Thursday, April 13, 2006

Book Review - Kill Phil

I originally posted this review with the social group, but apparently it will get thrown out after 30 days. I will write anything I wish to keep on the blog and link to it from the social group going forward.

Review - Kill Phil

As a frequent on-line player, I bought this not for my game, but to get into the heads of people who might buy this book.

The first 30 pages tell you why it's such a great book and how it will revolutionize poker, (calling Harrington 'Old School' along the way) and stating that the only way to beat Negreanu, Ivey and their imitators is to push when the situation warrants pushing, and to avoid playing 'Small Ball at all costs'. They state they've got the cookie cutter solution that will neutralize these players.

The next 10 pages gives you 'Kill Phil' Basic, which is a cookie recipe for when to push, and how to handle a free flop in the big blind. (Mostly fold, even with top pair)

The next 70 pages are 'Kill Phil Advanced', which is a poorly written pseudo-cookie cutter formula for taking the very beatable basic to the next level. If it were a real cookie recipe, it would read like this:

If it's raining outside, take 1.5 cups of flower and 3 Tbs of sugar, unless you've got a feeling that it might get sunny later on. If you think your oven is accurate, put it to 350 degrees, but if you have an inkling that your oven might be mis-calibrated....

In short, the Kill Phil Plus tries to make the player act like a real poker player, even venturing into 'small ball' advice that may be sensible, but is poorly written and even more poorly organized. The prose is so heavily peppered with 'however', 'except', 'if', and other ways to say 'it depends', it'll make you want to sneeze.

I don't feel threatened by the army of 'Phil-Killers' on the horizon. I'm happy to loan this book out lest another 20$ goes to waste in this world.