Postflop - the book, the universe and all those dimensions

 photo gamb64: SNGgrinder, SNG coach (www.poker-coach.com) and video producer for HM, TPE, author of "Postflop", rakeback provider and all-round nice guy! Manchester man (RED), ok at pool and chess
Have you ever grafted at a gargantuan goal? Have you been consumed by a colossal occupation? Have you once toiled tirelessly towards a distant target?

Writing a book on postflop poker is a Herculean task if ever there was one. I feel as though I am on an endless treasure hunt inside a multi-dimensional universe, guided by varying forces. As I travel through that universe I attempt to record my observations and order them logically, so that readers might more readily immerse themselves in the journey. And learn.

There have been two major obstacles for me in writing the book:

1: Coping with the sheer scale of the subject matter

2: Structuring the book (by which dimension?)

For those of you who are interested in poker, the dimensions I refer to are:

  • Tournament Situation
  • Number of Opponents
  • Relative Position
  • SPR (stack to pot ratio)
  • Opponent Information
  • Preflop and Postflop Betting
  • Your hand strength 
  • Opponent(s)’ likely hand strength
  • Texture of flop
  • Odds and outs
  • Implied odds (future betting)
  • Bet sizing


It would be possible to take each dimension and write a chapter (or a volume!) on each. The problem with this idea is that the reader (and the author!) is going to get lost and there will be too many cross-dimensional discussions taking place in the “wrong” chapters.

Actually this is a problem for which there is no perfect solution (though I am still open to suggestions!)

I chose to order the book by hand strength. This is the least complicated and most easily accessible way of doing it. There are, however, a lot of chapters!

I considered ordering the book by what I call the “postflop scenario” of which there are 6 main ones that I explain in the opening of the book (PS1 to PS6). They are an amalgamation of dimensions 3 and 6 above. I believe this would have been an excellent alternative choice for structuring my book as it would have encouraged readers to learn a new perspective when analyzing any postlfop situation. Unfortunately, it would have created as many problems as those that it solved.

In the end I have found a way to communicate the importance of these “postflop scenarios”, structuring them neatly into each chapter and, I hope, re-inforcing the correct “thought processes” for readers.

In dealing with the dimension of SPR I have made use of repeated tables and colours to aid the reader’s comprehension of a dimension that is actually quite simple. It is always just a number and numbers don’t have grey areas.

I want the reader to understand where the journey starts and where it ends and I want him/her to enjoy the sights. At the same time I want to challenge everyone to regard poker from alternate perspectives.

My contents pages and preliminary chapters are quite lengthy, but definitely worth reading before embarking on the journey. That is not to say the book will not be useful as a reference, to be dipped in to as required, but it is intended as an epic adventure story. There are recurring themes, memes, hundreds of images of examples, tables, graphs and appendices, all designed to aid in the reading and the learning experience.

I am currently about 70% of the way through writing the book and I welcome any comments, suggestions, requests or observations.

As a closing note, I would like you to think about how incongruous the below 2 statements are:

1: Postflop strategy is the most important part of most formats of No Limit Texas Holdem Poker (Excl Turbos)

2: My book is the first serious attempt to enter the postflop universe and create order out of chaos.

The reason for this is because the goal is so gargantuan.

I seek inspiration from anyone who has undertaken a mammoth project of any kind and overcome obstacles. Tell me all about it!

And now I must return to my journey…

Ben Hayles – a blog in advance of my forthcoming book Postflop coming in early 2015

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