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Harrington On Hold’em Book Review

Posted by David Cowell on July 26, 2010 at 12:24 GMT

Harrington on Hold´em: Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments

“Harrington on Hold´em” is a trilogy of books especially written for No Limit Texas Hold´em tournaments, rather than focusing on ring games, and in this respect is unique insomuch as it takes you through opening strategies during a tournament, the way to close the endgame and a series of exercises to enable the reader to apply what they have learnt.

Co-author, Dan Harrington is well qualified to express his opinions in these fields, being World Poker Champion in 1995 and still the only player to make it to the final WSOP Main Event table two years in succession He and partner Bill Roberthie, write straightforward, accessible instructions to guide you through successful tournament play, regularly referring to the importance of calculating odds and outs, but in such a manner that it is easily comprehensible.

Volume 1: Strategic Play

When you first start a poker tournament, live or online, you are probably facing thousands of other people with the same goal – to be there at the end. Harrington explains the differences between the professional and amateur psyche, how players should prepare for a game, and highlights differences between playing in a live scenario and online. He capably demonstrates positional play, continuation betting and blind stealing in a tournament environment by dissecting and reconstructing a series of examples, and then closing the chapter with an exercise to ensure that the lesson has been understood.

This first volume covers the topics of starting requirements, reading the table, pot odds, hand analysis, pre-flop and post-flop betting, showing both correct and incorrect solutions to each problem poised and explaining the reasoning behind the answers – a valuable tool for the novice or most experienced tournament player.

Volume 2: The Endgame

The Endgame is the natural progression from the first book, and expands on the topics covered in the first book, as well as covering elements such as increasing your aggression as the tournament proceeds towards its conclusion. Harrington introduces the concept of “zoning”, which involves calculating the size of your bet in relation to the value of your chip stack over the value of the blinds, and ends each chapter with simply written examples and exercises to ensure that the content has been absorbed.

Although the three books of the series should be read in the order that they were produced, any player who regularly competes in SnGs or MTTS will find the lessons in this volume of particular relevance.

Volume 3: The Workbook

This third episode is more than just a revision class. It is a humorous look at hand analysis and practices based on the hands of such notable stars of poker as Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and 11 times WSOP bracelet winner, Phil Hellmuth. You get your opportunity to answer questions such as “What happens next?”, with the answers revealed in an eye-opening “Catergorising Your Errors” chapter at the back of the book.

This final book should not be overlooked, as it is a necessary accompaniment to the first two initial volumes for the player who wants to progress in his/her tournament play.

“Harrington on Hold´em” is considered by many people to be the finest series compiled on tournament poker play, and the books can be purchased individually or as a complete set on

Vol 1: – Strategic Play ISBN-13: 978-1880685334 Published Dec 2004 381 Pages

Vol 2: – The Endgame ISBN-13: 978-1880685358 Published June 2005 450 pages

Vol 3: – The Workbook ISBN-13: 978-1880685365 Published May 2006 350 pages