Book

by Haseeb Qureshi
“Wow. Haseeb has written an amazing and ground-breaking book.
There’s truly nothing else like it.”
David Williams, 2010 WPT World Champion

cover of How to Be a Poker Player

What does it take to be a great poker player?

It’s no secret that masters of poker think differently from ordinary people. In this game-changing bestseller, Haseeb Qureshi, retired world-class high stakes poker pro and instructor, takes you on a journey of rediscovering the game of poker from the inside out. He explores the depths of strategy, psychology, and philosophy within poker, and teaches you his uniquely scientific perspective on approaching the game.

Pick it up now!

Wow. Haseeb has written an amazing and ground-breaking book. There’s truly nothing else like it. An absolute requirement for anyone serious about poker.

David Williams, Team PokerStars pro, 2010 WPT World Champion and 2nd Place Winner of 2004 WSOP Main Event

Philosophy of Poker allows you to delve into the mind of one of poker’s greatest thinkers.

Sorel Mizzi a.k.a. Imper1um & Zangbezan24, high-stakes poker pro and 2010 BLUFF Player of the Year

This book is in a class of its own. I’d honestly prefer if it wasn’t released.

Asad Goodarzy a.k.a. Glitteringprizes, high-stakes poker pro and BlueFirePoker Instructor

This book is a must-read for everyone who is interested in poker and wants to remain on top of their game, especially for gaining a mental edge over their competitors.

Johannes Strasseman, high-stakes poker pro and founder of cardcoaches.com

Great poker players are seldom great writers. Amongst the literature, Haseeb’s book is uniquely attentive to the linguistic aspects of poker, to the subtexts of the game, and also to its beauty. No book I have previously encountered takes the same approach, and it is this which makes the writing of interest to poker players of any caliber, and other game players alike.

Peter Leggatt, critic and essayist for the Financial Times

Haseeb’s book will help poker players of all levels improve their theoretical understanding of poker and the mental game. Haseeb is brutally honest about the deliberate practice and intelligence it takes to win in today’s game, and yet I still found myself inspired upon finishing it.

Jennifer Shahade, author, journalist for PokerStars

There is more and more good content to choose from in today’s poker world, but I highly encourage serious students of the game to take a look at this great book.

Fredrik Keitel a.k.a. Observer84, high-stakes poker pro and founder of clans.de
Please contact me for review copies.

Introduction (Excerpt)

You’re reading this book because you want to improve your poker game.

I know all too well how that goes. When I began poker, I was constantly searching for the tricks the pros were using to win, convinced they had to be hidden away somewhere. I tore through books like this one, expecting to uncover clever ways to play draws, sneaky bluffs that no one knew about, or maybe the secret to handling aggressive players or 3-bet pots. Deep down, I hoped that some hand, theory, or principle would suddenly illuminate everything I couldn’t see.

But that moment of revelation never came. And with time and experience, I learned that this wasn’t for lack of trying. If there is a secret in poker, it is this: the way is as hard, rigorous, and disenchanting as the way has ever been.

I’ve met and taught hundreds of poker players during my time as a professional, and I have never met one whose game was transformed to a high level by merely reading a book. That’s just not the way that poker works. You can seek out books claiming to teach you such things, but I suspect that, after working through them, you will find yourself right where you started.

The aim of this book, then, is not to make you better at poker. Instead, it is to make you a better poker player.

What do I mean?

Someone once told me, “Nobody teaches us how to be poker players.” We are taught strategy, how to read hands, how to size bets, but being a poker player requires more than that. Poker is an isolating and confusing profession. The moment you sit down at a poker table, you are submerged in a profoundly backward and contradictory culture.

I asked myself one fundamental question when I decided to write this book: if I could go back eight years, to when I was just beginning my exploration into poker, what would I tell my 16-year-old self? What have I learned that he needs to know? What are the most valuable ideas that would equip him for the long and maddening journey ahead?

If you want to better understand what it means to be a poker player, this book is for you.

