Poker Book Review: Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker by Jonathan Little

By Paul Seaton
September 22, 2021

There have been many books written about tournament poker over the last 30 years, but few that cover virtually every aspect of the game. The latest offering from D & B Publishing, Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker: The Essential Guide by Jonathan Little is the next poker strategy book that every tournament player MUST have. Thorough, entertaining and practical, it could be to tournament poker players what Super System was back in the day.

A thoroughly modern marvel, Little’s book takes each player through playing poker tournaments with a number of sections dedicated to each stage, from the fundamentals of tournament play, through the early deep-stacked levels and right through to final table. Maximising your advantage at each stage, the book not only makes you want to play better poker, it makes you yearn to play more and improve at a rate of knots to do so.

Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker

Jonathan Little is the perfect author for this sort of book, where a lot of work is required to achieve maximum results. After all, he’s the quiet man who fostered a playing career that has taken poker by storm. It’s not only that, however. Little’s ethos is one of the most patient of teachers; that teacher you had at school who you actually didn’t mind listening to. The book is one of several Little has published in his career and we think this book may well stack up as the best he’s ever produced, with sections on so many key areas of the tournament game.

READ MORE: Interview with Jonathan Little

One of the core fundamentals of becoming a professional poker player closes the book and it’s spoiling nothing by offering this pearl of wisdom to you now as it also applies to the book itself. Little writes:

“If you make the difficult decisions now, like going to sleep instead of partying all night, you will have an easy life later. If you make the easy decisions now, you will have a difficult life later.”

Never has a truer word been written about poker, but perhaps life, too. The same applies to reading the book. Skim through and while you may pick up a few nuggets of information, you’ll miss out on the complete picture. Buy the book and make it your bible however, and the lessons you learn will stand you in great stead to make a huge profit based on the knowledge you acquire.

The book is broken down into several sections of what is a terrific value, 463-page tome. From explaining how poker tournaments work to what do through each level of play, before the flop, after the flop and of course, the latter stages, Little makes you look at poker differently. It’s as if you can have an approach to poker that is flawed and rather than tell you to rip it up and start again, he will walk you through the structure of tournaments and allow you to see clearer which parts of your own game are strong or weak.

READ MORE: Jonathan Little’s Cash Game Master Class — A Thorough Review

If you enjoy the book and make it to the end of the training, then Little doesn’t stop there and presume that you know everything about turning these new-found skills into an instant bill-paying job or enjoyable money-making hobby. Indeed, such is his systematic approach to helping you, Little describes how and why you should make important choices about what to do in the game as a neat conclusion to the book.

Becoming a profitable player in poker tournaments is an ambition that still drives the majority of players, but the natural ability for people to achieve this goal has changed drastically over the years. There was a time, for example, where knowing to c-bet even if you hadn’t hit the flop was advanced strategy; today it is the most standard of moves.

The best thing about Jonathan Little’s Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker: The Essential Guide is that while poker will undoubtedly change over the course of the next two or three decades, it’s impossible to conceive of someone not benefitting for the advice within these pages. Little’s book could and should become definitive to tournament players over the coming years and if you haven’t grabbed your copy yet, we’d recommend that you do.

With multiple facets of every tournament twist and turn explained, you’ll enjoy poker far more than you already do as you play it while reading this book. If you apply the knowledge therein to your own game, you’re bound to be a lot more successful at the felt, whether its live or online.

The poker world was ready for an age-defining poker book in a period of global flux; it has found it in Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker: The Essential Guide by Jonathan Little.



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Paul Seaton poker author
Written By.

Paul Seaton

Paul Seaton has written about poker from all over the world, and has interviewed the most well known poker players in the world in the pursuit of the perfect poker stories. Having worked events such as the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour and World Poker Tour, Paul has worked as Editor of BLUFF […]


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