For the first time in history, 888poker set about trying to determine what were the most influential books in the history of poker. Here is an outline of that process from the germination of an idea through to the final tally of votes.
I wonder what the most influential poker book of all time is? It was a question raised by the offices at 888poker.
Suddenly, there was an itch. Who was going to scratch it?
In the first instance, we looked at the voting process for the recently held Global Poker Index (GPI) American Poker Awards (APA). If the voting system worked for the most prestigious awards ceremony in poker, then it should work for our book project.
However, after careful consideration, we decided to drop that concept. The APA panel is made up largely of poker media personnel, and although their opinion is experienced and reasoned, we felt for this to be a real test of influence we needed to ask the professional poker playing fraternity.
Enter the Judges
133 professional poker players were approached to take part in the project. 36 failed to respond. 41 did but had valid reasons why they couldn't partake. That left us with 56 very able and willing judges.
The 56 judges came from 12 different countries.
Between them, they had earned over $181 million in live tournament earnings (Hendon Mob statistics). They had won 25 World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets, 9 World Poker Tour (WPT) Alpha8 or Main Event titles, and 5 European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event titles. At least one of them was a member of the Poker Hall of Fame. Together they had the eyeballs of a million people on Twitter.
The experience of the judges fanned out nicely amongst all types of games, both online and live. They included prominent members of the community such as Erik Seidel, Justin Smith, Brian Rast, Daniel Cates, Igor Kurganov, and Philipp Gruissem.
Had Daniel Negreanu and Phil Hellmuth spent sufficient time reading poker books they would have also been involved in the process.
Here are the judges:
Adam Levy - Adam has won over $4.6m playing online under the pseudonym "Roothlus". He has also earned $2.4m in live tournaments.
Akira Ohyama - Akira is an ambassador for 888poker who plays online under the pseudonym ‘Clutch Hero.'
Allen Kessler – Known as ‘The Chainsaw’ Allen Kessler is one of the most experienced grinders in the States with over $3.2m in live tournament earnings.
Andrew Barber - Andrew is a WSOP bracelet winner of the $10k H.O.R.S.E event and Raising for Effective Giving advocate.
Andrew Lichtenberger - Andrew is a WPT Alpha8 winner and has accrued $7.4m playing live poker. He has also won $2.9m playing online under the pseudonyms ‘LuckyChewy' and ‘runthistable'. He is also an advocate of the Poker Players Alliance (PPA) and author of the Yoga of Poker.
Andrew Seidman - Andrew is an entrepreneur and cash game specialist where he plays under the pseudonym ‘BalugaWhale’. He is also the author of Easy Game.
Andrew Frankenberger - Andy has won two WSOP titles (including beating Phil Ivey heads-up), and a WPT title. He also won the 2011 P.P. Premier League. He has accrued over $2.8m in live tournament earnings.
Anton Wigg - Anton is an EPT Main Event winner and has accrued over $2m playing live tournaments. He is also a feared online competitor where he plays under the pseudonym ‘AnteSvante' winning over $6.2m. He is currently a member of the GPL team San Fransisco Rush.
Bernard Lee - Bernard is a professional poker player, podcaster and writer. He has earned over $2.1m playing live tournaments. He is the author of the Final Table Volume I and II.
Billy Chattaway - Billy is a bit of a whiz in the online poker tournament world winning over $3.2m under the pseudonym ‘b8chatz’.
Brian Rast - Brian is one of the most feared live tournament players in the business. He is a regular winner in High Roller events around the world and won over $7m in the inaugural Super High Roller Bowl. He has 2 WSOP bracelets to his name, over $16m in earnings and represents the Berlin Bears in the GPL.
Bruno Foster - Bruno is an ambassador for 888Poker and former final-tablist of the WSOP Main Event.
Craig McCorkell - Craig is a WSOP bracelet winner with over $2.1m in live tournament earnings.
Daniel Cates - Daniel ‘Jungleman' Cates is a legend amongst the high-stakes online cash game scene with over $11m in profit playing under names ‘Jungleman12' and ‘w00ki3z'. He is also a WPT Alpha8 winner.
