Few would argue that Doyle Brunson is one of the greatest poker players who has ever lived. His exploits and expertise at the table are legendary. He has twice won the main event at the World Series of Poker, and is sixth on the WSOP all-time money list, despite not playing in the event since 1998. When “Texas Dolly” talks poker, wise people listen. According to Doyle is a collection of his tales aggregated from the pages of Gambling Times and Poker Player.
If the book were written by another writer, I’d probably call it a collection of essays, but these are most definitely stories, and one can easily imagine the author leaning back and reciting the events this book chronicles in the same manner that storytellers have done since before the age of Homer. Each story has a message for poker players using one or more examples from Brunson’s past. They way the author approaches poker may be “old school”, but his understanding of the game cannot be questioned, and his advice is timeless.
Through his writing we also get a glimpse of the life of the professional ligaz11 poker player before the explosion of casino poker that has occurred over the last 20 years. Today, most poker professionals play in a public card room, with good security and often with table-side food service and several games to choose from. In the days when Brunson was accumulating his bankroll, it was all illegal or quasi-legal home games, marathon sessions, and the constant risk of being “hijacked”. It was a different world with which today’s poker players are largely unfamiliar. In According to Doyle we get a feel for what those days were like, and I feel fortunate that we have this record.
Other reviewers of this book have commented that while it is entertaining, this book won’t help a person improve their game much. While there are certainly better books for improving the quality of the reader’s poker game, I believe that more than a little wisdom can be found in Brunson’s stories. If the reader is looking for advice on how to play certain hands in certain situations, they won’t find any in this book. If a player wants to get inside the mind of a poker champion, to find out what makes a great player tick, and to see how they approach the game …