Phil Hellmuth might very well be one of the world’s most accomplished poker players. The inconsistencies throughout Play Poker Like the Pros, however, fail to rival his consistency of making money.
Reading this book is undoubtedly a gamble, and such should only be tempted by a polished veteran or a true skeptic. At first, it seems to be geared towards the novice player, but, as one reads on, it just doesn’t seem to fit that role very well. There is plenty of good material to help improve a beginner’s game, but there is enough dicey content to require a blatant warning. This book lacks so much necessary information that it alone is not strong enough to accomplish what Hellmuth suggests in its title. Hellmuth tries to cover too many aspects of poker in one book and, as a result, most of his thoughts and ideas are incomplete.
Many of the suggestions that he makes in this book are taken completely out of context. Hellmuth makes too many assumptions about low-limit poker and, for that reason, some of his theories are ill advised. With respect to the likelihood of circumstances that frequently occur in low-limit cash games, many of his methods can easily be misconstrued by a less-experienced poker player. The content is lacking in thoroughness, and although there are many decent points being made, the reader will oftentimes need to fill in the gaps.
Play Poker Like the Pros preaches the hyper-aggressive gameplan utilized by most professionals, but Hellmuth fails to make changes concerning lower limit games. It is highly doubtful that anyone can even remember the last time that they were heads-up at the casino in a full 4-8 game, or the last time that they were able to steamroll low-limit players. The book should be read with the intentions of gaining another perspective, but not taken too literally. Some of the concepts are insightful and worth adding to your regimen, but these ideas tend to work better in either medium to higher-limit ring games or no-limit poker.
Hellmuth suggests many acceptable theories and tries to support them with solid logic, but, though some portions of the book are complete, others are equally lacking pertinent information. All in all, the book is as clever as it is confusing, and while some topics are nicely explained, others are so poorly detailed that accepting them without reservation might actually weaken a beginning player’s game.