Daniel Dvoress - Daniel has over $1.4m in live tournament earnings including an EPT Main Event final table appearance and some great results in High Roller events.
David Vamplew - David Vamplew is an EPT Main Event winner and WSOP and WPT final-tablist. He has accrued over $3.6m playing live tournaments.
Dominik Nitsche - Dominik is one of the rising stars of world poker. He is an 888poker ambassador and has won 3 WSOP bracelets and a WPT title. He has accrued over $5.6m in live tournaments.
Dusty Schmidt - Dusty Schmidt is one of the legends of the online cash game world where he created Mount Everest-like graphs playing under the pseudonym ‘Leatherass'. He is also the author of two books: Treat Your Poker Like a Business and Don't Listen to Phil Hellmuth.
Dutch Boyd - Dutch has won 3 WSOP bracelets and over $2.4m in live tournament earnings. He is also the author of the book: Poker Tilt.
Erik Seidel - Erik Seidel is a true legend of the game. The Poker Hall of Fame member has won 8 WSOP bracelets and a WPT title. He has accrued over $26.5m in live tournament earnings and still to this day competes in the higher echelons of the game.
Evan Jarvis - Evan is a poker and life coach doing great work over at Gripsed Poker, a stable that has created the likes of multiple EPT High Roller winner Charlie Carrel.
Fintan Gavin - Fintan is an Irish pro with over $1.5m in live tournament earnings under his belt. He is an EPT Main Event runner-up and UKIPT winner.
Igor Kurganov - Igor has won over $10m playing live tournaments including an EPT High Roller victory in Monte Carlo that netted him €1m after beating Daniel Negreanu heads-up. Igor is a founder of Raising for Effective Giving and will represent the London Royals in the GPL.
Jackie Glazier - Jackie is an ambassador for 888poker and WSOP bracelet winner, amassing $1.3m in live tournament earnings.
Jason Koon - Jason is a High Roller regular with over $3.6m in live tournament earnings to his name.
Jason Wheeler - Jason has won over $2.7m in live tournament earnings including WPT High Roller and WSOPC titles. He has also earned over $7.1m playing online under the pseudonym ‘jdpc27’. He will represent the New York Rounders in the GPL.
Jeff Kimber - Jeff is a British pro who has won over $1.6m in live tournament earnings. He is a brand ambassador for Grosvenor.
Jeremy Nock - Jeremy is a businessman, entrepreneur and poker player hailing from Paris. He is a former WPT final-tablist and has won close to $500,000 playing live tournaments.
Jessica Dawley - Jessica is an ambassador for 888poker and has won close to $400,000 playing live tournaments. She has also served her country in the armed forces.
John Eames - John is a British pro with over $2m in live tournament earnings on his resume. He is a WSOPC gold ring winner, runner-up in an EPT Main Event final table, and a WSOP final-tablist.
Jonathan Little - Jonathan is a two-time WPT winner with over $6.2m in live tournament earnings. He is also a voracious author of books including tournament, cash game series and Excelling at No-Limit Hold’em, a collaboration that featured none other than Phil Hellmuth. Jonathan will represent the Las Vegas Moneymakers in the GPL.
Julian Thew - Julian is a British pro with close to $3m in live tournament earnings. He is also an EPT Main Event winner.
Justin Oliver - Justin is a WSOP bracelet winner with close to a million dollars in live tournament earnings.
Justin Smith - Justin Smith used to be one of the most recognised faces in the live and online cash games, where he played under the pseudonym "BoostedJ". These days he spends his time dealing art and working in the film industry.
Kara Scott - Kara is one of the most recognisable faces in the world of poker. She is an ambassador for 888poker and the ESPN anchor for the WSOP. Kara has won close to $700,000 in live tournament earnings, including a runner-up finish in the Irish Open.
Kelly Saxby - Kelly is an ambassador for the Hippodrome card room in London with over $100,000 in live tournament cashes to her name.
Kristy Arnett - Kristy burst onto the scene as a sideline reporter for PokerNews. She quit that position to focus on poker full time and these days divides her time between the green baize and life coaching.
Ludovic Jonsen - Ludovic has won over $1.1m playing live tournaments including a victory in the Estrellas Main Event and recently at the Wynn Poker Classic.
