eventually taking out every top gin-rummy player on the East Coast. Bankrolled by the Genovese crime family, Stuey would soon travel around the country in search of new opponents and opportunities—including poker. He would go on to win the World Series of Poker a record three times. And then his luck began to run out.

One of a Kind is the startling tale of a man who won at his game and lost control of his life. Whether tossing away his winnings at the racetrack or on a single roll of the dice, Stuey was notorious for gambling every single dollar in his pocket. Though he had won an estimated $30 million in his lifetime, Stuey had no bank account, not even a home address. He was found dead in a Vegas motel—with $800 in cash on his person, the only money he had left—at the age of forty-five.

An intimate, authorized biography—Nolan Dalla was commissioned by Stuey in 1998 to pen his story, resulting in hundreds of hours of taped interviews and conversations—One of a Kind illuminates the dark genius of one of poker’s most memorable figures.

Kill Everyone took the poker world by storm when it was first released in 2007. Its perfect blend of real-time experience, poker math, and computational horsepower created new concepts and advanced strategies never before seen in print for multi-table tournaments, Sit-n-Go’s, and satellites.

In this revised and expanded second edition, Kill Everyone adds even more ammunition to a tournament poker player’s arsenal. In addition to groundbreaking analysis of fear-and-fold equity and equilibrium, plus the presentation of optimal strategies for the bubble, the end-game, and heads-up play, this second edition adds 50 pages of incisive commentary from the hottest tournament poker player in the world, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, and a new chapter on short-stack cash games to go with the original discussion of playing in short-handed cash games.

With a Foreword by 2006 World Series of Poker champion Joe Hachem, annotations by ElkY, and solid math-based strategies from Lee Nelson, Tysen Streib, Steven Heston, and Mark Vos, Kill Everyone packs more poker brainpower between two covers than any book to come before it.

by Ed Miller (2015, published by Monkey Tilt Books)

The Course is different from other poker books you may have read. It’s written for players who are smart and who know that to succeed, you have to be different. Because in poker, if you play and think like everyone else, you’ll also get results just like everyone else.

There’s a saying in the golf world that you don’t worry about the other players – you just play the course. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing in a big tournament against a hundred other players or against just one. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing against Tiger Woods or against Woody the Woodpecker. You can’t control what they do, so they can only be a distraction. All that matters is the course. And the only thing you can control is how you play it. This is a powerful idea, and it applies just as well in poker. Poker is full of distractions, and most players get hung up worrying about all the wrong things: the things they can’t control – the things that ultimately don’t matter.

The Course: Serious Hold ‘Em Strategy For Smart Players, cuts through all the noise. It’s a practical and effective, step-by-step guide to winning consistently at no-limit hold ’em. The Course focuses on the most important concepts that determine who wins and moves up and who doesn’t. And it ignores the distractions. It doesn’t waste your time and attention with ideas that don’t apply to the games you play. Unlike many other books, this book is ruthlessly practical. The ideas in The Course transfer directly from the page to the felt. The book starts out by showing you where and how money is available to win. Everything after teaches you how to go get it. Skill by skill, you will learn to win more money and win it faster.

The Course meets you where you are. If you’re just beginning to get serious about hold ‘em, the book starts you with a sound foundational strategy. If you’re an experienced poker player looking to get over the next hump, the book lays bare the challenge and teaches you what you need to do. Unless you’re already the boss poker player at your local card room, The Course is the perfect companion to help take you to where you want to go.

by Phil Hellmuth (2017, published by D&B Poker)


Mr. Phil Hellmuth, Jr. previously joined us on the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #31.

If you know Phil Hellmuth then you either love him or hate him! His rants, tirades, and lines like, “I can dodge bullets, baby”, and, “If it weren’t for luck, I’d win them all”, are epic and have earned him the nickname “Poker Brat.” However, whether you love him or hate him, he is undoubtedly the greatest poker player of our time. Phil is a global poker icon who holds every record at the World Series of Poker, including an extraordinary 14 world championships.

In Poker Brat, Phil paints a picture of his early Midwestern life, in which he struggled mightily in grade school and high school, but always had aspirations to do something great. Phil takes you from the low lows of his life to the high highs, and shows you how he developed an unhealthy ego along the way, which eventually turned into his “Poker Brat” persona.

In Poker Brat, Phil shares his own powerful tips and techniques, the ones that he used to set his goals, and then he shows how he achieved those goals as he climbed to the summit of the poker world.

In the highly fluid and fast-changing tournament-poker universe, the dominant trend is toward looser and more aggressive (LAG) play, in which players move chips around at dizzying speeds. The Raiser’s Edge shows you how to adapt to the current state of all stages of tournament play, analyzing how and why the LAG and hyper-LAG styles work, and instructing on how to apply them and also defend against them.

