The 5 Best Books for Learning Poker Tournament Strategy of 2019

Improve Your Tournament Game

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Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Kill Phil at Amazon

"Outlines simple and effective techniques to fight tournament players more skilled and experienced than you."

Best for Beginners: Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time at Amazon

"Think of this book series as a master class in tournament poker."

Best Strategy: Harrington on Hold'em; Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments at Amazon

"Offers superb advice on choosing and playing against different styles of poker playing, strategy, and more."

Best No-Limit: Championship No-Limit and Pot-Limit Hold'em at Amazon

"An excellent book that focuses on both no-limit and the less common pot-limit Hold'em."

Best for Advanced Players: Tournament Poker for Advanced Players at Amazon

"Includes when and how to adjust your strategy during different stages of a tournament."

  • 01 of 05

    Best Overall: Kill Phil: The Fast Track to Success in No-Limit Hold 'em Poker Tournaments

    Kill Phil: The Fast Track to Success in No-Limit Hold 'em Poker Tournaments

     Courtesy of Amazon

    This book by Steven Heston and Lee Nelson outlines simple and effective techniques to fight tournament players more skilled and experienced than you. It, along with its sequels changed the face of tournament poker, giving the little guys and gals the tool to battle the pros. This book gives you an abbreviated system, the Kill Phil Rookie, that is easy enough for new players to learn in an hour. Then you will build on it with more strategies up their Kill Phil ladder. It includes ways to modify your play for different tournament situations, including online, Sit-n-Gos and single-table satellites.

  • 02 of 05

    Best for Beginners: Winning Poker Tournaments One Hand at a Time

    Step inside the minds of three of the best online tournament players around as they go through hands from their combined 35,000 tournaments played. The unique approach they take for this multi-volume series gives you a completely different learning experience from any other book around. The authors are Eric 'Rizen' Lynch, Jon 'Pearljammer' Turner, and Jon 'Apestyles' Van Fleet, three consistent winners who are also good teachers. Think of this book series as a master class in tournament poker. You'll be able to step inside the minds of the pros in a large variety of situations. Readers appreciated the advice regarding online tournaments, including attacking donk bets, which often infest the online poker rooms.

  • 03 of 05

    Best Strategy: Harrington on Hold'em; Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments

    Dan Harrington is one of the best no-limit Texas Hold'em tournament players in the world. He won the main event of the World Series of Poker in 1995 and was the only person to make the final table in 2003 and 2004. I also recommend "Harrington on Hold 'em: Volume II: The Endgame," but start with this first book. It offers superb advice on choosing and playing against different styles of poker playing, strategy, and more. Of course, you can always buy the two volumes together if you're ready to dive in.

  • 04 of 05

    Best No-Limit: Championship No-Limit and Pot-Limit Hold'em

    Poker pros and champions Tom McEvoy and T.J. Cloutier collaborated on this excellent book that focuses on both no-limit and the less common pot-limit Hold'em. Since no two players play exactly the same way, it is valuable that each weighs in with their thoughts on the best strategy for playing specific situations, stages, and hands in Hold'em tournaments. Stories of their own play give the book a personal feel as well. That is both a positive and a negative, as some readers prefer more hard stats and odds and fewer stories.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05

    Best for Advanced Players: Tournament Poker for Advanced Players

    David Sklansky, the author of the must-read poker book, "The Theory of Poker," concentrates this book on how players who are used to ring/live games can make a successful transition to tournament play, including when and how to adjust your strategy during different stages of a tournament. You'll need to understand the effect of going broke, the Gap Concept, using all-in strategy, and how the changing value of the chips and rising stakes affect the tournament game.

Edited by Adam Stemple, 2015