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"My 50 Most Memorable Hands" by Doyle Brunson

My 50 Most Memorable Hands is a little gem of a poker book. The Texas Dolly of poker, Doyle Brunson, is a nine-time poker champion, taking home two World Series of Poker Championships and ten bracelets. He has been playing high stakes professional poker for over fifty years and is considered one of the top professional players in the world.

What makes this book unique is that it isn't your standard how-to poker manual. That being said, while there is much to be gleamed from, if you are looking for more direct instructions on poker strategy, I would recommend any of Doyle's other books or Phil Gordon's Little Green and Little Blue books on poker, which are written in the similar vein of providing real world examples and taking you through the mind of the player/author.

If you want to deduce your own lessons from the real-world examples Doyle shares, while getting some enlightening entertainment in an easy read, this the poker book for you. Just keep in mind that you should have prior knowledge about playing poker to reap the full benefits before reading this book.

The way it reads is that Brunson simply replays what he considers to be his fifty most memorable poker hands. And memorable they are indeed. One of Brunson's earliest memories is a hand he played in the illegal backrooms of Exchange Avenue Pool Room, in which a man was shot and killed at the poker table (turns out it was more of a domestic dispute than a dispute about the hand). There's less extreme recounting than this, albeit with high stakes like when Doyle recalls going head-to-head with Phil Hellmuth Jr.

I found myself most impressed with the detail in which Brunson recalls these hands. As he explains in the introduction, Brunson considers his memory a "special gift". Maybe that's the same gift that's made Doyle Brunson into a poker legend.

Beginner's will eventually want to read this book. Just be sure you have a good grasp on the game and rules of poker, or you won't be able to appreciate and gleam the knowledge Brunson shares from experience.

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