The Raiser’s Edge closely examines the many techniques used by the world’s most successful players, including 3- and 4-betting, floating and squeezing, smooth-calling and min-raising, thin value betting, and the evolution of the metagame, along with equilibrium strategies based on starting hands and heads-up play. Even the ages and nationalities of your opponents are considered. There’s also an extensive bonus chapter on reading tells, contributed by body-language expert Steve Van Aperen.

Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, one of the hottest tournament-poker players in the world, has teamed up with Lee Nelson and Tysen Streib, authors of the acclaimed advanced tournament strategy book Kill Everyone, and poker star Tony Dunst to pen this groundbreaking title. With tournament poker evolving at a furious pace, serious players need to be ahead of the curve. The Raiser’s Edge conveys the powerful state-of-the-art tactics that will get you there fast.

Miikka Anttonen has been a high stakes poker professional for close to a decade, with $2.4 million in career winnings plus a world championship title under his belt. He’s long been known as a top poker instructor, strategist, and writer, but below the surface he’s lived a completely different life – one plagued by addiction, turbulent relationships, insecurity, and costly mistakes. In his three-part memoir, he’s telling the whole story for the first time.

Once A Gambler provides the reader with a unique view of both sides of the gambling world, as Miikka goes from dropping out of high school to jet-setting around the world, nights on park benches to $100,000 dollar paydays, and from being a sponsored professional who appeared on magazine covers and talk shows to becoming the black sheep of the entire poker playing community.

Once A Gambler has received acclaim from both readers and the media, currently holding a 4.2/5 average rating on the world’s largest book review website, Goodreads. Short excerpts from Miikka’s story have already been read over 3,000,000 times, and they’ve garnered widespread attention around the internet. Once A Gambler has frequented Amazon’s bestseller lists ever since its release.

About Part 1: The Escape:

Miikka Anttonen started gambling when he was ten years old, when most kids were playing with Pokemon cards and PlayStations. Throughout his teens, he spent long nights at the library analyzing sports betting odds, resulting in many large wins. But on the flip side, his “hobby” also led him to drop out of high school. Once A Gambler: The Escape is a journal of those early days discovering gambling, awkward prom memories, growing pains, and most importantly that magical night when Miikka first found poker, and with it his destiny, at twenty years old, in the most unlikely of places.

About Part 2: The Drift:

It was supposed to be a year dreams are made of. Toasting with the girl of his dreams on his twenty-second birthday, Miikka is looking forward to a breakout year. He’s just scored a big sponsorship deal, he writes the most successful blog in the country, and he’s landed his dream job on the side. In that moment, not one person in the world could’ve convinced Miikka that 2009 would, in fact, be the worst year of his life. Once A Gambler: The Drift is a mesmerizing chronicle about compulsive gambling, loss, grief, heartache, and degeneracy, told through the eyes of a man on a mission to chase his dreams at all costs. The Drift might break your heart, but it’s a must-read story for anyone interested in the dark side of gambling ‒ or, really, anyone who’s ever regretted a choice in the past.

Andrew “BalugaWhale” Seidman is a professional poker player, coach, and theorist from Portland, Oregon. He rode the poker boom to win hundreds of thousands of dollars playing online. He has also established his presence as an author, writing articles (including “The So-Called Baluga Theorem”) and the e-book Easy Game (Volumes I & II). Andrew produces coaching videos for, an industry-leading instructional video website.

Are you tired of losing at small stakes poker cash games? Improve your skills and learn how to win big. Are you stuck playing in lousy cash games versus lousy opponents? Despite your best efforts, do you manage to lose even at the smallest stakes? It’s time to master small stakes cash games with a world-class poker champion as your guide.

Jonathan Little has cashed for more than $6.4 million in live poker tournaments. This two-time World Poker Tour champion knows that to make millions on poker’s biggest stage, you have to start small. In fact, he started with only a $50 bankroll. Through his revolutionary approach, you can finally master the skills it takes to win in cash games. By learning how to crush your small stakes opponents, you’ll be prepared to handle bigger challenges – and bigger cash outs – that come with larger buy-in cash games.

In Strategies for Beating Small Stakes Poker Cash Games, you’ll discover: skills that will instantly improve your poker game, how to stop blaming bad luck and learn the real secret to mastering poker, the pitfalls to avoid that will allow you to crush your mistake-prone peers, the reasons pros make the plays they make and how you can adopt their methods, how to win more money from poker, and much, much more!

When you learn to think for yourself and adjust your strategy based on specific opponents, you’ll start to turn your game around. As the author of 11 best-selling poker books, Jonathan Little can show you exactly how to learn these skills and win much more money in the long term. If you like concise, actionable information you can start using right away, then you’ll love Little’s game-changing poker guide. Buy the book to start cashing out today!

