Gratt’s beginner’s guide to high-stakes poker is chock-full of basic know-how.
Those seeking to emulate the success of poker champions such as Chris Moneymaker and Greg Raymer are going to need some help. They’re also going to need some time. Fortunately, Gratt has written a guidebook that can cut years off a beginner’s quest—provided his quest is to become the safest player at the table. Gratt claims his guidebook is a “‘read-only-once’ work”; that by following the book’s content to the letter, “a knowledgeable card player can become a successful card-playing professional.” Naturally, caveats such as needing to have “the right stuff” and paying bills from nonpoker sources can raise some doubts. But Gratt’s request that readers send him 2% of their winnings after their initial six months of playing under his rules at least proves the author possesses a certain confidence—or chutzpah. Gratt’s book, which covers everything from card-playing concepts to reading opponents’ tells to 26 practice hands to a glossary of poker terms, is geared solely for no-limit Texas Hold’em cash games played against real opponents, so those seeking an online tip sheet should look elsewhere (though Gratt weighs in on the phenomenon of online poker). After the budding professional antes up the recommended $10,000 to get in the game, Gratt suggests they play only the best hands, and only one every four or five hours at that. Hardly revolutionary strategies, and hardly encouraging words to those looking for real risk, let alone concurrent risk-to-reward ratio. The same goes for Gratt’s fundamentals of patience and bankroll management; they’re so basic that they could cause a former company drone to long for the exciting days of the cubicle. Gratt’s call to play it safe is also a call to play it responsibly; something a dreamy beginner would do well to consider before plunging into what’s undoubtedly a cutthroat business. Yes, the book’s a bit repetitive (Gratt says that’s intentional), and, yes, it removes the bluff (which some insist makes poker what it is), but for those willing to learn the ropes before they jump, this isn’t a bad place to begin.
Folks new to the game will find Gratt’s guidebook an accessible, reasonable entry point.