‘Be the King of Small Stakes Tournaments’ is a how-to guide for novice and beginning poker players. Inside the pages author Mike Exinger explains the most basic ideas behind small stakes tournament play and leads the reader to new concepts in poker fundamentals.

High Points

Written for the beginning poker tournament player

Specifically geared towards small stakes tournaments

Enjoyably written a one-time teacher and author

Poker advice is to the point – just a 64 page book

Low Points

Not much poker introduction for new players

Just 64 pages

Jumps right into tournament play after long introduction


Be the King of Small Stakes Poker Mike Exinger is a new, 2011 book

64 pages – available as an ebook only

Guide Review – ‘Be the King of Small Stakes Tournaments’ – Book Review

Be the King of Small Stakes Tournaments Mike Exinger is a valuable guide for beginning, small stakes poker players. The book is short, just 64 pages, and begins with a somewhat rambling (although enjoyable) introduction to what the book is about and why the author wrote it. Unfortunately this takes 12 pages, which leaves just 52 to instruct the readers about poker.

After the introduction the book jumps right into several pages about single table tournaments. The advice is sound and logical, excellent for new players. I would have expected the list of starting hands for Texas Hold’em tournaments to be presented with an explanation of the reasons for this at the beginning, not on page 28, but once Exinger does let the reader see his list of hands the advice flows in a more straightforward manner.

Exinger does explain a “basic” strategy for playing and his definition of aggressive and passive players (loose/tight) as a matrix to be charted. Should a reader address their own style to the xy graph they can see how the author feels they will do in actual play – and what would be an optimal strategy for tournaments against different players

Chapter Eight, Stages of Tournaments, may be the most valuable for new players, as they may not realize that each tournament has its own particular makeup and each stage of a tournament also has its own feel. The requirements of the players during those stages is addressed and new players again may find that they have underestimated or misinterpreted some aspects.

His advice to go slow and play conservatively and tight at the beginning of a tournament is pretty standard advice and works well for some players. However, it may be more fitting for larger buy-in tournaments and be geared only towards no-limit play.

The beginning stages of tournaments always provide plenty of opportunities to limp into pots with small pairs and suited connectors in anticipation of catching hands that will trap several players. You either hit, or toss your hand.

Because the blinds are small and calling represents only a fraction of your starting bankroll these opportunities should not be missed. Waiting until later stages where a call represents a significant portion of your stack is a mistake.

Why this Book is Valuable

This book is especially valuable to players who have not devised a true strategy for playing in small stakes tournaments. It’s not designed as a guide for learning how to play poker, but as a start for tournament play.

Players who want to have some success in either online or live tournaments will benefit from Exinger’s advice and should be able to follow his concepts. They should also be able to apply his teachings to several forms of tournaments from single-table sit-and-goes to many player, multi-table tournaments.

The author’s advice for certain tournaments like those with rebuy’s is short, but readers can find information about them in other places.

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