The wonderful Chasing Poker Greatness Podcast has hosted Jonathan Little many times on the pod, including on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #10, Chasing Poker Greatness episode #84, and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #145.

by David Sklansky (1999, published by Two Plus Two Publishing)

The Theory of Poker discusses theories and concepts applicable to nearly every variation of the game, including five-card draw (high), seven-card stud, hold ’em, lowball draw, and razz (seven-card lowball stud). This book introduces you to the Fundamental Theorem of Poker, its implications, and how it should affect your play. Other chapters discuss the value of deception, bluffing, raising, the slow-play, the value of position, psychology, heads-up play, game theory, implied odds, the free card, and semi-bluffing. Many of today’s top poker players will tell you that this is the book that really made a difference in their play. That is, these are the ideas that separate the experts from the typical players.

Those who read and study The Theory of Poker will literally leave behind those who don’t, and most serious players wear the covers off their copies. This is the best book ever written on poker.

by Nate Meyvis (2015, published by Nate Meyvis)

“This book is a must-read for anyone who’s ever thought about playing a poker tournament.” – Ed Miller

Thinking Tournament Poker is a succinct trip through the first day of the most prestigious poker tournament in the world. Dozens of hands are recounted in detail and are accompanied by strategic commentary from a group of expert poker players, coaches, and authors. They discuss blind-stealing and blind defense, continuation-betting, bluffing, bet sizing, preflop battles, and much more. You will encounter all these subjects as they actually arose for the author as he was playing for a sixty-million-dollar prize pool.

Nate assembled a team of professional poker players, coaches, and authors to provide this commentary. The result of their collaboration has been distilled into notes that players of all levels can use to improve their poker. Thinking Tournament Poker reveals how professionals play with big money on the line, and it also shows you how to think about poker in order to improve your game.

by Ashley Adams (2020, published by D&B Poker)


Listeners of the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast will be familiar with Ashley Adams from Chasing Poker Greatness episode #93.

Are you a social or recreational poker player? Would you like to improve your game and win a bit more often? Do you have 30 minutes a day to spare? There is a lot of material available for players trying to improve their poker game. However, much of the advice is rather advanced. It can be complicated and not always easy to implement at the table.

Winning Poker in 30 Minutes a Day is different. It keeps the advice simple and direct and enables you to learn the basics of winning at no-limit hold’em with the help of over 30 appropriate and creative exercises. The aim of this book is not to turn an already very good player into an expert. The aim is to take a regular Joe (or Jane) and make him or her good enough to beat social and recreational games. Poker is a lot more fun when you are winning and this book will give you the tools to enable you to win.

Can a former semi-pro win against the best poker players in the world? In 2006, Johnny’s pie-in-the-sky dreams of becoming world champion were dashed when his kings ran into aces in the World Series of Poker Main Event. But lady luck was with him when he met Amy, the woman of his dreams, who soon became his wife. Like many players, he drifted away from the game after Congress passed a law later that year that cut off funds to online poker and harkened the decline of the game. But even as Johnny returned to the working world, the itch remained.

A decade later, now with two small kids in tow, Johnny convinces Amy to take a six-week family trip from their home in rural Alabama to Las Vegas, where he will risk his $10,000 bankroll in hopes of playing in the Main Event again and winning millions. Along the way, he examines how the game has changed since 2006. Although the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was the beginning of the end of the poker boom, the game still thrives, and the WSOP is Exhibit A. Johnny also muses on the outlandishness of the adult fairyland that is Vegas.

by Matt Matros (2019, independently published)

Chasing Poker Greatness podcast listeners will remember Mr. Matt Matros from Chasing Poker Greatness episode #76.

“Poker is the only game I know where you can read one book and then hold your own against the best players in the world. The Game Plan is that book.” – Ed Miller, author of nine poker books including The Course.

Drawing from the most important strategic ideas in poker and distilling them into a rubric anyone can follow, The Game Plan allows home game players and other amateurs to vastly improve their tournament poker in weeks or even days. In addition to listing the rules by which such players should abide, the book also features 14 World Series of Poker Main Event hands from Matt’s playing history, and shows how The Game Plan would have dealt with them. This book offers its readers the quickest route to poker competence.

Matt Matros has won three World Series of Poker championship bracelets. He is also the author of the strategy memoir The Making of a Poker Player, along with more than 100 columns for CardPlayer Magazine.

“Matt’s advice is very strategic, allowing aspiring players to focus on building a foundation for their poker success. Matt uses lots of quizzes and examples to illustrate concepts, and he is also passionate about language. It shows in the fluid, no-nonsense prose style.” – Jennifer Shahade, chess champion & author

by Marv Karlins (2018, published by Cardoza Publishing)

This inspiring real-life story of an amateur player putting his whole $50,000 bankroll on the line and finally getting a shot to chase his lifelong dream of winning a championship at the World Series of Poker, plays out over the brutal Las Vegas realities of fate, luck, and the fickle turn of a card.

