The Making Of A Poker Player - Matt Matros

(ISBN: 1843440237)
Price: £8.39,
Rating: 8
Review by Bigfella
Submitted by: on Fri, 03/08/2007 - 4:09am
In recent years we have seen a steady supply of new poker books coming onto the market, with varying degrees of quality. One of the challenges for poker authors is how to appeal to an audience who have read the Super System and Harrington series many times over - after all, there really are only so many times you can be advised on how to play pocket Aces pre-flop! It was therefore a pleasure to read The Making Of A Poker Player as this book is far more than a simple strategy guide.

Many people in poker, and I fall into this category for sure, are on a hopeful journey. We slowly move from freerolls to low stakes, then start to play the odd live game, and hope that one day we will end up alongside the poker stars on the final table of a major televised event. Matt Matros was no different, and his book is a compelling tale of how his poker career developed. Fortunately, Matt is as good an author as he is a poker player, and you will find yourself keen to turn the pages as he takes you through key hands in various tournaments and cash games, spelling out the action from pre-flop through to the River.
In many ways, it is similar to Big Deal in that it covers the author's attempts to take down a big tourney, but a major difference is the determination of Matt to analyse key hands and talk through in depth the decision making process. For this reason, you get the best of both worlds - to a poker fan this is a novel that will have you glued to finding out if Matt is about to win or lose a crucial pot, but it also doubles up as a strategy guide with the detailed discussions on various hands.

Matt takes you through early tournaments in his career - I particularly enjoyed reading about the empty seat to his left which was eventually filled by Phil Helmuth - the way Matt describes his clash with the Poker Brat is compelling and his enthusiasm and love of poker comes through very clearly. He also comes across many other established pros, including Greg Raymer (before he won the WSOP) and Howard Lederer, and the reader's knowledge of these players adds to the anticipation.

Matt also talks about his annual outings to "FARGO", which I can best describe as an American version of the blonde Bash. A real mix of characters, plenty of poker and some tremendous stories, but alas no Tikay!!

Does Matt eventually take down the big one? Well, I wont spoil that part for you. I do however highly recommend this book for anyone interested in poker generally, and if you're looking for a good novel to read on the beach this summer ditch Barbara Cartland in favour of this!
I give it 8 blonde stars out of 10.
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