Daniel Ashman’s DOMINATE NO-LIMIT HOLD’ EM

Posted by Steve Ruddock on Oct 04, 2011 Posted in Interviews, Reviews | No Comments »

Dominate No-Limit Hold’ Em: A Guide to the Math and Psychology of Poker, was written by Daniel Ashman and published by D&B Poker. Over the years I’ve read hundreds of poker books, first as a poker player and now a writer for the industry, and one of my favorite publishing companies has been D&B Poker. I look forward to D&B’s poker releases, and with authors like Rolf Slotboom, Phil Shaw, Jonathan Little, and Daniel Ashman, you know the advice and strategies are going to be spot on.

Dominate No-Limit Hold’ Em Overview

First off I want to bring up a point of contention from Daniel Ashman’s first book. Ashman received a lot of criticism after writing his first book, Secrets of Short Handed No-Limit Hold’ em, due to some disjointed sentences and grammatical errors. While the book was praised for its content, it was widely criticized for the errors it contained. After the initial criticism, D&B was quick to produce a second edition, paying extra attention to the proof-reading process. I’m mentioning this because this was obviously a prime point of emphasis in Ashman’s second offering, as Dominate No-Limit Hold’ em was well edited and contains only a handful of minor errors –which is almost expected in any poker book.

Ok, so with that out of the way let’s get on to the content. Ashman’s first book, Secrets of Short Handed No-Limit Hold’ em, was laid out much like you’d expect a person’s collection of personal notes that had collected over the years – great content, but a bit scattered. In his second offering to the poker world, Ashman’s Dominate No-Limit Hold’ em takes a more conventional route, bringing the reader on a journey that begins with the basics of the game, and progresses into more and more advanced concepts and theories.

I had the chance to speak with the author about this difference, and posed the following question to him: How did this book differ from writing your first book, Secrets of Short-Handed No Limit Hold’ Em, and could you explain what you were hoping to cover that has not been brought up in previous works by yourself and others?

Ashman responded that “Dominate NLHE is different from my first book in two respects. First, it is better because of clearer English. Second, it is more accessible to beginning and intermediate players. Dominate NLHE is structured in a traditional manner, like a textbook The concepts are introduced step by step from the basics and there are test questions with solutions at the end of each section. I think my book is superior to other poker books by a significant margin in most ways.”

Writing Style and Readability

Overall, Dominate No-Limit Hold’ Em is well written and pretty entertaining as far as poker strategy books go –a genre seldom thought of as an entertaining read, and more like a research paper than a page-turning fiction bestseller. Ashman uses a fictional(?) poker game as the backdrop for the book, and incorporates hands from this game to explain and elucidate the concepts he is detailing.

If you were trying to find my exact opposite in writing style than Ashman is your guy! There are very few, if any, long-winded thoughts, and no parenthetical remarks or punctuation marks other than periods and commas. His sentence structure is short, crisp, and easy to follow, and can typically be digested on the first reading. A style perfectly suited to explaining difficult poker theories and concepts.

Layout

As I stated above, the layout of the text follows that of the typical poker strategy book, with the added bonus of the flashbacks to the poker game Ashman uses as the setting to explain the concepts in more detail. Each chapter is also accompanied by several quiz questions where the reader is challenged to apply the material they have just read.

The final part of the book contains an extended section of questions where the reader will be asked to apply the litany of concepts they have learned from the book –while not my cup of tea as an experienced player, this section will be invaluable to new or struggling players as a “leak-finder” with over 100 hands worth of questions in this section.

Content

While there is little in the way of earth-shattering information contained in the book, Ashman does a good job of conveying his strategies and theories to the reader, which is a special talent in itself. One area in particular I could point to is the way he talks about position in unopened pots, and how each step closer to the button drastically changes the way you should view your hand’s strength, which was probably the best explanation of this concept I’ve seen in a poker book thus far.

As a strategy guide the book is solid, not quite on the level of Chris “Fox” Wallace’s self-published No Limits book, but definitely in the upper tier of the mass-market poker strategy books. As a start to finish No Limit Holdem guide, Dominate No-Limit Hold’ em, would be one of the first books I would recommend to a beginning player –far superior to the 2+2 offerings on the subject.

What should you expect to take away from Dominate No-Limit Hold’ em? That all depends on your current skill level:

* A new player will definitely benefit the most from Dominate No-Limit Holdem, and could probably read the book three or four times and come away with new insights at each reading.

* A mid-level slight-winner/break-even type player will definitely find this book to be a leak-plugger, and will likely walk away with a few new ideas on different concepts thanks to Ashman’s way of neatly explaining convoluted concepts.

* A solid winning player would likely view the text as more of a refresher course, coming away with a few new ways of explaining different concepts in a more simplified manner. As well as getting an insight into the thought processes of another winning player.

You can purchase Dominate No-Limit Hold’ em at Amazon.com

You can purchase Secrets of Short Handed No-Limit Hold’ em at Amazon.com

You can view the entire D&B Catalogue at their website

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