Super System by Doyle Brunson – Book Review
Considered by many as the original bible for poker players, Super System by Doyle Brunson is a necessary read for any poker player. At the time of it’s first publication, Super System revealed the ‘secrets’ of one of the most highly acclaimed poker players of all time. Brunson discussed theories that many professional poker players believed taboo for discussion, because the information contained within the book was too good. They thought that by teaching poorer poker players this valuable information, their livelihoods could be in jeopardy.
For today’s poker player—typically Texas Hold-em players, Super System may appear to be dated and half useless considering all the discussion on different poker games. However, that is where the average poker player and poor poker ‘learner’ is wrong. The discussion on the other games besides Hold-em is what was so intriguing to me. I am mainly a Hold-em player myself, however, I feel that to become the most complete player that I can, there is theories I need to learn from all forms of poker. Since I do not have the opportunity (and I will admit, the desire) to play the different games, the least I can do is learn about the background of each game to understand it a little better. I will never be proficient at 5 Card Draw or 7-2 Lowball, but I do understand the theory behind each game because of Super System.
The other aspect of the book that was very enjoyable to me was Brunson spends a fair amount of time on the history of the game, and specifically his life on getting to the level that he is at today. Great card stories abound as Texas Dolly takes you through the illegal days of poker to his spiritual and emotional decisions about becoming a professional gambler. Most poker players love a great card story, and there are fewer out there that have seen all that Brunson has. From the illegal days in Texas with Amirillo Slim, to the thieves he had to evade, to watching the game he loves growing to unforeseen levels. Super System tells the game of poker, but also gives the history of the ‘Grandfather’ to the game.
So my suggestion to all of those trying to learn the game, Super System had better be a well worn volume on your bookshelf. There may be better books about the specific game of Hold-em, but there are few books that has it all. As for all the pro’s that were upset with Brunson… Well, as we have now found out from the enormous amount of literature out there on the game—just because there are some fundamental and powerful tools written down and available to everyone, it takes more then the ability to read for someone to actually use the information. There are fish out there—even well read ones.