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Poker Aces - The Stars of Tournament Poker Book Information and Review

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  • Paperback
  • ISBN 0-9749724-0-1
  • ISBN 0974972401


    From the Back Cover of Poker Aces

    When Ron Rose began playing tournament poker in 2000, he knew the names of all of the top pros but nothing more. After playing for a while, he got to know most of them and found that they had plenty of interesting tales to tell.

    When he started winning tournaments and especially after televised poker exploded onto the scene, Ron discovered that the fans had a lot of questions for him and the other players about how they got started, why they got started and what they were all about.

    Realizing that there were plenty of books about how to play poker, but not one on the shelves that might tell the fans a little bit about the players, this former businessman set out to fill the gap with a book that would showcase some of the foremost tournament players from around the world. That book is Poker Aces.

    Poker Aces gives its reader an insight into the personal and professional lives of the pros you see on TV and in the poker rooms of the world. It lists their major accomplishments, personal notes and even poker tips along with a two page story from the pros themselves. It's a resource that should satisfy the curiosity of poker fans everywhere.

    Mike Sexton, co-host of the World Poker Tour's broadcast says this about the book:

    "With Poker Aces, Ron Rose gives the reader an insight as to who some of the top players are, their success stories, an in depth look at their lives, and how they got involved in the poker world. It is a fascinating book that I'm sure you will enjoy."

    From the Foreward of Poker Aces

    Ron Rose came up and introduced himself to me a few years ago at one of the Aviation Club's poker tournaments in Paris, France. I didn't know who he was as he was a newcomer to tournament poker. As soon as he said, "Hi, Mike. In know you're from Dayton, Ohio. I'm also from Dayton and in fact, we went to the same high school;" we became close friends. You don't meet many guys at a poker tournament in Paris who went to your high school.

    Ron proceeded to tell me that he had retired not long ago. Knowing that I used to play bridge, he told me that he had just completed playing duplicate bridge for a year. He became a Life Master within a year and won the Mini-McKinney award--which goes to the player accumulating the most Master Points in one year. That award is the highest honor a player can achieve in the bridge world. And that impressed me! Now, having succeeded at bridge, he was considering a new venture--tournament poker-- which simply meant another challenge for Ron.

    Well, participating in tournament poker and becoming successful at it are two different things. It didn't take me long to realize that when Ron Rose puts his mind to doing something, he does it! He reminds me of the story involving the famous football coach, Buddy Ryan of the Philadelphia Eagles. After a loss to a team he felt they should have beaten, he was lambasting the team for their poor play. One player finally said, "But coach, we're trying." Ryan shouted back, "You're trying? You're trying? I don't want 'triers,' I want 'doers.' I could hire a bunch of truck drivers and pay them a million a year and they would try! I want doers!" I will simply say this about Ron Rose. He is a "doer."

    I remember vividly the first final table Ron Rose made on the World Poker Tour. It was in November of 2002 at Foxwoods, in season one on the World Poker Tour. He made the final table for TV, but he finished in 6th place in the event, meaning he was the first one out. He seemed devestated about that and was upset with himself as to how he played. He later came over to me and said, "Mike, you can believe this. I'll be back. And the next time I make a WPT final table. I'm going to win the tournament."

    Later that season, in Reno Nevada, that is exactly what happenned. Ron Rose captured his first World Poker Tour title. And that victory earned him an invitation to the inaugural WPT Battle of Champions event at Bellagio which was televised on Super Bowl Sunday 2004 on NBC. There, he made poker history by defeating the WPT Champions of poker and capturing the first-ever WPT Champion of Champions title.

    With Poker Aces, Ron gives the reader an insight as to who some of the top players are, their success stories, an in-depth look at their lives, and how they got involved in the poker world. It is a fascinating book that I'm sure you will enjoy.

    Mike Sexton
    Co-host of the World Poker Tour
  • One of the first things I noticed about Poker Aces(isbn:0974972401) was the size of the book. Most of my other poker books are fairly small but this thing is huge, it is a full 8 1/2 x 11 monster. It is almost as if all the poker pros went to school together and this is their yearbook.

    Ron Rose was very smart to fill a niche that other poker books do not address. There are tons of books about the strategy but none that tell you as much about the players as this one does.

