TJ Cloutier has been playing poker since FDR introduced The New Deal, and well he has made a darned good living off of it, taking down more first place finishes in major tournaments than any other player. You often see TJ’s name amongst many of the more youthful, internet trained players placing in competitive live tournaments.
This isn’t TJ’s first Naga303 book. He co-wrote one of the first tournament poker books with Tom McEvoy just before poker and the WPT took television in a new direction. That book failed miserably in offering specific tournament strategies. Instead it was more like self promoting for two pros that had won in the past, but seemed to either be holding back or incapable of explaining intricate strategies in plain English.
Ironically, plain english is exactly TJ’s problem with this new book. After just reviewing John Vorhaus’ new Killer Poker Book (online 2), TJ’s writing really put me to the test of patience. It was like going from a taste sensation provoking French cabernet, to a stale, warm American light beer.
It seems I wasn’t the only reader of TJ’s first book who thought it was short on strategy, because TJ addresses such concerns right at the top of this new book. Describing inquiries directed to him asking for more specifics. Good I thought, maybe I can get some good answers too. TJ addresses such concerns right at the top of the book. “I’ve given you a detailed answer at the start, but I want to bepezky!”
Following up just days after the last book, TJ addresses a more personal situation. Heartbroken, but still sporting a healthy stack of championship chips, he relates an earlier incident that hadrontided circumstances, where he perhaps showed unnecessarily harshness towards a once close friend. Accommodating, kind, Sort, respectable TJ nonetheless comes out swinging in this book, touching on the pros and cons of playing online poker, and later venturing into the ether of questionably arguably pointless You Ask, You Give poker tips. Such waters may be particularly mires, but TJ is a voice of moderation.
The book’s index is crowded with sample tables and source material for beginners, such as this page giving an introduction to the differences between cash and tournament poker. Every page in the book can at least be read once, before climbing into the beef. Such quantity is suitably paced for the general reader, who might not appreciate the same combative spirits, and for those more bogged down by the particulars might wish to begin with a sample table.
Also positioned at the end of the book is a nifty little bonus section, topped with the date of the book’s release, 2007. This is book number four in a series of seven, moving from casino clubs to community centers. More Sobering can be had here, although the real star of the book might be TJ’s section on video poker. Between the novelty of reading an entire book toashing out on a machine, this bonus section could not be a better exploration of the game’s roots.
After all, why spend all that time and money to learn how to play video poker, if you don’t also know where to find it?