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When Herbert Yardley wrote his short classic, The Education of a Poker Player, in 1957, No Limit Texas Hold’Em, the game that has become synonymous with poker for many people, hadn’t been invented. Yardley started his poker career at a spit and sawdust club called Monty’s Place. After outsmarting the eponymous Monty by spotting his tell (bluffs with one hand, value bets with the other), Monty takes him under his wing and teaches him how to play.

Although the story starts out a little like the famous Oreo’s scene in Rounders, and you start to wonder what sort of rubbish you’ve let yourself in for, Yardley’s little book is packed with sound advice on how to beat the most popular games of the day (five card draw, five card stud and seven card stud are the main varieties, both Limit and No Limit), which he weaves into an entertaining narrative that ends up in China during the Second World War. Yardley was simultaneously teaching the Chinese Army how to crack codes, and his minder, a huge fish, how to play poker. How the poker world has changed since then! The majority of poker is played online, and, although seven card stud and five card draw remain popular, it’s Texas Hold’Em that dominates the poker landscape. So how would Yardley fare in the modern poker world? Continue Reading..