What’s it really like to live the life of a poker professional? Marvin Karlins, aspiring World Series of Poker champion, is determined to find out, at least for the summer of 2017 when he lives the dream, sweats the nightmares, and goes for broke at the WSOP.  Written in brutal candidness and self-deprecating humor, Karlins’ odyssey inspires both dread and awe as he puts his $50,000 bankroll on the line to fulfill a lifelong dream of winning a bracelet. Along the way, he dispenses valuable advice for winning at poker—and in life.

How does he fare? He gives it his all on a chip and a prayer. Phil Hellmuth, Jr., 14-time WSOP winner says A Chip and a Prayer is, “An entertaining ride deep into the World Series of Poker… this book is clever cover-to-cover!”

by Andrew Brokos (2019, self-published)

Think game theory is abstract and incomprehensible? Think again! Play Optimal Poker shatters the myth that game theory is only for elite poker players. Renowned poker pro and coach Andrew Brokos takes you step-by-step through the fundamentals, explaining core game theory principles and how to apply them in real poker situations. Whether you play small stakes or high stakes, cash games or tournaments, Play Optimal Poker provides powerful new tools to help you navigate tricky situations, hold your own against the toughest competition, and exploit common mistakes. Once you understand the fundamentals of game theory, you’ll approach the poker table with the confidence to handle anything the game can throw at you.

You will learn how to use powerful game theory concepts like equilibrium and indifference, apply game theory principles to everyday poker decisions, build polarized and condensed ranges, profit from both aggression and passivity, manipulate your ranges to exploit common mistakes, and hold your own against world-class opponents.

Andrew Brokos has been a professional poker player for more than fifteen years, with hundreds of thousands in cash game winnings, final tables in major online tournament series, and three Top 100 finishes in the World Series of Poker Main Event. As a coach and host of the popular Thinking Poker Podcast, Andrew is widely regarded for his ability to explain complex concepts in terms anyone can understand.

We’re happy to have interviewed Andrew Brokos in detail multiple times on the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast, in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #68 and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #157.

by Collin Moshman & Katie Dozier (2020, published by

Published by, Become A Winning Poker Player In 30 Days is an interactive training course written by poker experts and designed to help beginner and intermediate poker players improve their overall game. The course covers everything from understanding pot odds and EV, to the art of the check-raise, and defending the big blind.

Intended to be taken over a series of 30 days, each progressive lesson is accompanied by a video, where authors Collin Moshman and Katie Dozier build on each daily topic with extra explanations, hand reviews, tips, and quizzes. The course is an amazing way to learn how to play like the best poker players around.

Ace King is a massively profitable hand. In fact, AK is in the top-5 percent of winning hands and accounts for a good chunk of your win rate. But despite that fact, many players are confused about how to approach this hand. Should you 3bet it preflop, or just call it? Should you play the suited and offsuit versions the same, or differently? Should you c-bet with air, or check instead? And how many streets of value is top pair really worth?

Most players struggle with AK due to small leaks in their strategy. So Optimizing Ace King (OAK) doesn’t look to give you a bunch of memorized plays and tactics. Instead, OAK shows you how AK fits within your strategy and ranges. This prepares you for playing AK, among other hands, in a variety of spots and under a variety of conditions.

James “SplitSuit” Sweeney and Adam “W34Z3L” Jones co-wrote Optimizing Ace King to take an in-depth look at poker strategy through the lens of a single hand. Concepts include 3-betting, 4-betting, c-betting, barreling, GTO vs. exploitative play, and deducing lines from GTO solver output.

You will play AK 99.9 percent of the time you are dealt it, and since it makes up such a large chunk of your win rate, doesn’t it make sense to strengthen your approach with it? Each chapter builds upon the last, walking you through preflop play, flop play (when you hit, miss, and flop draws), and turn + river play. Plus there is an entire chapter full of examples and a chapter dedicated strictly to tournaments. If your win rate with AK could use a boost, invest a few chips and see the ROI in no time at all!

Chasing Poker Greatness podcast listeners will fondly remember our interview with James “Splitsuit” Sweeney back in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #56.

by Martin Harris  (2019, published by D&B Poker)


Introduced shortly after the United States declared its independence, poker’s growth and development has paralleled that of America itself. As a gambling game with mass appeal, poker has been played by presidents and peasants, at kitchen tables and final tables, for matchsticks and millions.

First came the hands, then came the stories – some true, some pure bluffs, and many in between. In Poker & Pop Culture: Telling the Story of America’s Favorite Card Game, Martin Harris shares these stories while chronicling poker’s progress from 19th-century steamboats and saloons to 21st-century virtual tables online, including: Poker on the Mississippi, Poker in the Movies, Poker in the Old West, Poker on the Newsstand, Poker in the Civil War, Poker in Literature, Poker on the Bookshelf, Poker in Music, Poker in the White House, Poker on Television, Poker During Wartime, and Poker on the Computer.

