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Poker Authors Analyzed

Part X: Lou Krieger

by Rolf Slotboom |  Published: Apr 01, 2008

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Editor's note: Former Card Player Europe Bureau Chief Rolf Slotboom has read just about every poker book available, and in this series of columns, he analyzes one poker strategist at a time. He looks at the strengths and weaknesses of both the person and his products - whether it's books, DVDs, or just articles. Extensive reviews and ratings of individual books and DVDs can be found on Rolf's site, www.rolfslotboom.com.

Lou Krieger is a big name in the poker industry. He has written or co-written no fewer than 11 books, and used to have a column in Card Player for many years, almost always discussing cash games. He is known as a gentleman, and only very rarely will you hear people criticize either the man himself or his advice.

Even though we have never met in person, I got to see his kind and friendly side during the time we were both involved in Poker School Online. He used to be the "dean" of this community, and the contacts we had were without exception kind, friendly, and respectful.

Having said that, when it comes to Krieger's actual poker advice, I am not that thrilled, actually. His advice is always aimed at beginners or relative beginners, and only very rarely will he discuss a difficult or highly advanced concept. This in itself is not such a problem, as limiting oneself to just the large group of people who are average or below average can be smart from a business point of view, and also beneficial to these players who are not long-term winners yet. But even then, I am not thrilled. I think beginners like simple mantras and concrete recommendations, yet Krieger always uses an awful lot of words to explain relatively simple concepts. Yes, things are explained quite accurately, and usually the advice is not bad at all (although at times it's a bit too conservative, maybe), but it is also never very special or extraordinary.

Krieger's two main books are Hold'em Excellence - From Beginner to Winner, and More Hold'em Excellence - A Winner for Life, and they are more than decent: lots of OK advice, not too difficult, presented in a calm and serious manner - and there's nothing wrong with that. Also quite popular is the Poker for Dummies book that he co-wrote, which has sold well and is worth a 6 or 7 out of 10. A fourth book that deserves a mention is actually the work that I like the best: the Mark Tenner/Lou Krieger Winning Omaha/8 Poker. I prefer this one over all other books that Krieger has been involved in simply because it truly adds something to poker literature, by in-depth analysis of a game that has not been analyzed very fully yet.

As for almost all of his works, my complaints are about the same. They are not bad, and not a single player will find his game deteriorate after reading them. Yet, at the same time, there are now so many books and articles with the Krieger name on them that, at least in my view, a large part of this material should be new and innovative, or at least very in-depth at times. The fact that all of this is not the case and that, as a result, so many books and articles by Krieger look so similar are my two main complaints of his otherwise decent and solid advice.

Next issue: John Vorhaus.

Rolf has been a professional cash-game player since 1998. He is the author of the successful Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha, and the co-author of Hold'em on the Come. He is the creator and presenter of the hold'em four-DVD set Rolf Slotboom's Winning Plays. He is the first-ever Dutch Champion, and maintains his own site at www.rolfslotboom.com.