March 2008
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Harrington on cash cows

It’s been on the cards (groan) for a while but finally Dan Harrington’s latest books started to ship this week.

Yes, books, plural.  It’s a simultaneous release of Harrington on Cash Games volumes 1 & 2.  I mean, really, why even try to contain yourself to a single book when you can pad it out a bit by making up letters and colours for things that are mostly common sense, split it in two and charge double?

In fact there’s an increase in cover price too, each book is $34.95 – up from $29.95 for each of the three installments of Harrington on Hold’em.  I guess the cost of producing (half) a book must have gone up that much in the past three years.

The email I just got from Las Vegas Advisor trumpeted:

Dan’s back — and this time he’s talkin’ cash games. Poker’s most prolific author has released two more must-read books, these on the cash-game component of expert hold ’em poker play.

Most profilic author?  It’s his second freaking book!  OK, not many other poker authors have five different ISBNs to their name, but there’s David Sklansky, Mason Malmuth and the late David Spanier, just off the top of my head.  I had to check to be sure, but yes Mike Caro has written more than five and even Matthew Hilger has now written 3 actual, individual books with a fourth apparently on the way this year.

At least with HOH he made us wait a while for Volume 2 to give a degree of credibility to the multi-volume ruse.  He might actually have still been writing it.  In this series, first we learn how to play the early stages of a tournament, and then we think about the later stages.  It almost made sense.  Volume 3 – coming somewhat out of the blue – was just a lovely added bonus.

Now we have two volumes of HOCG coming out at the same time.  Of course there’s no obligation to invest in both books, you do have a choice, but the division between them is rather spurious.  Volume 1 teaches pre-flop and flop play, whereas Volume 2 deals with play on the turn and river.

Pardon me for asking, but why would I want a book that teaches me to play half a hand of poker?

Even if I can choose which half…