    There are huge color photographs of the pros as well as stories and quotes unique to each player. There is a handy table at the front of the book that lists the players and their page. The list and the book are sorted by last name. Here is the list:
    Joe Beevers 2
    David Benyamine 4
    Chris Bigler 6 (I remember watching Bigler from Switzerland battling against Paud Darden in a Bay Area episode)
    Barney Boatman 8
    Ross Boatman 10
    John Bonetti 12
    Humberto Brenes 14 (colorful character, his outfits are amusing)
    Doyle Brunson 16 (everyone knows about Supersystem)
    Vince Burgio 18
    Gary Bush 20
    "Miami" John Cernuto 22
    Johnny Chan 24 (remember him in Rounders?)
    T.J. Cloutier 26 (I've read his book too)
    David Colclough 28
    Diego Cordovez 30
    Peter "the Poet" Costa 32
    Alan Cunningham 34
    Bonnie Damiano 36
    Paul Darden 38 (I've seen him go all in on a draw)
    "Freddy" Deeb 40 (I reember an episode where Phil Ivey didn't like his shirt)
    Martin de Knijff 42
    Asher Derei 44
    Annie Duke 46 (sister of Howard Lederer)
    John Duthie 48
    Antonio Esfandiari 50 (Antonio the Magician has some cool tricks like the Muscle Pass (Anti-Gravity))
    Chris Ferguson 52
    Bruno Fitoussi 54
    Layne Flack 56 (I saw him make Jerry Buss put down TT when they played head-up)
    Ken "Skyhawk" Flaton 58
    Ted Forrest 60
    Kirill Gerasimov 62
    Phil Gordon 64 (hosted Celebrity Poker)
    Barry Greenstein 66 (played the WPT tourneys for charity)
    Hassan Habib 68
    Gus Hansen 70 (never saw 2 cards he didn't like)
    Thor Hansen 72
    Jennifer Harmon 74
    Dan Harrington 76 (known as a tight player, I've seen him bluff a few times)
    Brian Haveson 78
    Phil Hellmuth 80 (great player but not the best at dealing with beats)
    Juha Helppi 82
    Randy Holland 84
    Phil Ivey 86 (great young player)
    Kenna James 88
    Randy Jensen 90
    Chip Jett 92
    Christer Johansson 94
    John Juanda 96 (one of the many players from the Los Angeles area(Alhambra to be exact))
    Mel Judah 98
    Chris Karagulleyan 100
    Phil Laak 102
    Howard Lederer 104 (the professor of poker)
    Jim Lester 106
    David Levi 108
    Kathy Liebert 110
    Erick Lindgren 112
    Marcel Luske 114 (character)
    Tony Ma 116
    Tom McEvoy 118
    Chris Moneymaker 120 (made famous by ESPN and the WSOP)
    Carlos Mortensen 122
    John Myung 124
    Daniel Negreanu 126
    Men "the Master" Nguyen 128
    Scotty Nguyen 130 (fun to watch, I like that he drinks at the table)
    Frankie O'Dell 132
    Pascal Perrault 134
    Young Phan 136
    David Plastik 138
    "Amarillo Slim" Preston 140 (legendary old-timer)
    Greg Raymer 142
    Chip Reese 144
    Lucy Rokach 146
    Ron Rose 148
    Jose Rosenkrantz 150
    Eric Seidel 152 (also in Rounders briefly)
    Mark Seif 154
    Mike Sexton 156 (wpt host)
    Charlie Shoten 158
    Barry Shulman 160
    Jeff Shulman 162
    Dewey Tomko 164
    An Tran 166
    Simon Trumper 168
    David "Devilsish" Ulliott 170
    Amir Vahedi 172
    Ram Vaswani 174
    Dennis Waterman 176
    Robert Williamson III 178


    I am especially interested in Allen Cunningham, in part because we both went to UCLA and we both lived in Marina Del Rey at one point. The quote from him makes you think.
    "The poker player learns that sometimes both science and common sense are wrong." [35]

    In hold'em everyone has a different opinion about what to do when the board pairs. Sklansky notes that if the board pairs and there are no straight,royal flush possibilities then the nuts is 4 of a kind. However, if you're holding one of the paired board cards with the next highest board card in the same situation then you have the nuts. This is becuase you are blocking 4 of a kind and you have the highest full house. Sklansky says that if the board pairs low you can often bet at it and take it. Bonnie Damiano has a useful quote involving a pair on board.
    "In no-limit, if the board pairs and you are not helped on the high end of the full house DO NOT MOVE ALL IN. Beware!" [37]

    Chris Ferguson agrees with Sklansky's philosophy that it is usually better to fold or raise than to call. Here is how Chris Ferguson puts it.
    "If you're not sure whether to fold or call, fold. If you're not sure whether to call or raise, raise." [53]

    Many players agree that patience is important. In addition, authors like Sklansky stress the importance of aggression. Randy Holland discusses the need for both.
    "In tournament poker always be mindful that you are walking a tightrope between aggressiveness and patience." [85]

    John Juanda has a different philosophy from Gus Hansen. Juanda is selective if the pot is raised significantly pre-flop.
    "In big bet poker (pot limit and no-limit) do not play a big pot unless you have a big hand." [97]

    If you want to get to know the biggest names in poker then this book is for you. Make no mistake, it is not a strategy book. Instead it is filling a need that the other books do not meet. This book is the best in terms of seeing more from the best players in poker.


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