Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Review: The Video Poker Edge by Linda Boyd - Part 1


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A while ago I mentioned in my blog that I'd be reviewing Linda Boyd's book on Video Poker. Well, the time has come.

"Kenny, I'm going to review Linda Boyd's book on Video Poker," I said one day, while seated around the bolted down metal table in the lunch room at Royal Canadian Veeblefetzer's Flusherville plant, where I work as a kind of industrial midwife, aiding the birthing process of approximately 10,000 identical, stinking, round, vulcanized rubber size 7 grommets each and every day until you just want to scream to the heavens "JESUS GAWWWWD WHY ME? I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!" while smashing the snot out of the grommet line with the base of a 30 brass pound fire extinguisher.
We've won a few Golden Grommet awards...
"But Royal! You know everything there is to know about casinos, gambling, and how to lose slower," Kenny said, pulling unconsciously at one of his scarred ears, trying to find the earlobe, without luck. (See Before a trip the angels place their bets and Chippy Wants a Drink.)

"No, Kenny. Just...no," I said.

Jimmy Poon stirred his beaten up tupperware container of what looked like his usual meal of 'rice 'n stuff', and unidentifiable mixture featuring rice, exotic spices from his homeland, and some kind of protein, possible the parts of animals known as 'delicacies'.

"Tell 'em Jimmy."


"Royal needs to sharpen up his game. He's sloppy and weak. He doesn't pay attention and drinks while he gambles," said Jimmy, through a mouthful of possibly delicious 'rice 'n stuff'.

"It's true Kenny. I've been playing video poker for something like 17 years now. I've gotten a lot of bad habits and I think I can improve my game. I need to do some reading."

"...and...?" Jimmy prompted.

"And... I... well, I need to use strategy cards sometimes."

Everything stopped in the lunch room. The euchre cards fell to the floor. Someone gasped. Near the door, there was the sound of glass breaking. I think somebody dropped their Snapple.

Amid a chorus of "No!" and "Shame!" and "Oh my God!" from the plant rabblery, I shouted to make myself heard.

"IT'S TRUE!" I hung my head a little. "It's all true. We did some test runs on the Video Poker WinSimulator 3000 featuring WinPoker and I'm making too many mistakes. I need to review strategy, think about bankroll and variance, and get some help in the casino for those tricky holds. I want to win more money, is that a sin? Well, IS IT???" I screamed.

I'd love to say that there was a chorus of cheers and that I got carried around on people's shoulders through a cloud of tickertape. But actually, someone threw a banana peel at my head, and Kenny let a loud fart go, and then everyone went back to euchre.

So, I contacted Linda Boyd and said, hey, I'd like to review your book. I liked what I'd heard about it and thought it would be a good addition to the knowledge base that I dribble slowly out of my brain with the passing years, in the same way that my 1994 Tercel leaks transmission fluid.

The book is "The Video Poker Edge (Second Edition) - How to Play Smart and Bet Right" by Linda Boyd.

Video Poker Edge includes tons of information about video poker, including strategies for some of the better, and most popular games. A set of detachable, pocket-sized cards are included in the back of the book. Guess what's on 'em? Yup, video poker strategies. Pocket-sized cards with Gordie Howe's all-time NHL (and WHL) stats might be luckier to carry around, but VP strategies are definately going to make one a more savvy player.

The plan... read the book, try the strategies while practicing ahead of my next Vegas jaunt, and then put the strategy cards to the test in real-world sticky-fingered bleary-eyed half-plastered casino conditions in my next trip - The Spirit of Savvy - starting in just a few days from this writing. Like, Saturday.

But first, about the book contents... in part 2 of my book review.
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