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Old 03-23-2002, 01:07 PM
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Default Poker Farce

I was thinking of buying the book Poker Farce, but after reading the following review from BJ21, I think maybe the 2+2 description of the book needs to be a little more precise about the type of book it is.

PokerFarce book review

Posted By: Bill Haywood on 22 March 02, 8:27 a.m.

_PokerFarce and PokerTruth_ by Ray Michael B. is a recent title from 2+2, the premier poker publisher.

This book was a disappointment, I only made it a third of the way through and determined it wasn't getting any better.

I thought I was buying a book where you would look over the shoulder of the author while he explains what he's thinking during a challenging game. But Ray is not serious enough to have careful notes from an actual game that is painstakingly reconstructed. He just blabs away with his general observations about life and poker. I think many people might enjoy it -- it's quality tavern blabbing -- but it got old quick for me.

The writer is a character with many exceptionally clever turns of phrase and is probably a blast in person. You will like this book if you are looking for light humor, but not if you are looking for poker information. It is like reading the material of the best student in a creative writing class. Cutsey generalities, but short on seriousness and never specific enough for the ideas to be testable. It is not quite a stream of consciousness, but close. It appears the second half of the book is an extended recreation of the battle of Midway and Pearl Harbor using poker terminology. That's an excellent metaphor Ray, and I'm sure it is thoroughly developed, and if I had to read it I'd probably give it an A.

I'll be waiting for outside opinions before buying any more 2+2 books. You can find my almost new copy at Amazon among the used books. Wish 2+2 had a money back guarantee like Snyder.

Completely agree

Posted By: Daliman on 22 March 02, 3:11 p.m. in response to: PokerFarce book review (Bill Haywood)

That book stinks, but there is a silver lining; you have already seen the only 2+2 book with no redeeming quality whatsoever. EVERY other book they have is worthwhile, if not extraordinary. Their poker books are nonpariel,(only Poker Tournament Strategies is less than a 9 in my book, coming in at a 7), and their BJ stuff is also excellent. If you're worried, in the future, BUY these books from the Bishop, he has them available too. Trust me, you will NOT be disappointed by any of the other 2+2 offerings. BTW, I have all of them, except for the lowball and Poker Dealer's handbook, in my extensive(140+ books)library.

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Old 03-23-2002, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Poker Farce

PokerFarce is an unusual book that I happened to like so we published it. It seems that it is a text that people either love or hate, and yes, it was written by quite a character who unfortunately passed away at the beginning of this year.

Being a histroy buff I thought the last part of the book was great where he describes the battles of Pearl Harbor, Midway, and the Battle of Britain in poker terms. The late English writer and poker player David Spanier couldn't stand the book (and he praised many of our other books). David told me that Ray Michael B. couldn't even quote Churchill correctly, and I guess if you're English that's something you don't stand for.

Anyway, the book has no information in it that will help your poker game. We published it as an experiment in our effort to try to bring some other authors out. We probably will never do a book like this again, but I'm glad we did it once.
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Old 03-23-2002, 06:37 PM
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Default Sounds reasonable

Nothing wrong with a humor book, but your candid comment that there's "no information" to help someone's game should be reflected in the catalogue description, which is rather different, for example:

"Serious poker players are often asked, "What's it really like...the world of poker?"

"You will be taken to a serious game and be sitting besides the author. That is, you will be a spectator to the unfolding drama of poker. You will get to meet the players up close and personal, witness their strong and weak points, and watch their varied reactions in victory and defeat."

"Not only will you "play," but you will have to address those problems that all poker players deal with. This includes bankroll management, developing self control, and understanding what it is that makes a poker player truly great."
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Old 03-24-2002, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Sounds reasonable

Have you read the book? Perhaps you are interpreting these words a little different from me, but that's what this book is about.
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Old 04-01-2002, 04:03 AM
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Default Re: Poker Farce

Sorry, to hear about Ray Michael B. passing away (Mason Malmuth post, this thread). I read Ray's book, in manuscript form, years ago, before it was published. I couldn't make heads, nor tales of it. Ray Michael played a lot of Stud, back in the days of Caesar's Palace poker room. Someone told me, Ray was a retired surgeon. I guess Ray was in his late sixties, when he died. Ray liked to play cards. The last room he frequented was Harrah's, East Chicago, Indiana, although he stopped playing there, long before his demise. Like me, Ray found Harrah's quasi poker room, a hard act to follow, behind Caesar's Palace room, before it closed. It is almost, as if, Caesar's was the last poker room, with any "class", in Vegas. I think Ray was probably a happy guy, before he died. Ray looked "kind of Asian", but I don't know his ethnicity. I know, he had a pretty, young white girlfriend, he brought to Harrah's a few times. Well, rest in peace Ray. It was a pleasure, playing 30/60 Stud with you.
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