One of the laments in the poker world today is the lack of quality literature in the community. Everyone seems to have flocked to video training or Twitch to learn about the game, but there’s still a sizeable chunk that like to have something they can read and digest. D&B Publishing has done that with Alexander ‘Assassinato’ Fitzgerald’s latest book, Exploitative Play in Live Poker, which is going to give players plenty to think about.

Fitzgerald Has Plenty of Data to Prove His Theories

First, Fitzgerald has plenty of experience and data to back up his thoughts and theories. Playing online since 2006, ‘Assassinato’ has been able to rack up over $3.6 million in career earnings online and won the PocketFives Triple Crown award. His live success may not have the same number of digits, but Fitzgerald has been able to earn almost $650,000 in cashes that include a final table finish on the European Poker Tour. With this success as evidence, what Fitzgerald advocates is worth listening to.

Exploitative Play in Live Poker is not a simple book. Those that have come to the game of poker recently or don’t have an extensive knowledge of the game are going to have a difficult time keeping up with Fitzgerald on some of his philosophies. That’s not a bad thing, however; Fitzgerald is talking about some rather complex plays with his book and, as such, you MUST be able to comprehend the totality of the game rather than just its basics.

And Fitzgerald’s Data Says…

The crux of Exploitative Play in Live Poker is that you should be making contrarian moves to counteract the play of your opponents. Fitzgerald is an advocate of three- and four-betting players regardless of what you have in your hand but USUALLY indicative of your position. Fitzgerald’s evidence has shown that his opponents hate to be three-bet and, in most cases, will let hands go because they are opening with less-than stellar hands themselves.

With this said, Fitzgerald also says you need to know your opposition. He wants the reader to learn as much as possible about the opposition as possible, that way it will be able to be employed on the felt. But this must be something that you WANT to do, Fitzgerald notes…you must love the game enough to be able to sift through all the data and WORK at the game.

Data is a huge part of what Fitzgerald is advocating, but he also is skillful with his knowledge of psychology. ‘Assassinato’ makes sure he knows his opponent’s mindsets when they are at the table and uses those beliefs against them to maximize his returns. This is where the readers of Exploitative Play in Live Poker will find their difficulties.

As someone who has tried to put Fitzgerald’s theories into operation, it is very difficult to pull the trigger on some of his moves. While he has the evidence to back the actions up, there is still a psychological block for many against three-betting out of the cutoff with a 9-2 off suit with the button and the blinds yet to act. Yet Fitzgerald shows that this has been successful a sizeable chunk of times, in both tournament and cash games, and in both live and online poker.

A Book That Advances Both Tournament and Cash Game Play

By the time you reach the end of Exploitative Play in Live Poker, your head might be swimming from the theories that Fitzgerald has instructed you on. But there are some solid tools that can be used, perhaps not as a session or tournament-long strategy but as a change of pace to throw your opponents off their game. For that reason, I’ve got to suggest that you give Exploitative Play in Live Poker a thorough read, if for nothing else than the study of the psychology of poker players (which Fitzgerald analyzes well) that you’ll meet on the felt. As to his suggestions for play? Perhaps those will come with time and practice!

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