Super System: A Course in Power Poker

super systemDoyle Brunson, also known as the Texas Dolly and the author of Super System: A Course in Power Poker, is an active poker player for the past 50 years and the two-time World Series of Poker main event winner. Thus, if he writes a book about poker, you can be sure you have it on the best authority. Mix in a few notable poker players like Joey Hawthorne, Bobby Baldwin, David Sklanski, David Reese, and Mike Caro, and you have a poker Bible on your hands.

Super System is a poker book through and through. It is packed with advanced poker strategies, poker theories and tactics, poker tips on money-making, and poker anecdotes. If you are a novice poker player, Super System will enlighten you on the basics of the various poker games like seven-card stud, high-low split, seven-card low stud, lowball, draw poker, and no limit Hold'em. If you are a veteran poker player, Super System will enhance your poker play and earn you bigger money. This is accomplished through the collaborative effort of all the book contributors where each one wrote about his poker game specialty. This collaboration among the masters of poker in an unprecedented book only reinforces the stature of Super System as the bible of poker. Let us face it. Super System is the Bible of Poker, not just a bible of poker.

According to the Texas Dolly himself, he lost a lot of money on the Super System. This is not because the book was a flop; this was because the book provided very helpful insights for ordinary players into how professional poker players played the game and won the pot money. If you were up against the masters of poker after having read the book and put it into considerable practice, you probably would stand a higher chance of beating them. Talk about biting the hands that feed you.

And herein lies the crux about any bible. It is not enough that your read the Super System, understand the poker terminology, memorize the poker theories and tactics, appreciate the subtle intricacies of poker strategies, and remember poker tips. You must apply everything you have read in actual poker games. And you have to practice and practice till you have them down pat. Then again, poker is an ever-changing game that keeps even the most veteran of players on their toes, but it does help a lot to know the basic rules of the game.

The Texas Dolly employs his personal aggressive poker style to the Super System. This is understandable as his style catapulted him to the topmost of the professional poker arena, and his style could be similarly and effectively used by the younger generations of poker players. For the Texas Dolly, safety is never an option. Poker is a game of ruthless wills played fundamentally for money, with fun occupying a secondary place and a very far second, at that.

The money-making factor is probably the best reason why poker players are colorful characters, which are amply portrayed in Stan Hunt’s caricatures of poker players. Judging from the caricatures, all top poker players have to be borderline-insane, maybe along the lines of Stu Ungar and Amarillo Slim. Yet another reason for reading the Super System is Mike Caro’s statistics and odds, which are completely and totally accurate. Incidentally, Mike Caro is not known as the Mad Genius for nothing.

However, though the Super System provides ample discussion on the various poker games, it is to be expected that not all the tricks are divulged. To be particular about it, David Reese on his chapter on the seven-card stud reveals sound poker strategies but stops short of real money-making poker tips. It is thus up to the reader to find out for himself these aggressive techniques in the course of his actual application of the Super System.

Super System is divided into chapters, which makes it easy and convenient for novice poker players to study the book one chapter at a time and not feel intimidated with the 600-plus pages. It starts with a short biography on the Texas Dolly and his tips on general strategy. General poker strategy, according to Brunson, includes control of emotions, observations on player-opponents, use of logic and reasoning in poker, and other poker tips.

As mentioned earlier, each of the poker players who acted as contributors wrote a chapter on their specialties. Mike Caro wrote about draw poker and tells, Chip Reese discussed the seven-card stud, Joey Hawthorn and Doyle Brunson collaborated about lowball, David Sklansky discussed seven-card stud high-low split, Bobby Baldwin on the limit Texas Hold'em, and Doyle Brunson again on the no-limit Texas Hold'em. The last chapter is devoted to Mike Caro’s list of odds and statistics.

Since its release three decades ago, the Super System remains to be the most authoritative, most comprehensive and most understandable poker book of them all. Unless, of course, Super System II proves itself better.