From Mark Twain to “Dogs Playing Poker” to W.C. Fields to John Wayne to A Streetcar Named Desire to the Cold War to Kenny Rogers to ESPN to Star Trek: The Next Generation and beyond, Poker & Pop Culture provides a comprehensive survey of cultural productions in which poker is of thematic importance, showing how the game’s portrayal in the mainstream has increased poker’s relevance to American history and shaped the way we think about the game and its significance.

In Play Poker Like the Pros, poker master Phil Hellmuth, Jr., demonstrates exactly how to play and win – even if you have never picked up a deck of cards – the modern games of poker, including: Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven-Card Stud, and Razz.

Phil Hellmuth, Jr., a seven-time World Champion of Poker, presents his tournament-tested strategies to beat any type of player, including: The Jackal (crazy and unpredictable), The Elephant (plays too many hands), The Mouse (plays very conservatively), and The Lion (skilled and tough to beat).

Play Poker Like the Pros begins by laying out the rules and set-up of each game and then moves on to easy-to-follow basic and advanced strategies. Hellmuth teaches exactly which hands to play, when to bluff, when to raise, and when to fold. In addition Hellmuth provides techniques for reading other players and staying cool under pressure. There are also special chapters on how to beat online poker games and an inside look at tournament play.

The Poker Brat himself, Phil Hellmuth, joined us in the early days of the podcast, on Chasing Poker Greatness episode #31.

by Eli Elezra (2019, published by Two Plus Two Publishing)

Eli Elezra was kind enough to appear on the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast, in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #128.

What does it take to become a top poker player who regularly plays in some of the largest stakes games offered in the Las Vegas Poker Rooms and elsewhere? Of course, everyone’s story is a little different. But one of the more unique and interesting ones belongs to poker pro and businessman Eli Elezra.

The text begins with Eli taking his seat at the final table of the 2004 Mirage Poker Showdown Tournament which was part of the World Poker Tour, during which Eli wins for just over $1 million. But the real story begins a little later when we read about Eli’s childhood in a rough Jerusalem neighborhood, and from there to fighting in the 1982 Israeli/Lebanon War, to gutting salmon on an assembly line at a cannery in Alaska, to becoming a regular in some of the highest stakes poker games ever played in Las Vegas and elsewhere, and some of his other tournament play and success, as well as the many downturns that a life in poker has to offer. In addition, we get to meet many people along the way, including some of the most famous poker players of all time, including Chip Reese and Doyle Brunson, as well as discussion of many of the key poker hands that Eli played throughout the years.

If you’re a poker player, this should be a fascinating read. And if you don t play poker, after reading Eli’s life story, you’ll probably want to become one.

by Alton Hardin (2016, published by MicroGrinder Poker School)

The new Expanded Edition of Essential Poker Math includes: more than 150 pages of new material with greatly expanded content and 4 new chapters, over 75 carefully devised practice and example poker hands that are analyzed in great detail, and free enrollment into the Essential Poker Math e-learning online video training course.

Poker math is a vitally important aspect to No Limit Holdem poker, but it’s often overlooked or simply not used because many poker players fear it is too difficult to learn. I’m here to tell you it is not. In fact, fundamental poker math is very easy to learn. More importantly, it can yield you a lot more profits at the poker table. Without using simple math at the poker table, you are simply playing a guessing game.

In this book we’ll teach you how to use simple arithmetic at the poker table to gain a huge skill advantage over your opponents that will allow you to win more and lose less. Poker players that don’t use math are simply guessing and you’ll learn to no longer guess and know the correct mathematical move at the poker table. These simple mathematical concepts we’ll be teaching you will drastically help improve your poker game and allow you to make the most profitable decisions at the poker table.

First you’ll be introduced to several fundamental overarching poker concepts that apply to poker mathematics. Then we’ll begin our journey into poker mathematics where you’ll learn about fundamental poker mathematics, including probabilities and odds, pot equity, pot odds, implied odds, the Rule of 2 and 4, expected value (EV), and much more. We’ll then embark on a journey of learning about important pre-flop and post-flop poker mathematical concepts such as pre-flop all-in situations, set-mining, steal attempts, 3-bet bluffing, betting with the best hand, semi-bluffing all-in, bluffs, and hero calls. Lastly, you’ll learn how to perform basic and intermediate expected value calculations and utilize card combinations, better known as combinatorics.

In Essential Poker Math, Expanded Edition: Fundamental No-Limit Hold’em Mathematics You Need to Know, you’ll learn how to effectively understand & utilize essential poker math, develop a keen understanding of probability and odds, learn to quickly calculate pot odds and implied odds at the poker table, effectively use pot equity and the Rule of 2 & 4 to determine the correct poker play, understand how to use Expected Value (EV) both on and off the table to analyze your plays, understand how to properly set mine, steal and 3-bet bluff with basic mathematics, learn the important math behind bluffs and hero calls to give you a skill advantage over your opponent, learn to utilize EV calculations to analyze your previous play off the table, and learn to leverage card combinations to further enhance your card reading abilities and develop balanced ranges.