You may not be ready to absorb all of the ideas and perspectives presented here. That’s okay. I wasn’t either the first time I heard them, and I heard them many times from many different people before they were ingrained in me. Chances are it will take someone else, maybe a year or two down the road, perhaps a friend, a mentor, a stranger telling you the same thing before it convinces you. And who knows—some of these ideas may be wrong for you. That’s okay. It’s part of the process. But let this book be a step in your journey, and even if it does not change your beliefs or your perspective on the world or on poker, trust that it will help, whether or not you agree with it. Trust that it has a place in your process.

I want to remind you that your life as a poker player is a journey. Treating it as anything less is a disservice to yourself. Everything that I write, I write because I want you to thrive and grow from this journey. That said, you don’t need to be a professional to understand the contents of this book. It is written to be useful to all ranges of players, from high-stakes professionals to those just curious about the game.

What is poker to you? Is it an interest? A hobby? A passion? Is it your calling? Think carefully about this. This is where it all begins.

Pick it up!
Amazon
Audible.com
CreateSpace (print version)
Nook
Kobo
Smashwords
Related Posts

Glossary of Poker Terms

lecture

This is a glossary of common poker terms. Suggest additions or changes in the comments below.Read more »

To the Young Professional Poker Player

cropped-The+Card+Players-1024x768-4049.jpg

Hey guys, As I’m writing this I’ve just arrived in Budapest, Hungary. It’s a beautiful city, and over the next few days I’m going to be exploring it as much as I can. But the subject of this blog post is not going to be on my travels. Over the last couple of weeks I […]Read more »

  • Forget evrything you know about the girah’s scandal. The guy might have commited a blunder but when it comes to explain deeper concepts around poker, he is the man. $3 in Kindle PC! Are you kidding? Simply the best book i’ve read about poker. Only for high advanced players though.

  • Can I pay for the book via skrill?

    Also would you recommend Ed Miller’s latest Poker’s 1% book as well?

    • Unfortunately I don’t have a Skrill account, but if you shoot me an e-mail, Paypal is an option. :)

      I can’t speak for Ed Miller’s books in particular; I haven’t read it, so I can’t say. But my advice, which I advance in the book and which I’ll repeat here, is that I don’t think that purely strategy-oriented books are an optimal way to improve at poker. You’re a lot better off watching videos (of which there are tons of good material, and free now too) and reviewing your own hands more thoroughly than buying a full-priced poker book. Rare exceptions include that one guy’s PLO book, or Mathematics of Poker if you’re a complete newbie to poker math.

      (That said, if you’re playing live poker or especially live tournaments, then I do think books have more value, but I’d still rather be learning from videos, coaches, and forum posts than from books. The sad reality is that most people who are writing these sorts of books are not great players, and they tend to give simplistic analysis that can be detrimental to your development.)

  • Hi man,

    Did buy your book, great read, loved a lot of it, except some things about the ego. Lately I am reading books since my mental state is pretty bad (mind races all the time and procratinating). Been reading Eckhart Tolle and trying to apply it in my daily life, and in ‘A new earth’ I did read about how people give their posessions away in a way to try to get rid of the ego, while he claims it doesn’t solve anything when it comes to the ego since the ego will find something else. Do you agree with this? Obviously I ask this because you did the same. Like did you felt better after it?

    Thanks

    • i think Eckhart Tolle is absolutely right, in that giving away your possessions is not going to quash your ego (even if it may seem like a temporary release). The only thing that’ll quash your ego is actually quashing it.

      But–that’s not the reason why I decided to give away my money. I wasn’t trying to quash my ego. I’m perfectly aware I’ve got lots of ego, and it drives me towards excellence in many endeavors. I’m not in a place in my life where I actually want to let go of my ego (you will remember I mention the value of ego in my book). Maybe that’s not good–it probably isn’t. But it’s where I’m at right now, and I do think it is the best way to achieve worldly eminence.

      Worldly eminence might not amount to much in the end, but it certainly feels good to get on the scoreboard.

