Read'Em and Reap; Chan's Cash Games Book--Double Dynamite . December 2006

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Read'Em and Reap; Chan's Cash Games Book--Double Dynamite

By Howard Schwartz--Gambler's Book Shop

Two powerful new titles for poker players have arrived at Gambler’s Book Shop, each covering an area rarely discussed but badly needed.

Joe Navarro, a retired FBI agent here applies his skills to teach players how to decode poker tells in cooperation with Phil Hellmuth. He has some great new ideas in Read ‘Em and Reap (213 pages, paperbound, $18.95).

Interestingly, the great Johnny Chan, a multiple winner of the World Series of Poker, and one tough customer to read if you’re up against him, has his new work, Million Dollar Hold ‘em—Limit Cash Games, co-authored with Mark Karowe (359 pages, paperbound, $29.95) available at the same time.

Looking first at the Hellmuth-Navarro collaboration, which people have been looking forward to for almost a year (when it first announced the book was being written),

This work picks up where Caro’s Book of Poker Tells; The Ultimate Guide to Poker Tells and Beyond Tells leave off.

Navarro’s contribution to the book is unique. He’s been studying and using “non-verbal behaviors” to detect deception and solve cases involving criminals and terrorists for more than two decades with the FBI. Even more interesting is the fact he consults with top poker players worldwide letting them know what tells they project (but does not reveal those specific tells to opponents).

Fifteen chapters, illustrations and a nice index to topics, along with a reasonable price make this one of the bargains of the year.

Chapters include learning to conceal, not reveal; high and low confidence tells; tells of the hands; tells of the mouth and identifying moves like touching the neck; back of the neck; exhaling; face stroking; pacifying moves; creating table image.

For any level player, understand if this book teaches you one or two things to watch for or avoid doing yourself in a game, it has paid for itself immediately.

It’s a must-have. Period.

Million Dollar Hold ‘em—Limit Cash Games

Cash games. People are hot to play them. So Johnny Chan and Mark Karowe have the perfect book for limit games.

Packed with sample hands, illustrations and analysis, the book, with 11 sections includes vital material from bankroll requirements and moving up and down in limits to keeping in shape.

The authors discuss folding a trap hands in a variety of situations; why the first bet often wins a pot; playing the player; betting a big hand on the flop and slow playing on the turn; taking control of a hand; folding top pair in the blind or in late position; betting for value.

Other sections concentrate on leading into strength to get maximum value; disguising the strength of your hand; re-raising to isolate with a hand that plays well heads-up.

A handy five-page section discusses outs, odds and percentages. Overall, this is a solid way to improve your cash game play, from a player who has been through it all. He advised 2006 World Series of Poker winner Jamie Gold.

Note: The books mentioned here are available from Gambler's Book Shop, 630 South 11th Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101. Call l-800-522-1777 from 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday Pacific time to order, using only MasterCard, VISA or Discover card (no Amex accepted). You may order through the store web site at and view the store's 1,000 books, videos and computer software. You may also call or write and ask for the free 80-page catalog to be sent to you. The store, founded in 1964 by John and Edna Luckman, is located about two miles from Downtown Las Vegas, and the same distance from where the Strip begins, a block west of Maryland Parkway, just off Charleston Boulevard