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Gamesmanship! What poker players do already

I read a hilarious book recently.

In this wonderfully short and easy to read little text will be all the advice one will need to scandalously defeat an opponent mentally without him even realizing it. No, it is not an in depth treatise on the psychology of the bluff or how to read/telegraph mannerisms. It is a humorous look at the less than ethical little ways that one can go about getting the upper hand in competitive situations. All while still appearing to be as “sporting” as the most straight and narrow competitor.

It was printed in 1947 as a satire on British country club game playing behavior. Though it talks very little about poker specifically, the techniques it insightfully and hilariously describes applying to other games (where they really have no place except for where one is hopelessly outmatched) are precisely what the game of poker is all about. He says this specifically in his short blurb about poker.

This made it especially funny as a poker player. The funny little things the author describes himself and his famous gamesman contemporaries doing to win snooker and billiards are the types of things at the core of poker. It would certainly prove to lighten up someone who takes the game far too seriously.

Some particularly funny parts are when he recounts the tales of the irascible G. Odoreida, the greatest gamesman in all of England. The book is also filled with illustrations and diagrams made all the more enjoyable by their intricacy. The careful reader can also gleam another entire layer peaking through the lines on the page when you can see instances of Potter subtly “gaming” the reader.

Its a short read that is sure to give at least a few grins. I’m not a fan of humorous reading personally, but I enjoyed this book a great deal and any poker player would as well. I found myself laughing out loud more than once.

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