  • I have just finished listening to your book from Audible. I have to say its so far from what I expected. I expected tips on how to play certain hands how to handle min raisers and so on and so forth.
    What I found in your book was how to take all that I have learnt so far and apply it in my game. How to make better decisions with the information I have at hand. With the added bonus of changing my way of thinking in the rest of my life decisions. Any poker player wanting to improve their game and their life needs to read this book.
    I will no doubt listen to this many times on my way to tournaments for a long time to come.
    Thanks
    Will

  • Your book was a natural fit as I am currently in school for a degree in psychology. Understanding how to use our brain better than my opponent and how to understand my opponent is an obsession. Your extra terms and definitions were helpful. Knowing how wrong my perspective about myself and poker was illustrated clearly at the beginning. Playing one table my entire career has enabled me to use the three bet and four bet random, balance, and game flow like the book suggests.I am fortunate to have two coach’s who share a similar understanding about freedom and creativity about how the game is truly seen through their eyes. The way the book is written is just like talking to them from your perspective. Thank you and I recommend this book to any aspiring poker player.

  • I bought this book, years ago.
    Oddly, this book made me much of a better person than a better poker player. I now really love my life, I know what are my strengths, I consistently erase part of my weaknesses and I am happy. Thank you!

  • Hi Haseeb, I just learned of your story today after returning to poker 12 months ago. I had quit due to all the cheating scandals, mostly the online stuff. I hope you are not too hard on yourself! Funnily enough, in the middle of reading quickly what happened to you, the thought occurred to me that you should learn to meditate, lo and behold, that is what you are doing. I’m not a practitioner, but if you are ever in Toronto and want to learn true enlightenment, my good friend’s friend is a master [we’re talking serious guru status via Qi Gong, of course there are many paths I suppose, and if I weren’t so lazy I’d do it] which is all the more reason I want to order your book after reading the great reviews! Okay, I’m in Canada, I noticed the US amazon site offers for $1.99 extra, an audible to go along with the kindle version. Any way I could get it with the audible directly from you? [or at least any method since the amazon.ca won’t offer the audible for the extra $2] I gather that is your own deep voice? I look forward to gaining much knowledge, my modest recreational career takes me to Tampa late Sept for an event, incidentally, freeish restaurant league poker is heaven, maybe some day you’ll dip your toes back in if and when you feel like it, a laugh and a half it is! best regards, hope to hear from you! Oliver

  • Just food for thought… I live at the perimeter of Canada’s densest population, called St. Jamestown. Not violent, but poor and vastly underserviced, to the extent that ‘Save the Children’ or some such charity commissioned a study of it in 2006 to see how it could help, as if it were a third world status ghetto. I have often thought of teaching poker to the kids, or table tennis; not sure if the former is a good idea, but it beats the heck out of flipping burgers. Anyways, check it out, if you are ever up here, Toronto is a tolerable place to live, I really look forward to reading your book! lol

  • I suspect your book will change my way of thinking about life. Just wanted to be on record before I read it, lol.

  • 13 Comments
    1. Forget evrything you know about the girah’s scandal. The guy might have commited a blunder but when it comes to explain deeper concepts around poker, he is the man. $3 in Kindle PC! Are you kidding? Simply the best book i’ve read about poker. Only for high advanced players though.

    2. Can I pay for the book via skrill?

      Also would you recommend Ed Miller’s latest Poker’s 1% book as well?

      • Unfortunately I don’t have a Skrill account, but if you shoot me an e-mail, Paypal is an option. :)

        I can’t speak for Ed Miller’s books in particular; I haven’t read it, so I can’t say. But my advice, which I advance in the book and which I’ll repeat here, is that I don’t think that purely strategy-oriented books are an optimal way to improve at poker. You’re a lot better off watching videos (of which there are tons of good material, and free now too) and reviewing your own hands more thoroughly than buying a full-priced poker book. Rare exceptions include that one guy’s PLO book, or Mathematics of Poker if you’re a complete newbie to poker math.

        (That said, if you’re playing live poker or especially live tournaments, then I do think books have more value, but I’d still rather be learning from videos, coaches, and forum posts than from books. The sad reality is that most people who are writing these sorts of books are not great players, and they tend to give simplistic analysis that can be detrimental to your development.)

