Rolf Slotboom is a highly respected poker player and writer, with experience and tremendous income from live tournaments around the world. He has written several books on poker, has a CardPlayer column and is an editor at CardPlayer Europe.
This book is divided into seven chapters and is preceded by a warning that this is not a “how to” book. Rolf warns that players looking for a quick fix, without investing time and effort in gameplay, should look elsewhere. This immediately caught my eye, as nothing screams louder than a quick and easy enrichment scheme, and it’s great to see pokerrepublik book preach that hard work is key.
The last two chapters contain advice on how to play the hand in certain situations, but the previous five chapters are mainly concerned with how Rolf himself played throughout his poker career.
The first two chapters cover live matches, from the time when Rolf played the Omaha cash game live, first in Vienna and then in Amsterdam. Here, the author primarily discusses the difference in play between deep play and short stacks, and there are lots of good suggestions for choosing the right chair according to how deep you want to sit. Although these chapters are taken from a straightforward setting, the styles covered translate very well into online gaming.
Vienna games have lower buy-in / blinds than Amsterdam games, but there are also many differences in the style of play your opponent uses, which serves to illustrate an important point – how to adapt your game to different games or tables.
From here, Rob moved on to online play in some of the greatest Omaha games available; in chapters 3 and 4, he discusses the first full hand (9 to 10 players) and then the short hand. Again, the difference in the author’s play style between the 2 games is highlighted.
Chapter 5 is a collection of 18 Omaha articles written throughout Rolf’s career and edited for this book. While it may seem like a lazy chapter at first glance, unless you read it beforehand, you will get a lot of benefits from it. There are many topics covered here, including winning aces, starting hands, bet size, playing blockers, strong / weak moves, and more. The style of this passage makes reading very easy, but there are also great strategies and movements to absorb.
The last 2 chapters of this book dissect the original hand; Chapter 6 contains five practical practices on 30 pages, with your choices evaluated by a point system, giving you the opportunity to see how much advice the book has received.
Chapter 7 takes a closer look at the five hands, showing the math behind the hands and how they can or should be played. The explanations are complex, but well-written, and are a great ending to this book.
Overall, the book flows smoothly, from its very “chatty” and easy-to-read beginnings, through most of the important aspects of Omaha play, to complex analysis and manual dissection. Rolf’s style is mostly very tight, but he opens with a looser, more aggressive motion when needed. Wherever you play, and how much you play, if it’s Omaha this book will help you a lot. Highly recommended.