The Raiser’s Edge, a Review

Posted by Ellis Shuman, January 5, 2015

The Raiser's EdgeThis is not a book for beginning poker players. In fact, The Raiser’s Edge is not for most poker players. Rather, in the fast-changing tournament poker universe, this book is directed towards a new type of player, looser and more aggressive than those who have previously hit the felt. The intention of the team of professional players who coauthored this guide was to present tournament poker strategies for the LAG (loose aggressive) and hyper-LAG player, and how to defend against such aggressive types.

“Poker is an evolving game,” the book begins. “Overall, the general trend is that tournament poker styles of play have become more loose and aggressive over the last few years. Actually, online play may already bet too loose.”

So, what can players do to keep up with this trend? “The best we can do is teach you how to think,” the authors write. ”If we can teach you how to think about situations in general – how to rationalize in all situations rather than copying a formula – then you can survive no matter how quickly the playing climate changes.”

With that ambitious goal in mind, the authors go into detailed information and strategy for every possible tournament aspect, from pot control and bluffing to mid-stage play, 3-betting, and 4-betting. Every poker strategy is offered in a wide variety of options, based on the player’s chip stack, position, and opponents.

The information is too much for the average player to absorb. Even the color charts for everything from defending a big blind against a mid-position raiser to responding to a 3-bet under high pressure only tend to complicate, rather than simplify a player’s options.

It seems that the only way to exploit all this advice is to have an equity calculator or a computer spreadsheet on hand to consult during poker tournament play. At best, this book will give you food for thought how to handle different situations based on the various changing factors of a poker tournament.

The Raiser’s Edge was coauthored by Bertrand “Elky” Grospellier, a French tournament poker pro; Lee Nelson, a founding member of the Australian Poker Hall of Fame; poker author Tysen Streib; and professional live and online tournament poker player Tony Dunst. While the authors have much tournament poker experience under their belts, the team writing occasionally lacks cohesion, with the reader left to choose among different options offered how to play certain situations.

The Raiser’s Edge is subtitled Tournament Poker Strategies for Today’s Aggressive Game. It was published on July 1, 2011, by Huntington Press.


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Previous articles by Ellis Shuman:

Improving Your Game with Moorman’s Book of Poker

No-limit Holdem Poker by Bob Ciaffone, a Review

The Big Blind, a Book Review

The Blackjack Life, a Review

How Poker and Scrabble Are Very Much Alike

A Lot More Blood than Aces

The Moneymaker Effect and How It Changed Poker

Dutch Boyd Goes on Poker Tilt with His New Book

Poker Success of the Poet's Son

Poker and Philosophy: Thinking Your Way to Better Poker

The Wolf of Online Processing

The Greatest Poker Songs of All Time

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