Suitable for both beginning and experienced poker players alike, you’ll learn many essential fundamental poker mathematical concepts that’ll help you drastically improve your poker game. After reading this book, you’ll have mastered fundamental No Limit Holdem mathematics. You’ll have gained a huge skill advantage over your opponents and will be able to effectively use math at the poker table to make profitable moves. Most importantly, you’ll become a much better and profitable poker player!

by Chris Moneymaker (2005, published by It Books)

In 2004 the number of entrants — and the winning pool — at the World Series of Poker tripled, thanks in large part to Chris Moneymaker, an amateur player who came out of nowhere to win the 2003 Series, and prove to newcomers and poker pros alike that anything is possible with a chip and a chair.

Moneymaker was a young accountant from Tennessee who loved to gamble but only took up cards after college. Three years later he was playing a $40 game of online Texas Hold ‘Em and won a coveted seat at the 2003 World Series of Poker. Borrowing money to get to Las Vegas, he entered his first real-time tournament and spent the next four days battling for a top spot at the final table.

Filled with everything from his early gambling ventures to a play-by-play of his major hands at the World Series of Poker, Moneymaker is a gripping, fast-paced story for anyone who has ever dreamed of winning it big.

by Doyle Brunson & Mike Cochran (2012, published by Cardoza Publishing)

The Godfather of Poker is a fascinating true-life adventure of an American treasure: a man who bluffed death, survived the mean streets of Fort Worth and mob-run Las Vegas, and bet millions of dollars on everything from poker to golf to become a two-time world champion poker player.

The story of Doyle Brunson, an American treasure and the greatest poker player of all time, is one for the ages. It’s a story of guts and glory, of good luck and bad, of triumph and unspeakable tragedy, of courage and grace. He has survived whippings, gun fights, stabbings, mobsters (the real-life ones portrayed in the movie Casino), murderers, and a death sentence when, riddled with incurable cancer, he was given months to live by doctors who told him his hand was played out. Apparently, fate had never played poker with Brunson—he lived.

Of a group of 32 men he played poker with in the tough alleys of Texas, just he and one other survived the treacherous perils of that life. A master of the bluff, his most outrageous bluff came after being pistol-whipped and told he’s going to die with a gunman pointing a pistol at his forehead. Again, he lived.

He’s gambled for millions of dollars—and with his life–against the real-life mobsters and killers made famous in the movie Casino. Doyle Brunson was also the biggest sports bettor in the world with a reputation of betting enormous sums of money on just about anything. Doyle has not only made more money at golf than anyone else until Tiger Woods came along, he once bet one million dollars on a single hole – when he was virtually wheelchair-bound and could barely stand.

He’s been hard-up flat broke more times than he’s got fingers and has won millions of dollars just as many times. Brunson has seen it all: from the athletic dreams and a leg shattered by a freak injury which waylaid his path to the NBA (he was drafted by the Lakers), to the devastating death of his first-born daughter, to outrageous exploits like trying to discover Noah’s Ark and raise the Titanic.

Doyle’s rollercoaster of a life defines the saying, “truth is stranger than fiction”. Twice a winner of the prestigious World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, he’s won millions and lost millions—sometimes in seconds—but decidedly more of the former than the latter. Brunson can still be found playing in the highest stakes poker games in the world, often with as much as one million dollars in front of him. To every one of the 250 million people worldwide who play poker each year, Doyle Brunson is the legendary “Babe Ruth of Poker” — the greatest gambler and poker player who has ever lived and without a doubt The Godfather of Poker.

by Daniel Negreanu (2008, published by Cardoza Publishing)

This power-packed book on beating no-limit hold’em is one of the three most influential poker books ever written. Negreanu headlines a collection of young, great players: Todd Brunson, David Williams, Erick Lindgren, Evelyn Ng, and Paul Wasicka – who share their insider professional moves and winning secrets. You’ll learn about short-handed and heads-up play, high-limit cash games, a powerful beginner’s strategy to neutralize professional players, how to mix up your play, bluff, and win big pots.

The centerpiece, however, is Negreanu’s powerful and revolutionary small ball strategy. You’ll learn how to play hold’em with cards you never would have played before, and with fantastic results. The preflop, flop, turn, and river will never look the same again. Power Hold’em Strategy is a must-have.

by James McManus (2009, published by Farrar, Straus, & Giroux)

From James McManus, author of the bestselling Positively Fifth Street, comes the definitive story of the game that, more than any other, reflects who we are and how we operate.

