Forget Poker Books Claims Daniel Negreanu

1 week ago
Forget Poker Books Claims Daniel Negreanu
13:18
12 Feb

Books have remained pretty much unchanged since the scroll went the way of the dinosaur in the the Early Middle Ages. If something was worth knowing and you knew it, you put it down on paper. If you needed to know something, you got yourself a library card.

Daniel Negreanu however feels like as far as poker learning goes, the codex is dead. When asked for book recommendations by one Senor Floppy of Twitter, Negreanu’s reply was: watch Twitch.


It’s probably not bad advice – for centuries chess and go players have learned by looking over the annotated games of the great and the good, learning by watching talented minds working. 



Switch to Twitch

While Negreanu’s particular recommendations carry a whiff of cronyism – everyone on his list also has a sponsorship deal with Stars – but is not a bad list to start with. If you want a list that’s less corporate, we’ve done a number of articles on Twitch streamers here at PokerTube and there’s plenty of recs in the replies to his original tweet.

The Tweet does come at an odd time with many players moving from Twitch to YouTube over the last year, and eschewing the stream for pre-edited vlogs; but Twitch remains a huge archive of hand-by-hand analysis both in real time and in retrospective replay modes. 

The idea that internet resources might do more for your game than books, is certainly worth looking at.


The Death of Books

The question of what the role of books in a poker player’s arsenal is seems increasingly vexed. Forums provide such a wide variety of written resources, Youtube and Twitch cover video, and Podcasts the audio. It sometimes feels that – apart from a few books like The Theory of Poker which serve as a kind of FAQ– there’s not much new being printed that is worth the price tag.

As sources of entertainment nonfiction poker-books like Painless Poker and Qui Nguyen’s Vietnam to Vegas are excellent, but are a little diluted by the format as sourcebooks for improved poker. It may just be that the modern Twitter-addled mind does better with the colours and lights of a video stream. Maybe.

What do you think? Is there still a place for Super/System 2 in your poker syllabus or do find you do most of your learning in places like Twitch.


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Jon is a freelance writer and novelist who learned to play poker after watching Rounders in year 9. He has been giving away his beer money at cards ever since. Currently he is based in Bristol where he makes sporadic donations to the occasional live tournament or drunken late night Zoom session. He ...Read more

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