Few aspiring poker players start their career by reading poker books, as the vast majority prefer a more hands-on approach. Those who seek a good poker book for educational or entertainment purposes, would be wise to check out Nolan Dalla’s Poker’s 10 Most Important Books, as presented in the latest post by the well-known writer and poker personality.
1. According to Nolan Dalla, Big Deal: One Year as a Professional Poker Player, by Anthony Holden remains the best poker book ever written. The royal’s biographer decided to take a leap of faith with this game and the outcome exceeded his expectations. The biggest winners of this project are obviously the readers of his book who will learn about some unique experiences, narrated by a best-selling author.
2. Poker Faces by David Hayano is a book that has been around for more than three decades and thanks to Nolan’s top 10, might return to print. Instead of talking about poker pros, the author focuses on the minnows and grinders who struggled at the bottom of the food chain, trying to make a name for themselves in this highly competitive environment.
3. Ghosts at the Table, by Des Wilson is a comprehensive book that includes dozens of fascinating tales gathered by the author during his 2005/2006 travels nationwide. Each story is a gem, but perhaps the most interesting part of the book is the one discussing the disappearance of Hal Fowler who won the world poker championship in 1979.
4. The Biggest Game in Town, by Al Alvarez is truly a timeless masterpiece and 22 years after being published, it is still a must read for poker enthusiasts. Among its central characters are Treetop, Stuey, Doyle, Puggy, Grand Old Man and Slim, all of them making huge contributions to the world of poker.
5. James McManus is the only author who has two books in this top 10 and Positively Fifth Street, published in 2004 is the better one. The book makes several references to Ted Binion’s murder trial and is bound to keep readers wired.
6. The Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King: Inside the Richest Poker Game of All Time, by Michael Craig (2006) tells the story of Andy Beal and his amazing run at nosebleed limits in Vegas.
7. It comes as no surprise that Doyle Brunson has one of his books in Nolan’s top 10, but many would’ve expected the Super System instead of According to Doyle. It remains one of the most accurate books about the early days of poker and tells the true story of the obstacles that professional gamblers had to overcome many years ago.
8. Those who like books with alluring titles should definitely check out Shut Up and Deal by Jesse May which probably sits in the eighth place. Its educative value might be small, but this is an immensely entertaining book to read and even though it was advertised as fiction, it is based on many real events.
9. Written in 2010, Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker, by Paul MacGuire focuses on the biggest live tournament in the world. It does more than to talk about poker and provides readers with a glimpse at the glamorous life of Sin City.
10. Cowboys Full: The Story of Poker by James McManus was published in the same year and even though it is not his best book, it is still a must read. It tackles various topics and also serves as a great instrument for those who want to learn more about the game’s early history.