Publishers are finally getting the message. Ask the public what games or subjects they’d like to see more of, then supply it within the covers of a fresh new book. Thus, we have Farha on Omaha — Expert Strategy for Beating Cash Games and Tournaments (189 pages, paperbound, $19.95) and Small Track Betting by C.N. Richardson (160 pages, paperbound, $14.95) hot off the griddle.
Sam Farha, considered one of the finest Omaha players on the poker circuit, teamed up with noted poker writer Storms Rebeck, to produce a well-written, well-priced book for all who play limit, pot-limit and Omaha eight or better. Designed to be a combination introduction to the game and new ideas for the experienced player, the book discusses concepts such as basic strategy, play before and on the flop and beyond the flop and tournament advice. There are no charts, tables, mathematical equations or illustrated hands.
The writing is smooth, to the point, packed with personal examples and advice on what to do in a variety of situations.
Farha, known in part for his mastery of keeping an unlit cigarette in his mouth while contemplating moves including bluffing, raising over the top and going all in, offers biographical information about himself, the rise of the game in popularity (while predicting Omaha will become more popular than hold’em years from now), covers virtually every key aspect of the game.
Farha does not play in many tournaments. He loves cash games because of the action and because he’s not a patient player (a requirement in the tourney situation).
The book explains the type of person he is and how he became as successful as he’s been at the tables. There’s honesty in this book; he admits his mistakes, some foolish play and tries to guide both the novice and the old pro away from errors. Farha on Omaha will certainly help attract more players to the game-hopefully, smarter, disciplined ones.
Little has been written about betting at smaller tracks. In “Small Track Betting,” tracks like Finger Lakes, Great Lakes Downs, Lone Star Park, Turf Paradise, Tampa Bay Downs and Turfway Park get the spotlight — each in a separate chapter — including the takeouts for each on exactas, trifectas, superfectas and the Pic 3, 4 and 6.
Smartly, to help the uninitiated, author Richardson tells you the history and profiles each track’s configuration and outlining certain “quirks.” Too, he profiles the key trainers, jockeys, the speed rating, class, distance factors, various track conditions worth noting, samples races, winners he picked, samples races and differentiates between “prime bets” “action bets” and how to avoid losing streaks.
The author spent three years studying each small track. He emphasizes an eight-point system of race analysis before wagering including setting realistic goals; limit your bets per day at any one track; and using resources available properly (gathering, interpreting, weighing information).
Little has been available on smaller tracks, but this book freshens the scene nicely. It may have to be updated in a year, but for now it’s well worth having in your racing reference library.