Recently, I reviewed Championship No-Limit and Pot-Limit Hold’em by T.J. Cloutier (with Tom McEvoy) and pronounced it the best book I’ve read on the topic of “big” bet poker. After reading Reuben and Ciaffone’s book, I feel compelled to revise my opinion. I now believe that their Pot-Limit and No-Limit Poker is the single best work I’ve read on big bet poker, although Cloutier’s book is also top notch and well worth reading.
Reuben and Ciaffone are well known in big poker circles. Both are tenacious winning players who are well respected by their peers. Ciaffone is well known for his seminal work on Omaha, Omaha Holdem Poker, and Reuben has been writing poker columns off and on since the ’60s. Both have a great deal to teach us about high stakes poker.
This becomes apparent immediately in the first section, titled “Big-Bet Poker Concepts” which provides the best introduction to the basic concepts of pot-limit and no-limit play, and how this differs from limit games. Before entering a big bet tournament or a ring game for the first time, anyone would be well served to read through this section carefully.
The second section is on specific poker forms, including no-limit Hold’em, pot-limit Omaha (high), Stud Hi-Lo, etc.. Almost every game section is followed by a quiz on the material covered. Most of the quiz questions are quite good, but I don’t think that the scoring system used should be given that much credence. Not that the answers given are incorrect by any means, just that I would expect that one’s point total, and therefore “rank” by the author’s estimation, may not always correlate well with one’s true abilities.
Some of the games discussed in this section, like London Lowball and five and six card Omaha aren’t familiar to me, …