Cowboys Full is the story of poker, from its roots in China, the Middle East, and Europe to its ascent as a global—but especially an American—phenomenon. It describes how early Americans took a French parlor game and, with a few extra cards and an entrepreneurial spirit, turned it into a national craze by the time of the Civil War. From the kitchen-table games of ordinary citizens to its influence on generals and diplomats, poker has gone hand in hand with our national experience. Presidents from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama have deployed poker and its strategies to explain policy, to relax with friends, to negotiate treaties and crises, and as a political networking tool. The ways we all do battle and business are echoed by poker tactics: cheating and thwarting cheaters, leveraging uncertainty, bluffing and sussing out bluffers, and managing risk and reward.

Cowboys Full shows how what was once accurately called the cheater’s game has become a mostly honest contest of cunning, mathematical precision, and luck. It explains how poker, formerly dominated by cardsharps, is now the most popular card game in Europe, East Asia, Australia, South America, and cyberspace, as well as on television. It combines colorful history with firsthand experience from today’s professional tour. And it examines poker’s remarkable hold on American culture, from paintings by Frederic Remington to countless poker novels, movies, and plays. Braiding the thrill of individual hands with new ways of seeing poker’s relevance to our military, diplomatic, business, and personal affairs, Cowboys Full is sure to become the classic account of America’s favorite pastime.

by Victoria Coren (2009, published by Canongate UK)

In September 2006, Victoria Coren won a million dollars on the European Poker Tour. In her long-awaited memoir, she tells the story of that victory, but also of a 20-year obsession with the game. It is a journey which has taken Coren from a secret culture of illegal cash games to the high-stakes glamor of Las Vegas and Monte Carlo, and brought with it friendship, laughter, and money, but also loneliness, heartbreak, and defeat. With disarming honesty, Coren lays all of this bare.

For Richer, For Poorer also tells the story of the poker revolution. How did this cult card game, populated by a small community of colorful and eccentric players, move from the back streets to the mainstream in a few short years? It is a fascinating story from a trusted insider.

by Zachary Elwood (2012, published by Via Regia)

Zachary Elwood has been a friend of the Chasing Poker Greatness podcast for some time now, appearing in Chasing Poker Greatness episode #51 and Chasing Poker Greatness episode #140.

Reading Poker Tells has been called the best book on poker tells by many players, both amateur and professional. The book catalogs many of the most common poker-related behavioral patterns and gives psychological explanations for why these patterns exist. More importantly, the book gives a mental framework for analyzing and remembering poker tells. It also contains tips for deceiving and manipulating opponents, and methods for staying unreadable. The author’s blog and ebook are available at

by Eileen Sutton (2016, published by Weldon Owen)

Play like a pro with this guide full of strategies, tactics, and techniques from the experts! Eileen Sutton has been writing about—and winning at—poker for over a decade. Now she joins with the experts at Card Player magazine to demystify the game and detail everything you need to know, whether you’re sitting down to a friendly kitchen-table game or hoping to compete in the high-stakes world of multimillion dollar tournaments. The Total Poker Manual is packed with the strategies, tactics, and techniques needed to beat opponents in Texas Hold’em, Draw and Stud.

From the basics of each type of game and the hands needed to win, to insider tips such as specific strategies for different versions and how to beat the odds, these skills and many more are accompanied by some of the most fascinating poker stories in history, from the riverboat gamblers to today’s international star players. Detailed sections cover how to play online, in casinos, and in tournaments large or small, as well as how to run a game for fun at home. You’ll also get insider tips from the following poker experts: Vanessa Selbst, Linda Johnson, Matt Matros, Jennifer Harman, Ed Miller, Maria Ho, Xuan Liu, Leo Margets, Jared Tendler, Randy Lew, Tommy Angelo, Brian Rast, Kelly Minkin, and James Sweeney.

by Jesse May (1998, published by Anchor)

In 1987, there was legalized poker in Nevada and in one county of California. Author Jesse May was seventeen years old and already hooked. By 1996, poker could be legally played in casinos in over twenty states of the union and five countries in Europe. Legalization changed the face of poker, and as the game came of age, so did May, who by 1989 had dropped out of the University of Chicago after one year due to irreconcilable differences between Tuesday- and Thursday-morning classes and Monday- and Wednesday-night poker games.

Based on his experiences in the strange world of poker, May’s debut novel Shut Up and Deal is the story of a nontraditional ’90s slacker, a dropout with an incurable obsession and incredible stamina, who makes a career in a profession where the only goals are to stay in action and to not go broke. In Shut Up and Deal, a professional poker player takes readers along on his adventures over several years in and out of casinos and card rooms in locales such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and Amsterdam.

Told in a catching, likable voice, Shut Up and Deal offers up one rip-roaring poker table drama after another, with narrator Mickey ultimately finding himself in a spot that jeopardizes his entire bankroll and calls into question his morals, such as they are. In rhythmic, high-octane prose that is as addictive as the game it describes, Shut Up and Deal zooms in on the swirling, feverish microcosm of the contemporary poker world from its very first line and never cuts away.

