Final Table Poker with Phil Gordon

Watching Final Table Poker with Phil Gordon is like being thrown into the middle of a WPT broadcast. However, instead of only seeing 1 out of every 10 hands and thinking the players are insane for going all in with 8-9 offsuit, Phil walks you through his and his opponents thought processes.

The DVD starts off with a "WPT Like" introduction of the players, they consist of some of the stereotypical players you might see at a final table.

The final table consists of the following players:

Butch Dude
- The overaggressive internet qualifier part of the young and unemployed "crew"
Harmony Jensen - a thinly veiled homage to Jennifer Harman and great player
K.W. - a solid all around player
Bruce Buffer - A macho aggressive trash talker who will play any two cards.
Chris "Jesus" Ferguson - The best tournament player in the world
Phil Gordon - Tiltboy, TV Celeb, Poker Pro

We then hear Phil's thoughts as each hand at the Final Table takes place. Phil takes his time with each decision and pays great attention to his opponents style, chip stack, position, and their state of mind (tilt factor).

The importance of Position is stressed on numerous occasions throughout the DVD with examples. We of course hear the old poker saying - Position, Position, Position! Phil covers several important concepts with several hand examples from the table. Some of the ideas presented include Sklansy's Gap Concept, Selective Aggression, and five reasons why it's better to raise when your the first one in the pot.

As the "tournament" progresses, Phil instructs on how to calculate odds & outs, the Rule of 24 - a simple way to estimate the probability that you'll make your hand by the river card, how to calculate pot odds and implied odds. Particularly valuable to new players is a discussion of the correct amounts to bet based on the texture of the flop/board.

As players get eliminated the topics of isolation raises - raises to get you heads up against a particular opponent, when to not bet on the river, and the common mistakes that bad players make (e.g. going broke with one pair).

Once the table becomes short-handed Phil covers the importance of stealing the blinds and whom to steal from, how to play a short-stack, why you want big cards versus drawing cards, and the criteria for making successful bluffs. The things to consider after a significant change at the table will help players think about adjusting to the differing dynamics.

Other important topics include:

- Semi-Bluffing
- Hands to go to war with
- Headsup Play
- Exploiting your own table image
- The importance of sometimes
"checking it down"
- A method of getting off "Tilt"

This is a very professionally made DVD that looks great and is fast-paced. Phil's commentary is interspersed with some good wisecracks and very solid advice.
The DVD also comes with two different commentaries from Phil - one for beginners and one for more advanced players. Additionally, for the beginners it includes a detailed starting hand chart and an Odds & Outs chart.

A few things about the DVD were mildly annoying, for example, every so often there is a Full-Tilt Poker commercial thrown in, the commercials are pretty funny but it's kind of cheesy to add them to a $25 DVD. In addition, the lighting used at the table is supposed to resemble the WPT but reminds me more of a disco ball and is somewhat distracting as the lights spin around constantly.

Overall, the DVD is great looking and has solid advice for beginning to intermediate players. Will you become an instant world-class pro after watching the DVD, of course not, but you should pick up some useful advice to improve your game and beat your poker buddies out of their hard earned cash.

You can play and learn from Phil at Full Tilt Poker.


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