Making The Final Table - Erick Lindgren

(ISBN: 006076306X)
Price: £7.19, Pages: 224
Rating: 7
Review by AndrewT
Submitted by: snoopy on Wed, 28/12/2005 - 2:17am
Jessica was a very sweet girl. She was the older sister of my younger brother's best mate. We met on a night out at the pub and got chatting about Marx Brothers films. I'd never met a girl who was into Groucho's brethren before. In an all too short time, we had discussion of Duck Soup, Horse Feathers and Animal Crackers. Fortunately, my female interaction skills had already advanced to a stage where, by the end of the evening, I had secured a phone number. A proper date followed a few days later.

We briefly skimmed over the previously covered conversational terrain before venturing onto pastures new. Sadly, here, the discursive seed fell upon stony ground, as we fell into the gender stereotypes of seventeen year-olds. Her only other cultural references were New Kids on the Block and Claire's Accessories whereas I could talk about nothing other than QPR and The Simpsons. There was nothing more I could learn from her, her moments of insightful input into my world were exhausted and there was no second date, as the first tailed off into a cascade of forced pleasantaries.

Erick Lindgren is a young fellow, with features angular. With two WPT titles under his belt, and a further three WPT final tables to his name, the blond Californian now wishes to guide us towards final table glory at a major championship event with his book 'Making the Final Table'.

Things start off superbly well. He offers the insight that, when playing in a super-satellite for a big event, you only need two-thirds of the final average stack to get your seat, due to the large number of short stacks who will be holding on by their fingertips to make the next level. This critical adjustment in tournament strategy appears in Chapter One.

The following chapter really whets the appetite, especially for those who have read the new poker bible of Harrington on Hold'em. Dan Harrington's book is the most insightful poker book written in the last twenty years. Whilst Harrington's views on the game cement many key tournament concepts in print for the first time, he is firmly of the 'protect your chips at all costs' school. Lindgren has no truck with such sentiments. Chapter Two rams home the point that tournament poker is all about accumulating chips, as these are your ammunition in the poker tournament war. EV is to the fore, as Erick advocates preying on taking advantage of +EV situations, even if this jeopardises your tournament because, in the long run, it will be in your favour.

From here on though, the seam is less rich for mining. Erick guides us through a WPT tournament, taking us through what we should do at each stage of the multi-day event. However, it's all advice I've read before elsewhere. Common faults from opponents (such as limit players only betting the minimum in an no-limit tournament) are exploited but I never got the end-of-Wizard-of Oz style revelation which makes me think I've been admitted to a Freemason lodge of verboten poker knowledge.

The actual hardcore poker advice ends on page 113. There then follows a how-to-spend-your-money-when-you-win section and a fantastically useless statistics section (like we couldn't find out the WPT all-time money leaders on our own on the internet) before we hit a Poker Math section written by Matt Matros.

After a perfunctory slice of odds discusssion there is an enlightening piece about why AK is a reraising hand in NL hold'em (Ironside vindicated?) along with an examination of inducing a bluff from an opponent. At page 180 we are into the acknowledgements.

This book is part of the WPT series of books (following from Phil Gordon's effort earlier in the year) and so is aimed at a more novice audience. There is certainly insight here for anyone who has not read any of Dan Harrington's books, though I would certainly steer any aspiring WPT champs towards Action Dan's treatises to gain a fuller understanding of the nuances of tournament poker.

The book is slim and cheap, and would make for an entertaining evening.
A bit like some girls I've known in the past.

Blondepoker rating - seven out of ten (assuming you haven't read any of Dan Harrington's books, five out of ten if you have).
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