Poker in Print: Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em (2010)


There are many poker books that promise to help the beginner become profitable at the game. These are traditionally the most popular books for the simple reason that they appeal to the most players in the poker world – the recreational

Just as there are as many books per player as there are players at each level of poker, there are less books available for players the better they get at the game. This makes sense, but can be frustrating. You might argue that Fedor Holz doesn’t need to get any better at the game, having won millions and millions of dollars at the game and we’d take your point, but still.

The number of poker books to bring the intermediate player up to the level of a professional one is lower than it should be, however. So it’s a good idea when a book comes along that appeals to virtually every level of player, which can be done by showing rank amateurs what they can reach for, allowing intermediate level players how to still improve their games and showing elite players the patterns into which intermediate players will still fall.

Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em by poker author Ed Miller, professional player Sunny Mehta and practical theorist Matt Flynn was published in 2010 and continues to lead good poker players down a path to more profit to this day.

The aspiration of playing poker for a living often kicks off many emotions and processes that can all take place purely in the mind of a poker player. These range from – but aren’t limited to – extreme emotional swings such as amazing highs when winning and tough to take lows when on a downswing, winner’s guilt, self-limitation and all kinds of bankroll issues.

One of the best things about Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em is that the book often helps you get over these hurdles without announcing it. Think of it as a therapist who chats to you for an hour yet in the middle of that chat gets you to conquer something deep-rooted without you realizing about it until the session ends. That’s some knack for a poker book to have and a huge compliment to the writing team involved.

Putting together a strategy is something poker players do for most hands when they are at an intermediate level. ‘How can I win this pot?’ is a question that should be asked at every turn in every hand. However, an overarching strategy can often be difficult for poker players to form. The step-by-step guide of how to do this in Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em is worth the cost of the book alone, but Miller, Mehta and Flynn also put together some really interesting thoughts on steal equity, showdown equity, isolating players and how to handle those tight-aggressive players that start to arrive with more regularity when playing at an intermediate level.

Ed Miller’s background is strong, with 200,000 sales in this industry alone. With Mehta’s experience tallying perfectly for the book – he played as a cash game reg for five years before the book was published – and Flynn’s theoretical genius, at 376 pages, Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em is a must-buy for anyone looking to take their poker prowess to the next level after already getting good at the game.