Table of Contents

About David Sklansky vii

About Ed Miller ix

Introduction 1

About This Book by David Sklansky 5

Some Notes About the Examples 7

Part One: Fundamentals 9

The Skills for Success 11

Manipulating the Pot Size 12

Adjusting Correctly to Stack Sizes 13

Winning the Battle of Mistakes 14

Reading Hands 15

Manipulating Opponents into Playing Badly 15

From Skills to Success 16

No Limit and the Fundamental Theorem of Poker 17

Thinking In Terms of Expectation — Playing the Nuts on the River 21

Final Thoughts 23

The Pot Size Philosophy 25

The Pot Size Philosophy — An Example 28

The Importance of Implied Odds 33

Imperfect Information and Implied Odds 35

Don't Justify Their Optimistic Calls 40

Final Thoughts 44

Bet-Sizing 45

The Basic Rule 45

When Your Opponent Could Have One of Several

Draws 47

Don't Bet Too Much 48

How Big Do You Want Their Mistake to Be? 48

Expectation and Multiple Possible Hands 51

Don't Take Away Their Rope 53

Your Opponent Thinks He May Have the Best Hand 54

You Might Not Have the Best Hand 55

Final Thoughts 56

The Hammer of Future Bets 58

Final Thoughts 60

Bluff-Sizing 61

The Basic Rule 61

A Little More About Getting the Job Done 63

An Exception to the Basic Rule 63

When Bigger Bluff Sizes Will Fold More Hands 64

Bluffing on the Turn and River 66

An Example of the Play 66

Two Principles for Turn and River Bluffs 68

Save Enough on the Turn for a Credible River

Bluff 69

Bet as Much as You Can on the Turn While Still

Retaining a Credible River Bluff 70

Final Thoughts 74

Bet-Sizing for Information 75

Quantifying the Value of Information 76

Paying for Information 77

An Example 79

Another Opportunity to Gather Information 80

Final Thoughts 81

Playing the Nuts on the River — More Examples 82

Another Example 83

Two Other "Big Bet" Situations 84

Value Betting on the River 87

Final Thoughts 89

Absolute and Relative Position 91

Position and Hand Reading 93

The Corollary 95

Final Thoughts 97

Raising Before the Flop 98

Reasons to Raise 99

Raising for Value 100

Raising for Isolation 101

Raising to Steal the Blinds 103

Raising as a Semi-Bluff 104

Raising for Deception 106

Raising to Manipulate the Pot Size 108

Final Thoughts 110

Sizing Your Preflop Raises Ill

Deep Stack Raise Sizing 112

Make Bigger Value Raises Against

Straightforward Players 115

Make Bigger Raises Against Players Who Fold

Too Much Postflop 115

Make Smaller Raises Against Players Who

Call Too Much Postflop 116

Short Stack Raise Sizing 117

If You Want Action 117

If You Don't Want Action 118

Final Thoughts 121

A Preflop Strategy 122

No Limit Hand Values 123

Bread and Butter Hands 124

Often Playable Hands 124

Sometimes Playable Hands 125

Rarely Playable Hands 125

The Strategy 125

You are First to Enter the Pot 127

Exactly One Player Has Limped in Front of

You 128

Two or More Players Have Limped in Front of You 128

Someone Has Opened for a Raise, No Callers

Yet 129

Someone Has Opened for a Raise, One or More

Callers 129

Someone Has Opened for a Raise, and Another

Player Reraised 129

From the Blinds 130

Final Thoughts 130

Adjusting to Stack Sizes — An Example 131

The Effect of Stack Size 133

Final Thoughts 134

Blocking Bets 135

Blocking on the River 138

Downsides to the Blocking Bet 140

Defending Against the Blocking Bet 141

Final Thoughts 142

The Call Bluff 143

Defending Against the Call Bluff 146

Final Thoughts 147

Check-Raising 148

Don't Do It Just Because You Can 148

When to Check-Raise 149

Final Thoughts 152

Betting Yourself Off a Hand 154

Bluffing With a Fairly Good Hand 158

A Wrench in the Works 160

Another Angle 161

Final Thoughts 162

Playing Strong Draws on the Flop 163

Final Thoughts 167

Multiple Level Thinking 168

When Shallow Thinking is Best 170

When You Need to Think More Deeply 171

Final Thoughts 174

Swapping Mistakes 176

You Can't Win Them All 179

Be Vigilant 180

Adjusting to Loose Games and Players 183

The Adjustments 185

Loosen Up 186

Big Preflop Pots for Big Pairs 187

Value Bet Top Pair 189

Bluff Less Often 189

Final Thoughts 190

Adjusting to Weak Tight Games 191

Defining the Game 191

The Adjustments 194

Final Thoughts 198

The Advantage to Being Short Stacked 199

Definition of a Short Stack 199

Dispelling the Myths 199

The Advantages 200

Why Play Deep Then? 202

When Should You Play Short? 203

Playing a Short Stack 204

Final Thoughts 205

Calling Preflop All-in Raises 206

Some Qualifications 211

Final Thoughts 213

The Sklansky-Chubukov Rankings 214

Final Thoughts 221

When to (and When Not to) Use the Sklansky-

Chubukov Rankings 222

Adjusting for an Ante 222

The Best Hands for Moving In 223

An Exception to Moving In 224

Moving In With "Too Many" Chips 225

Moving In May Not Be Best with Hands that Play

Well 226

Some Preflop Heads-Up All-In Matchups 228

Final Thoughts 230

Manipulating Your Opponents 231

Get Pigeonholed 231

Make Obvious Errors to Induce Costly Errors 233

Final Thoughts 237

Tells 238

It's OK to Pretend 238

Think 238

Throw Off Fake Tells 239

Be Aware 239

Spotting and Using a Tell 240

Part Two: Concepts and Weapons 241

Quick Comment 243

The Concepts 244

Conclusion 297

The Sklansky-Chubukov Rankings 299

Index 311

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