The Education of a Poker Player

Title:                      The Education of a Poker Player

Author:                  Herbert O. Yardley

Yardley, Herbert O. (1957). The Education of a Poker Player: Including Where and How One Learns to Win. New York: Simon and Schuster

LCCN:    57012397

GV1251 .Y3


Date Updated:  June 23, 2015

The wry poker and espionage memoirs of Herbert O. Yardley, the U.S. State Department codebreaker who upgraded U.S. intelligence efforts before World War I, broke the Japanese diplomatic code and caught a Nazi spy while playing poker with him in pre-revolutionary China. While Yardley does give instruction in the proper way to play draw, stud and jokers-wild, his book does not focus on numbers and pot odds. Instead, Yardley shows through his stories of learning poker in the back room of an Indiana saloon and at diplomatic gatherings in China how to get inside the other player’s head. Yardley shows us the human side of poker. His stories are concerned with the personalities of people who played poker with him, and how that knowledge helped him to beat them at the game consistently. It is also a terrific slice-of-life look at small-town life in Middle World War II. Even the characters not immediately concerned with poker offer keen insights which can be used by the smart poker player. Yardley should be read by anyone who seriously wants to improve his chances at the poker table by sharpening his people-reading skills.