One of the most popular books of recent years, How Can He Fold? arrived in 2019 to great acclaim and remains a hugely popular book to this day. Written by Grant Denison and Jonathan Levy, this book examines poker by way of looking at several often high-profile and certainly dramatic hands.
Analysing the action, the book definitely comes under the ‘self-help’ section of poker books, aiming to improve the player who is reading about the hands. Denison and Levy are very good at breaking down each hand, taking you through the methodology of each player and guiding you as how you yourself could have played the hand differently or even better.
The best thing about this book, however, is not the analysis of poker hands, but the way the book is written. There is a great chemistry between the two authors, and it’s a little like sitting next to two intelligent, witty individuals arguing about what makes the hands interesting and the players within them so successful.
There are some really good hand choices, too, and enough to suggest that plenty of others are out there too that could be used in future volumes. One of the best things about the book is that not all the hands are too recent as to come across as similar. After all, the way we play poker changes all the time and is always evolving. There’s a great hand from the 2010 National Heads Up Championship, where Phil Hellmuth is put to the test on a call for his tournament life and another one where Phil Ivey and Isaac Haxton clash on the bubble of a Super High Roller event.
Both men are fun to read, almost as much fun as they are to listen to and watch on YouTube, where they have 30,000 subscribers. They’ve even been on the RecPoker Podcast to talk about the project and are thoroughly entertaining in doing so.
The major takeaway from the book – apart from the many laughs it will provoke in you – is the fact that you can develop your edge by always working on making the right poker decision in any single hand in isolation. Results don’t matter, because if the decisions you make get better and better, then results will naturally follow.
With a vast knowledge about poker, the book could easily come across as elitist, but there’s not a bit of it, with friendly coaching more of a theme. Working from the easiest hands to the most difficult, beginners will feel their knowledge growing as they read.
Written in a similar style to the ‘breakdown’ videos on YouTube from Denison and Levy, How Can He Fold? is a lot of fun and provides you with a great deal of analysis to agree with, disagree with, or more often, find a middle ground to questioning, which is the best way to start really thinking about poker. It’s like being taught a lesson you need to know but in a style that feels like enjoyment instead of personal growth.
The book is available to buy on ebook today right here. We’d recommend it for entertainment value alone.