Howard Lederer's More Secrets of No Limit Hold 'Em DVD
(If you haven't already checked it out, you should be sure to look at my review of the first volume of Howard Lederer's DVD series.)
As Howard Lederer emphasizes very seriously at the beginning of the DVD, if you have not watched the first volume in this series, titled simply Howard Lederer's Secrets of Texas Hold'Em (sans More), you should watch that video and be familiar and experienced with those concepts before watching this one. The purpose of this video is basically to teach you ways to deviate from the basic plan he taught you on the first disc. If you haven't watched the first video, this one will either be no help or could even hurt your game.
Where the first Howard Lederer DVD focused on the fundamentals, the second in the series begins to get into some of the more sophisticated aspects of the game. If, to make a football analogy, the first one taught us merely to block and tackle, this one teaches us how to strip the ball and mix up the play calls enough to keep our opponents off guard.
The first section of the video deals with straying from the rigidity of the ultra-tight pre-flop strategy Lederer taught on the first disc, and for the most part expands on what hands you should open a pot with depending on the situation. In this section Lederer touches on suited connectors, avoiding traps and limping in. Not necessarily the most complicated stuff, but there are some good ideas here in regards to making yourself less predictable.
Most of the rest of the video is a bit more sophisticated in talking about strategies for playing the flop, turn and river each respectively. Some of the topics in this section of the video include: when to slow play, flop textures, learning to check, bluffing into scare cards, value betting and staying with your read. Now, some of these strategies end up being more specific and intricate than others, but I felt like Lederer did a good job of engaging the audience and giving us things to think about through out. It's fairly obvious the man is genuinely fascinated with all aspects of poker strategy.
At the end there is a shorter section about tournament strategy which has some good ideas, and sprinkled throughout the DVD there are short segments portraying different tells. One of the more entertaining methods the video uses to teach various concepts along the way is having Lederer set up and explain real hands from various points in his career as a pro.
Like the first DVD, the presentation aspect of the video primarily features Lederer sitting at a poker table talking to the camera. It's not of excellent quality, to be sure, but again, while that may bother some, it didn't matter to me. In fact, the music in this video (a kind of generic, reverby rock riff) is a huge improvement over the 80's drum oriented stuff in the first one.
Lederer seems even more comfortable in front of the camera on this one. Like the first, he is not reading cue cards or working off of a script. It's just Howard Lederer talking poker. He definitely knows his stuff.
Ultimately, the name of the game this time around is becoming unpredictable. This one expands greatly on the info provided in the first volume. Combined the two DVDs give you all the ideas and concepts you need to develop a dangerous poker style and continue to develop your game.
Conclusion: I highly recommend this series. This one is superior to the first DVD, but I can't stress enough that they really do go together. Lederer just seems like one of the most respectable and realistic guys out there. At the end of the video, like any good football coach (come on, you knew I'd come back to the football analogy), he stresses practice, focus and sound fundamentals as the keys to victory.
4 out of 4 aces
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