From the man who literally CREATED the poker ebook market, Let There Be Range offers serious-minded players a high-level yet accessible discussion of no-limit hold’em cash game strategy and theory. Self-made poker millionaires Cole South and Tri Nguyen will show you the concepts they used to win millions playing poker.

You will learn: how to CRUSH poker like Cole and Tri, how to use combinatorics to figure out your opponents’ hole cards, how to avoid making common mistakes that cost you thousands of dollars, how to exploit your opponents with this powerful move, how to play creatively and put your opponents in tough spots, how to avoid playing your hands face-up, how to make monster calls and huge bluffs, how to play JJ profitably in a less than minute, how Cole and Tri employ world-renown poker strategies to become millionaires before turning 25 years old… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are more than 50 advanced tactics covered, all proven to work under the Las Vegas bright lights, the New York underground games, the internet, the college dorms, the kitchen home games, and much more.

You don’t need advanced math or a high IQ to crush poker. You need the right strategies and that’s exactly what Let There Be Range delivers. Order today. Our millionaire club awaits you.

by Jane Stanton Hitchcock (2019, published by Poisoned Pen Press)

Bluff was the winner of the 2019 Dashiell Hammett Prize for Literary Excellence in Crime Writing.

Bluff: A Noir Crime Thriller is a triumphant and thrilling return. Not only can Hitchcock stage a murder mystery that’s as comedic as it is clever, but she also skewers the social elite―a world in which she grew up―with a satirical touch that’s both razor-sharp and subtly sympathetic.” ― The Strand Magazine

From New York Times bestselling author Jane Stanton Hitchcock comes a noir crime thriller full of wit, charm, and intrigue. For Maud Warner, the only way to get revenge is at the poker table―and she likes her odds. Her fervent passion for poker has taught Maud that she can turn weakness into strength to take advantage of people who think they are taking advantage of her, and now she has dealt the first card in her high-stakes plan for revenge.

One unexpected twist after another follows as Maud plays a deadly game of poker. The stakes? To take down her enemies and get justice for their victims. Her success depends on her continuing ability to pull off the biggest bluff of her life―and on who will fold. Can she win?

by Anthony Holden (2002, published by Abacus)

The story of a year spent by biographer Anthony Holden in the tough world of the professional poker player. He spent days and nights in the poker paradise of Las Vegas, Malta, and Morocco. Even shipboard, he was mingling with the legendary greats, sharpening his game, perfecting his repartee, and learning a great deal about himself in the process.

Poker, Holden would insist, is not gambling. Like chess, it is a paradigm of life at its most intense, a gladiatorial contest that brings out the best as well as the worst in people. Its heroes, its eccentrics, and its comedians stalk the pages of this book, along with all the hair-raising, nail-biting excitement of the games themselves. Big Deal: One Year as a Professional Poker Player is reissued with a new introduction by the author.

by Mike Matusow (2012, published by Cardoza Publishing)

The tumultuous rags to riches, fame to fortune, dream to nightmare autobiography of the most volatile and colorful poker player in the world, fan and media favorite Mike “The Mouth” Matusow. Check-Raising the Devil has it all: drugs, sex, partying like a rock star, jail, suicidal depression, bipolar bouts, and world championship poker.

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, one of the top professional poker players in the world (with over $6 million in tournament earnings) has become more than just a household name. He’s a favorite among the millions of television viewers who have come to count on his outrageously candid comments, emotional outbursts, and constant taunts that affirm the aptness of his nickname and make for great television theater. A rags-to-riches success story, Matusow’s life has been as much nightmare as it has been dream. His struggle with undiagnosed bipolar and ADHD disorders led to self-medication with illegal drugs, such as crystal meth and ecstasy, and a tumultuous descent in the drug-fueled Las Vegas club scene. As drug use turned to drug abuse, Matusow’s descent, taking his multi-million dollar bankroll along, went on the downward spiral that led to an arrest for a narcotics buy and the specter of a ten-year prison term (subsequently plea bargained down to a six month jail sentence).

The Mouth’s story in Check-Raising the Devil is a high stakes rollercoaster ride featuring an insider’s view of some of the world’s largest poker tournaments, unbearable depression and suicidal tendencies, the Las Vegas party scene, rock star-like excess, outrageous antics, drug abuse, jail, and, in many ways, salvation. And through the worst of it, Matusow’s phenomenal talent and tenacity prevailed; there was never a year that Mike failed to make a final table in a World Series of Poker event. This memoir is funny, outspoken and brash, while humbly and painfully honest about the highs and lows of poker, life, and the odyssey of overcoming psychological illness in a bastion of pressure and temptation. There is also a foreword by Phil Hellmuth, 11-time World Series of Poker bracelet holder.

And there we have it: the totally not at all controversial list of the 64 Best Poker Books to Read in 2023! Be sure to use the promo codes for special discounts exclusive to the Chasing Poker Greatness community. Tell ‘em CPG sentcha!