Every Hand Revealed was one of those books that I couldn’t wait to get my hands on when it was first published in 2008. It is literally a blow by blow account of Gus Hansen’s journey all the way from the very first hand onto the final table and eventually beating Jimmy Fricke to land the 2007 Aussie Millions Championship in Melbourne. The book is a fascinating look into the tournament game and mind of one of the most enigmatic and famous high stakes poker players in the world today. Any player who is looking to play in any large poker tournament with a slow structure would have much to learn from reading this book.
Gus Hansen……the man!
Gus Hansen shot to fame very rapidly when he won two tournaments of the World Poker Tour that were featured heavily on television and this along with his almost fearless and at times reckless game made him a favourite with millions of people worldwide. Hansen went on to win a third WPT title and a WSOP gold bracelet in 2010. But just like others before him, Hansen was excellent in other areas and was a junior Tennis champion. But it was backgammon where Hansen originally made his mark and rapidly became not only one of the best players in the world but also one of the most fearer cash game players on the planet.
The ability to size up positions, his opponent and the odds were well suited to poker and it wasn’t any surprise to find that Hansen quickly made his mark in poker as well both in live games and online where he has played the best players in the world and both won and lost millions of dollars. Gus Hansen almost seems to have no fear when it comes to risking money and has reportedly lost millions in the “Big Game” in Bobby’s Room in Las Vegas.
Every Hand Revealed: Overview
The book is an inside view of the journey that Gus Hansen took all the way from the first hand to the 2007 Aussie Millions title. This book covered an area that no other book had covered at that time and is one of the most fascinating books that I have ever read. While the book is not steeped in poker theory in the same way as say Tournament Poker by David Sklansky, it still has much to teach all players who look to play large field poker tournaments.
The analysis of the hands is done by Hansen himself and is very easy to follow and understand. All of the key hands are taken from the tournament and to round it all off his final hand is even pocket aces which couldn’t have been more fitting. To win any big event is an achievement in itself but to win a poker tournament and out lasting 746 other players over five days while taking notes for a poker book is something a little bit special. To add to the aura of the book, the foreword is written by poker legend David “Chip” Reese shortly before his untimely death.
Hansen discusses his thoughts for the day ahead and what he plans to do and his analysis of bubble play and what to do at each stage of the tournament is very educational for nearly all who read this book. Primarily I am a cash game player but there are few really great poker books out there at this time on tournament poker. Most of what you need to know about large field tournament poker is contained inside this one book.
Just like with all books then Every Hand Revealed does have its weaknesses. For example it will have little to teach the student by way of how to play in online poker tournaments with very fast structures. The playing structure of the Aussie Millions along with the stack sizes allowed for a lot of creative play and this really is Hansen’s forte. What is insightful for me though is how this poker book reveals the inner workings of the mind of a professional gambler and how that level of analysis can be transferred from a game like backgammon across to poker.
It is very difficult to reach a world class level in two totally different games but Gus Hansen has not only achieved that but he has done it with aplomb. I really think that given enough time that this book will reach the “classic” status along with other great works such as Supersystem and The Theory of Poker. It normally takes time for a book to become a “classic” but there is little doubt in my mind that this book stands every chance of being up there with the very best.
Written by Carl “The Dean” Sampson – Poker author, writer and online poker pro