Reading Gus Hansen’s First Poker Book

Gus Hansen finally writes a poker book? One of the most notable sporting and entertainment figures of this decade has always been somewhat aloof to the poker market upswing while at the same time being the source of its epicenter. Gus Hansen and his laid back style has in some way kept him from marketing himself. Gus Hansen is truly a player that loves to play and gets excited about figuring things out. Yes it’s true, that Gus loves to gamble. But in this poker book, you learn a lot more about how the math of Gus Hansen actually explains away that gambling moniker and theorem.

This is one of the most detailed, realistic poker books ever written. Gus has really opened up here and goes through every contentious hand he plays at the 2007 Aussie Millions, where he dominated the final table and kick-slapped an internet newcomer named Jimmy Fricke heads up to seal the deal. In showing how he strategizes right through that tournament he creates sincere value that we amateur players may have never before been exposed to because players like Gus are just so rare.

If you’ve ever seen some of the hands from this tournament on youtube, you will see that Gus was actually using a personal recording device and whispering into a mic throughout the Aussie Millions Poker Tournament. You have to wonder if it was a self check system for Gus, or if he had actually planned to use the information for this book ahead of time.

Gus was certianly well equipped, with recorder in hand to analyze the hands for this book as he could easily review the chips counts, stacks, position and all the other important tournament factors. You get his detailed insight into the thought processes of one of the best tourney players in the world, while also learning about the different strategies of playing a full table and playing short-handed, and how important aggression is part of Gus Hansen’s multi-table tournament strategy.

Gus Hansen’s book should be read after Harington’s because you have two very different styles, but one could argue that Hansen is more successful than Dan Harrington. This is more a less a personal slant as to what style you can play effectively where one style is no better than the other. Gus describes most poker books as far too tight-aggressive in style and feels that is not optimum tournament play, especially with large starting stacks and slow blinds.

The practical style poker books seems to carry more value as they are just that much easier to read, think about, and then take to the table yourself, trying to recognize similar situations you may have just soaked in. The book is really all about this, and makes it a valuable addition to your poker library.

It was particularly interesting to be able to go over Gus Hansen’s notes for the day past and the day upcoming which took into account his opponents playing styles and ever-increasing blind levels.


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