The same dilemma that I also faced with the Rolf Slotboom’s Winning Plays DVD’s and my Hold’em On The Come book, I also had with this second book. After all, in this books section I want to discuss all relevant poker works. Yet, writing a review about your own product is generally not considered very appropriate. After all, because no one would even dare criticizing his own product, it is usually considered bad taste to come up with a seemingly objective analysis – that of course in the end always turns out as plugging of the work.
Well, this review is no exception, I guess. Being so proud of this work, and this being a book that is written with almost no help by others (thus being a true “Rolf” piece), I have decided to even give it a rating – and a very high one on top of that. When rating books, I usually look at two factors. Not just the quality of the advice (the higher the quality, the higher the rating), but also this: How obvious or renewing is it. After all, a book with good but mostly common-wisdom advice should get a significantly lower rating IMO than a book that has the courage to go against common wisdom, that explores new grounds, and that despite all this still offers quality advice that can re relied on.
Well, quite simply: Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha provides exactly this kind of information. While before this book, there wasn’t all that much quality / in-depth information available on PLO, this book digs deeper than any other work has done so far. In SOPPLO, I share this specific and in the eyes of some rather strange style of play that I have developed throughout the years, and that has given me tremendous success in the cash games, both live and online. I describe the exact thought processes in a difficult-but-coherent step by step approach, based on the characteristics of the exact games that I have always played in. And, I can honestly say: I have held back absolutely nothing. The end result: A highly controversial, yet still very accurate book that distinguishes between a revolutionary short-stack strategy and a high-quality big stack approach – with special emphasis on the preferred seating positions for either strategy, and ways to exploit specific weaknesses in your opponents. All of this from a mathematical + position-based approach that up to this point had never appeared in print – at least, not to my knowledge. A series of in-depth practice hands finishes off this book that (beware!) is not an easy read by any means. But to those who are truly into PLO, it should be more than worth the while to study this book time and again. And quite frankly, I consider the ridiculously low price of $19.99 (and at the time of this writing, even just $13.57 at Amazon) to be somewhat of an insult to the quality of this work – even though this pricing is obviously to the reader’s advantage.
So, there you have it: A not-very-objective review by the Ace himself, with a rating of no less than an 8 – that instantly puts this work amongst the top books in the industry. Not very modest, that’s for sure. But without any restraint, I can say that this book is truly my “baby”. And given the incredible amounts of discussion and also praise that this book has received ever since its release, I guess it’s fair to say that those readers who are truly into improving their PLO strategies, have clearly recognized the quality of this work. I am very grateful for this, and at the same time I am proud to have made such a meaningful contribution to the development of my favorite game – and to the level of thinking required to beat it.
All in all, while I have written that my first book “Hold’em On The Come” may not have been 100% me, this second book is a 100% Rolf product. And without a doubt, “Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha” has had a tremendous impact on the way PLO is being played. Introducing a highly controversial short-stack system that is especially useful at the online full-ring games, but that I have also been using for many years in brick and mortar casinos, I basically gave away for free some highly advanced, though easy-to-implement strategies. And this made some of the accomplished pros furious, because suddenly every table had a whole bunch of shortstacking / ratholing “Little Rolfs” – clearly cutting into the hourly rates of the good, but too loose-aggressive pros. What I didn’t like much was that (amidst all the praise and recognition that I got for this book) some of my critics tried to make it seem that “Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha” was just shortstacking – when in fact it has some of the best big-stack / high-level thinking on PLO that has ever appeared in print. Anyway, in part because of the presence of this book, the PLO full-ring games have mostly disappeared, and have been replaced by 6-max. games. My publisher D&B and I have already agreed on the release of “Secrets of Professional Pot-Limit Omaha II”, where I will focus specifically on 6-max. games. I take my time here, quite simply because I want this second book to be as influential and as good as the first.