Poker Book Review, with Lexy Gavin-Mather: Mastering Small Stakes No Limit Tournaments

Poker pro Lexy Gavin-Mather has written her first poker strategy book, entitled Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Tournaments. The book was published by the venerable D&B Poker publishing house in March and has been well received. After having just completed the book, I reached out to Lexy to ask her a few questions about how the idea for her to write the book came about and what the writing process was like. In this article I’ll include the brief Q&A with Lexy as well as my review of her new poker book.

Lexy played her first live poker tournament more than a decade ago, in 2013, at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Ladies event in the Bahamas, and finished sixth, achieving her first final table. She has won two rings on the RUNGOOD Poker Series circuit and has earned $600K according to her Hendon Mob profile. Away from the felt, she is very involved with teaching both on her website and as a member of the roster at She also showcases her experience playing the circuit live in her popular vlogs on her YouTube channel. Lexy is passionate about the game and usually travels to different festivals with her husband Bob Mather, who is also a poker player.

Interview with Lexy Gavin-Mather

The first thing I asked Lexy was about how the idea of writing a book came about: “I was approached by Jonathan Little asking if I would be interested in writing this book. I was instantly intrigued but a little skeptical as I’ve never written a book before. I’m so glad I did because it’s one of the greatest accomplishments of my career!”

What was the process of writing it like? How did you choose the topics to develop?

“The process was both exciting and overwhelming. I had no idea how much of an undertaking writing a book would be and I was simultaneously planning my wedding that same year as well. I really enjoyed writing the book as the research actually helped my game as well. I tried to choose the topics in order of what I believe a poker player should learn first and went in sort of a strategic chronological order.”

What part of the process did you enjoy the most?

“I really enjoyed the research for the book. The title is Mastering Small Stakes No Limit Tournaments, so I decided to study the strategies of the players who I consider “masters” in the poker space. I was able to learn quite a bit during the research phase.”

What did it feel like to have the book in your hands?

“Incredible! Almost like I won a tournament. The book felt like a trophy to me and after a year and a half of hard work, having something to show for it was a truly amazing feeling.”

Lexy Gavin Dan Addelman

Lexy at the 2024 EPT Paris festival, with her publisher Dan Addelman

At the end of the book, you dedicate several paragraphs to women and tell about about an experience you suffered. Was it difficult to write that? Do you think women will be able to feel better at poker tables in the future? Can you imagine that the percentage of women can grow?

“It was difficult to write that section as it brought up some painful memories. I’ve definitely experienced my fair share of misogyny in poker and my goal was to show my female readers that we can overcome it and and hopefully this empowers more women to play. I do think that women are rising in poker and I do see the female percentage growing in poker.”

For what reasons would you recommend reading your book?

“I think it could help a player who is struggling to be profitable in poker to become a winning player. Of course, it takes a lot of volume and hard work but I think the book is a good starting point for people who may not fully understand the fundamentals.”

Your first cash at Hendon Mob was a final table in a 2013 PCA Ladies tournament. What memories do you have of that tournament?

“This was actually the first live poker tournament I ever played! I remember it being a lot of fun. I had the pleasure of playing with some big name players in that event, including Maria Ho and Jamie Kerstetter. It was definitely a fun experience.”

In 2020 you won your first ring on the RUNGOOD Poker Series circuit. How did the victory feel?

“It felt amazing! It was my first live win. It was extra special for me because I’m an ambassador for RunGood Gear so it felt amazing to win for my team.”

Lexy Gavin-Mather

Lexy with her first RGPS ring

That same year you achieved your biggest cash when you placed tenth in the Bay 101 Shooting Star $5K where you faced very good players. How did you experience that tournament? “That was also an awesome experience going deep in a tournament with such high level players.”

What WSOP 2024 events are you planning to play? Will you make videos and vlogs? Will you do a book signing in Las Vegas?

“I will be playing almost daily at this coming WSOP and yes, I will be vlogging the whole summer! You can follow my WSOP journey on YouTube and I will also be updating on Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook and X (Lexy Gavin Poker). I will be promoting the book as well while I’m there as well but as of right now no official presentations have been scheduled.”

Would you like to write more poker books in the future?

“I believe I would like to, yes! I was thinking about writing a book for women specifically and also perhaps a very beginner book for people who have never played before that want to learn the basics.”

Lexy Gavin

Lexy with her second RGPS ring

Poker Book Review: Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Tournaments

In her first book, Lexy provides valuable advice for players in small stakes live tournaments (buy-in between $100 and $500) offered by almost all casinos in the world. The book has 7 large parts: Understanding Small Stakes Poker Tournaments, OPERATES, The Stages, It All Starts Pre-Flop!, Continuation Betting, Advanced Strategies to take your game further and The Poker Lifestyle.

She covers the most important aspects of this type of tournaments: pre-flop strategy, stages, opponents, position, effective stacks, adjustments, continuation bets, post-flop strategy, 3-bets, 4-bets, mathematics and several other concepts. She is very clear in her explanations and uses several examples from hands she herself played to reinforce the concepts.

The OPERATES chapter reminded me of the great Dan Harrington when he analyzed the elements of a hand in his much-remembered series of books (Harrington on Hold’em). Lexy has the same clarity in explaining the elements of a hand in the low buy-in tournaments that are the gateway for many players to the live circuit these days.

Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Tournaments

Another point that seems important to me is that the book never becomes boring. The graphics and mathematics in the book are just and necessary and Lexy adds a lot of humor and personal anecdotes. That way you can learn while simultaneously being entertained, which I think is a great combination for a poker book.

The last chapter of the book gives you a window into what the life of a professional poker player is like and will answer many questions for those who plan to dedicate themselves to the world of cards. There is also a part dedicated to women where Lexy tells over a difficult personal experience that she had years ago; I think her words will be very valuable for women.

To sum up, I think Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Tournaments will without a doubt be one of the best poker books of 2024. It’s a must-read if you play or want to play small stakes live tournaments like the WSOP Daily Deepstacks in Las Vegas. Hopefully it will be the first of many Lexy Gavin-Mather books, as her debut as a poker author is very promising.

Book Information: By The Numbers

  • Title: “Mastering Small Stakes No-Limit Tournaments
  • Author: Lexy Gavin-Mather
  • Publisher: D&B Poker
  • Year of publication: 2024
  • Pages: 272
  • Amazon rating: 5 ⭐️
  • Goodreads rating: 5 ⭐️
  • Prices: $29.95 Paperback / $20 Kindle
  • Where to buy it? Amazon and D&B Poker
  • You can read an excerpt from the book at this link


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Santiago Garcia Mansilla
Written By.

Santiago Garcia Mansilla

Santiago is a longtime veteran of the poker industry, having written primarily about the game in Argentina since 2009. He has published hundreds of articles in Sudamerican Poker and Pokerlogia, and has provided live media coverage at the WSOP Main Event in 2015 and 2019. In addition to being a former columnist in PokerFace Magazine, […]

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