    3. Hi man,

      Did buy your book, great read, loved a lot of it, except some things about the ego. Lately I am reading books since my mental state is pretty bad (mind races all the time and procratinating). Been reading Eckhart Tolle and trying to apply it in my daily life, and in ‘A new earth’ I did read about how people give their posessions away in a way to try to get rid of the ego, while he claims it doesn’t solve anything when it comes to the ego since the ego will find something else. Do you agree with this? Obviously I ask this because you did the same. Like did you felt better after it?

      Thanks

      • i think Eckhart Tolle is absolutely right, in that giving away your possessions is not going to quash your ego (even if it may seem like a temporary release). The only thing that’ll quash your ego is actually quashing it.

        But–that’s not the reason why I decided to give away my money. I wasn’t trying to quash my ego. I’m perfectly aware I’ve got lots of ego, and it drives me towards excellence in many endeavors. I’m not in a place in my life where I actually want to let go of my ego (you will remember I mention the value of ego in my book). Maybe that’s not good–it probably isn’t. But it’s where I’m at right now, and I do think it is the best way to achieve worldly eminence.

        Worldly eminence might not amount to much in the end, but it certainly feels good to get on the scoreboard.

    4. I have just finished listening to your book from Audible. I have to say its so far from what I expected. I expected tips on how to play certain hands how to handle min raisers and so on and so forth.
      What I found in your book was how to take all that I have learnt so far and apply it in my game. How to make better decisions with the information I have at hand. With the added bonus of changing my way of thinking in the rest of my life decisions. Any poker player wanting to improve their game and their life needs to read this book.
      I will no doubt listen to this many times on my way to tournaments for a long time to come.
      Thanks
      Will

    5. Your book was a natural fit as I am currently in school for a degree in psychology. Understanding how to use our brain better than my opponent and how to understand my opponent is an obsession. Your extra terms and definitions were helpful. Knowing how wrong my perspective about myself and poker was illustrated clearly at the beginning. Playing one table my entire career has enabled me to use the three bet and four bet random, balance, and game flow like the book suggests.I am fortunate to have two coach’s who share a similar understanding about freedom and creativity about how the game is truly seen through their eyes. The way the book is written is just like talking to them from your perspective. Thank you and I recommend this book to any aspiring poker player.

    6. I bought this book, years ago.
      Oddly, this book made me much of a better person than a better poker player. I now really love my life, I know what are my strengths, I consistently erase part of my weaknesses and I am happy. Thank you!

    7. Hi Haseeb, I just learned of your story today after returning to poker 12 months ago. I had quit due to all the cheating scandals, mostly the online stuff. I hope you are not too hard on yourself! Funnily enough, in the middle of reading quickly what happened to you, the thought occurred to me that you should learn to meditate, lo and behold, that is what you are doing. I’m not a practitioner, but if you are ever in Toronto and want to learn true enlightenment, my good friend’s friend is a master [we’re talking serious guru status via Qi Gong, of course there are many paths I suppose, and if I weren’t so lazy I’d do it] which is all the more reason I want to order your book after reading the great reviews! Okay, I’m in Canada, I noticed the US amazon site offers for $1.99 extra, an audible to go along with the kindle version. Any way I could get it with the audible directly from you? [or at least any method since the amazon.ca won’t offer the audible for the extra $2] I gather that is your own deep voice? I look forward to gaining much knowledge, my modest recreational career takes me to Tampa late Sept for an event, incidentally, freeish restaurant league poker is heaven, maybe some day you’ll dip your toes back in if and when you feel like it, a laugh and a half it is! best regards, hope to hear from you! Oliver

    8. Just food for thought… I live at the perimeter of Canada’s densest population, called St. Jamestown. Not violent, but poor and vastly underserviced, to the extent that ‘Save the Children’ or some such charity commissioned a study of it in 2006 to see how it could help, as if it were a third world status ghetto. I have often thought of teaching poker to the kids, or table tennis; not sure if the former is a good idea, but it beats the heck out of flipping burgers. Anyways, check it out, if you are ever up here, Toronto is a tolerable place to live, I really look forward to reading your book! lol

    9. I suspect your book will change my way of thinking about life. Just wanted to be on record before I read it, lol.

    Leave Me A Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *