BY RUSS SCOTT
RELEASE: JAN. 17, 2012
Angelo’s ‘Rubber Band Story’ Wraps Great Poker Tips in Eloquent Writing
Tell a beginning poker player to fold more hands for better results, and you’ll likely get a return stare that screams, “I want to play, not watch!”
Now consider how poker coach and author Tommy Angelo conveys that same message to players in his 2011 book, “A Rubber Band Story and Other Poker Tales.”
“I played poker for 10 years before I discovered folding in 1984,” he begins. “By 1990, I was folding enough to support my food and rent habit. This freed up lots of time for lots more folding. … My tether line to solvency was always the folding.”
Angelo describes how folding makes him “feel like a puppet master” and helps him make money twice — by immediately escaping bad situations and by enticing opponents to bluff or fold at the wrong times. “All of a sudden, I can’t lose.”
And that’s the secret to how you learn from Angelo’s second book. He doesn’t just tell you what to do to improve, he creatively tells you why each tip is important, so the instruction sticks.
In another example, Angelo suggests how to practice “assuming the position” for those times when you move all-in, then freeze while your opponent stalls and stares, hoping you’ll give up a clue.
“Imagine that moment. Imagine the posture you would want to be in. The one that makes you look good and feel good. If you do this before every hand, you will know you have done your best,” he writes.
While those kinds of lessons can be found throughout the book’s 207 pages, the underlying reason to add “Rubber Band Story” to your collection is its high level of purely enjoyable writing.
“Alex Stories” was my favorite section for sheer readability.
Most players have a “best poker buddy,” and Angelo’s account of his wacky but functional poker relationship with Alex will bring a smile as you recall some of your own special poker moments with a friend.
His ability to captivate readers surfaced a long time ago, the 53-year-old said in an interview.
“My poker writing style is an offshoot of my music career in the 1980s,” said Angelo, who has performed rock and country on stage some 2,500 times, mostly with a group called Just Another Band.
His original, self-produced music includes a 2001 CD of poker-related songs titled “I’m Running Bad,” featuring this memorable line: “Stay off of my back, there’s a monkey already there.” Dozens of his music audio clips are posted at tommyangelo.com.
“I’ve always thought of myself as a writer,” said Angelo, a Columbus, Ohio, native who moved to Palo Alto, Calif., in 1997.
His first book, “Elements of Poker” in 2007, was widely acclaimed. Like “Rubber Band Story,” it was produced via Amazon’s CreateSpace self-publishing and print on-demand platform.
“Publishing a book can be a long, scary process. CreateSpace held my hand all along the way to publication. They were very patient, and I am very grateful,” Angelo said.
He will use the same arrangement for his upcoming third book, “Painless Poker.” The new work will highlight “brutal poker events in my life” and tell the tales of six archetypical players who are beamed to the Painless Poker Clinic for treatment, Angelo said.
That sounds like fertile ground for Angelo to develop another crop of terrific poker tips woven into eloquent depictions of poker players and the game they love.
E-mail your poker questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org for use in future columns. To find out more about Russ Scott and read previous LuckyDog Poker columns, visit creators.com or luckydogpoker.com.
COPYRIGHT 2012 RUSS SCOTT
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM