Super System 2 by Doyle Brunson, et al Review
Title: Super System 2
Author: Doyle Brunson, et al.
Retailer(s): holdempokerchips.com, most major retail/online bookstores, Amazon.com
Average Price: Cover price $34.95, Online ~$23 w/o shipping
I don’t think anyone who has heard of poker has not heard of Doyle Brunson’s Super System. The first one was published in 1978, and the updated version, Super System 2 was published in 2005. It’s generally accepted as the bible of Poker, covering a variety of games, and written by expert players.Overview
Super System 2, as mentioned is an updated version of the original Super System. Most of the games discussed have changed to reflect what is more popular today. In this book, experts in the Poker field provide a strategy guide for Limit and No Limit Hold ‘Em, Pot Limit Omaha, Omaha Eight or Better, Stud Eight or Better, and Triple Draw. In addition to the strategies, there are also sections on Doyle’s life, a brief overview of how Hold ‘Em became so popular, Doyle’s thoughts on online poker play, and a couple of tournament overviews.Format
The book has 14 Chapters;
- Introduction by Doyle Brunson
- My Story By Doyle Brunson
- The History of NL Texas Hold Em by Crandell Addington
- Online Poker by Doyle Brunson
- 43 Exclusive Tips from Mike Caro University By Mike Caro
- Specialize or Learn Them All? By Steve Zolotow
- Limit Hold Em By Jennifer Harman
- Omaha Eight or Better by Bobby Baldwin
- Seven Card Stud Eight or Better by Todd Brunson
- Pot Limit Omaha High by Lyle Berman
- Triple Draw by Daniel Negreanu
- Tournament Overview by Doyle Brunson
- No Limit Hold Em by Doyle Brunson
- World Poker Tour by Steve Lipscomb
Overall, most sections are designed to give you an overview of the game, and the basic kinds of strategy to beat the average players. The strategy sections average between 50 and 70 pages each. As such, there are more advanced strategies that obviously couldn’t fit and would take a whole book to write. Recommendation
Non-Strategy Sections - Chapters 1-6, 12 and 14
Strategy Sections Not Reviewed
Personally, I enjoyed the sections on Doyle’s life, his views on online poker, and the history of NL HE. They aren’t strategy, but the back story of recent poker is interesting to me, as are the thoughts on the future.
Zolotow‘s Specialize or Learn section is pretty obvious. It‘s probably good advice, but most of us aren‘t going to be going pro, so it has limited use for us. It‘s there to encourage you to read the whole book and not just the sections you are interested in.
Mike Caro‘s 43 Tips are gold. By far the best non-specific game section in the book. One of the best sections overall. It's basically advice regarding how to approach the game.
The Tournament Overview and World Poker Tour sections are devoid of strategy. Instead, they are discussions of pacing, the flow of a tournament. You‘ll get advice like ‘loosen up on phase 3', but nothing specific on hands to play. Not useless, but if they appeared in Harrington on Hold Em, they would just be the Introduction.
Strategy Sections Reviewed
I don't play Stud8, Triple Draw, or Omaha8, so I won't comment on the quality of those sections. I could probably play Omaha or Stud 8 after reading those respective sections. I'm sure I'd end up playing too many hands, but the 'how to play' stuff like trying to make both the best and worst hand to scoop the whole pot seems like good advice. Triple Draw went over my head.
I started playing PL Omaha High after reading Berman‘s section, and I already played Limit Hold Em and NL Hold Em (mostly tournaments) before buying the book. I'd heard the Omaha was a gold mine, and there was less to learn playing high only.
I sat down to play PL Omaha for the first time after reading the section in the book. I felt confident enough to hold my own and I actually ended up positive my first several sessions. After playing PLO a while, I realized the section was a little light, especially in pre-flop limping/raising advice, so it won’t be the end of your education. Pre-flop is really the only part of PLO I don't feel comfortable with.
The Limit section is fantastic. All the ideas are there, though they may not be explained in several contexts, you can definitely learn or improve your game by reading this section. This is one of the best sections in the book.
And now for the part you‘ve all skimmed down for: No Limit by Doyle Brunson. It‘s the longest section, 93 pages. It is set up with a description of his basic strategy, with examples of how he implements them. It‘s a sizeable lead in to the specific how-to-play strategy and I think it is a good thing. Before you even get to the tactics, you have the strategy, the mentality with which to see the tactics through. Next, you‘ll get to the sections on how to play specific hands, like AA, AK, etc.. In each section, the flop, turn, and river play are covered.
Some may think the NL section is outdated, or doesn‘t apply to lower stakes games where people don‘t fold. I couldn‘t disagree more. Doyle‘s strategy is it. Now, under certain circumstances you may need to modify that strategy, but show me any poker game you can play one way regardless of any factors.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes to play poker. If you have the original Super System, the NL section is essentially the same, and a third of Super System 2 is not game-specific. SS2 covers different games, however, so you'll have to decide whether it's worth it for you or not. If you do not have either, then I suggest buying Super System 2 and not Super System. The NL section is in both books. Bobby Baldwin’s Limit section in SS1 is good, but SS2 has a great one. Super System 2 also covers more of today's popular games.
Last edited by tripod22; 01-20-2007 at 04:56 AM.