Marcel Luske - Marcel is one of the most respected poker players in the world. Known as “The Flying Dutchman”, he has earned over $4.4m playing in every possible game you can imagine.
Matt Ashton - Matt is primarily a mixed game cash game specialist who rose to prominence when he won the WSOP Poker Players Championships in 2013 for $1.7m. He has won 2 WSOP bracelets and earned over $2.6m in live tournament cashes.
Mike McDonald - Mike is one of the most feared competitors in the world of poker. Known by his nickname 'Timex', he has earned EPT honours and close to $13m in live tournament results. He will represent the Montreal Nationals at the GPL.
Nesrine Reilly - Nesrine is a French professional and one-half of the only married couple to take part in this project (with her beau Tim Reilly). She has earned close to $400,000 playing live tournaments.
Nick Petrangelo - Nick is one of the standout success stories of 2015. He has won a WSOP title and over $4.1m in live tournaments.
Nicolas Levi - Nicolas is a former professional poker player who has earned close to $2m in live tournament earnings. He is currently the CCO of a gamification platform known as Trixir.
Philipp Gruissem - Philipp Gruissem has won 2 WPT Alpha titles and a WSOP High Roller title. He has accrued close to $10m playing live and $2.7m playing online under the pseudonym ‘philbort’. He is the founder of REG and the team manager of the GPL side the Berlin Bears.
Rupert Elder - Rupert is a former EPT Main Event champion who currently holds the record for the largest online poker win while streaming on Twitch. Elder has accrued close to $2m in live tournament earnings.
Ryan D’Angelo - Ryan is an American pro with over $2.1m in live tournament earnings.
Simon Trumper - Simon Trumper is a legend of the British game with a Late Night Poker win under his belt and over $1.5m in live tournament earnings. Simon runs Dusk Till Dawn (DTD) card room in Nottingham alongside Rob Yong.
Sorel Mizzi - Sorel is one of the most gifted poker minds around. He has accrued over $11m in live tournament earnings and over $3.6m playing online under the pseudonyms ‘zangbezan24’ and ‘Imper1um’. He is a member of the Berlin Bears GPL team.
Steve Watts - Steve is a British poker pro and former professional footballer. He has earned close to $800,000 in live tournament earnings and briefly set poker aside in 2015 to guide the young starlet Louisa Johnson to her X-Factor victory.
Steven van Zadelhoff - Steven is a Dutch poker pro with over $1.2m in live tournament earnings and $4.1m in online earnings where he plays under pseudonyms ‘SvZff’ and ‘Viktor’.
Talal Shakerchi - Talal is a Hedge Fund manager and one of the most generous philanthropists in the UK. He has earned over $2.6m in live tournaments and can be found playing in the $1m One Drop or online in $10 MTTs playing under the pseudonym ‘Raidalot’.
Tim Reilly - Tim is the other half of the only married couple to take part in this project (with his wife, Nesrine Reilly). He has won over $800,000 playing live tournaments.
Tom Alner - Tom hails from the UK, but spends his time in Macau where he has earned over $1m playing live tournaments.
Tristan Wade - Tristan is a WSOP bracelet winner with over $1.5m in live tournament earnings to his name.
Tyler Hancock - Tyler is a former professional poker player who now runs the staking marketplace Global Poker Link.
How They Made Their Choices
Each judge was sent a list of 129 poker books and asked to vote for the books that were most influential to them as professional poker players. Judges were allowed to include any book that wasn’t on the list. The only stipulation was that judges, who were also authors, were not allowed to vote for their own books.
Each judge was allowed to vote for 10 different books, assigning them a point ranking with 10 points awarded for the most influential book.
If judges had read less than 10 books, then they only rated those books. Not all judges had read at least 10 books from the assigned list.
How the Voting Worked
The judges would give their most influential book 10 points, the second most prominent would receive 9 points, the third would receive 8 points, going down point-by-point until the 10th most influential book received just 1 point.
If books were level on points, the one with the most votes was declared the most influential.
The judges generously donated their time free of charge and 888poker is very grateful for their time and effort.
All individual votes by judges will remain anonymous.