More Poker Related Stuff: Texas Holdem Omaha Poker Poker Rooms Poker Tournaments

Poker School

Book Review: Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour

Book Review: Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour
by Chad Holloway of

In 2004, Phil Hellmuth Jr. released Bad Beats and Lucky Draws: Poker Strategies, Winning Hands, and Stories from the Professional Poker Tour. The book is not so much a strategy book, though Hellmuth does provide many hand analyses, as it is a collection of poker stories and hand histories from Hellmuth and other poker professionals such as Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey, and Annie Duke. The book, broken into eight chapters, provides a glimpse into Hellmuth’s poker-root days in Wisconsin all the way to winning his ninth bracelet at the 2003 W.S.O.P.

In a post-poker boom world overrun with poker strategy books, it is a breath of fresh air to find a book that not only sidesteps strategy but dedicates itself to a time before poker was thrown into the spotlight. Hellmuth does an excellent job of providing the reader with exciting hand accounts and stories from the W.S.O.P., the World Poker Tour, and the European Tour throughout the book. On top of this, he also managed to coerce his poker colleagues (I.e. Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan, Howard Lederer, Daniel Negreanu, Ted Forrest, Layne Flack, Men Nguyen, and John Bonetti) to contribute their most memorable hands. These first-hand accounts engage the reader and fuel the book, especially since they are written back-to-back; in fact, the way they are presented make it harder for the reader to put the book down since they want to find out if the next story will top the previous one.

At 232 pages, Bad Beats and Lucky Draws is certainly worth the $14.95 price tag. The book is essentially an encyclopedia where one can find stories and hands that they most likely would not find otherwise. In fact, Bad Beats and Lucky Draws is such a magnificent collection it has even been cited in other publications, including in One of a Kind where author Nolan Dalla recounts a hand told by Hellmuth regarding Stuey “The Kid” Ungar and Mansour Matloubi. Like Hellmuth himself, who is considered a poker authority, Bad Beats and Lucky Draws is an authority on poker folklore. Hellmuth says of his book, “I hope you find these stories well told, compelling, and illuminating. Better yet, a blast to read!

I’ve enjoyed gathering these accounts together, and I’ve tried my best to make sure that you’ll love them . . . whether you’re trying to second-guess the players or are out there playing some hands yourself.” While Hellmuth did an excellent job selecting intriguing hands, he did an even better job of ensuring his readers will remain engaged. Not only is it hard to put the book down, it is even harder to stop yourself from putting yourself in the hands described and imagining what you would do.

In conclusion, Bad Beats and Lucky Draws is an interesting and engaging read for anyone seeking out a poker book not dedicated to poker strategy; instead, the reader can expect to find detailed accounts of unique poker hands, stories on some of poker’s greatest professionals, and a glimpse into Phil Hellmuth’s rise to poker stardom.


Check out all the guaranteed tournaments, SnG's, satellites and qualifiers Bovada Poker has to offer! They are truly a one stop shop for everything you could possibly need in an online poker room!

Party Poker - The PartyPoker "Monthly Milion" plays on the 1st Sunday of every month. The tourney starts at 12:45EST. (Note: Party does not accept USA players)


Bovada Poker - Sign up, deposit and get an instant 10% bonus. Get a 100% bonus up to $500 which is released as you earn points. If done right, this could equate to a 110% bonus!

Featured Articles

The Difference Between Limit and No Limit Texas Hold'em - Cash games, tournaments, no limit, pot limit, fixed limit and more. Loki breaks it down!!

Tilt - It's a classless way to play online poker, but this article is a good read if you'd like to learn how to put other players "on tilt."

Satellite Poker Tournaments - What are they? How do they work? Jason explains.


Famous Poker Players - Short bios about some of the greatest poker players ever to take a seat at the tables!

Female Poker Players - Biographies of all the best women poker players in the world.

Legends of the Game - Bio pages of legendary poker players, many of which have died and gone on to leave their mark on the poker world.

Poker Hall of Fame - Inductees along with their feats listed in chronological order.

Poker Players Alliance - This advocacy group is fighting for YOUR right to legally play online poker. Join today!

Home Poker Games - Everything you need to know about hosting your own game.

What is Rake? - This is how card rooms earn their money off of poker games. K. Swope talks about this fee in detail.

Perspectives Weekly - Check's Jay Todd each week as he brings us all the current news in the online gambling industry.

Poker Quotes - Famous and funny poker sayings from around the internet.

Famous Poker Hands - Sure, you know that "AA" is often times dubbed "bullets" or "american airlines" but what about other hands such as "JJ" and "88"? Chad tells all!

Poker Questions - Burn cards, clubs, spaces, diamonds, hearts, the deck, community cards etc. You've got a question? We've got an answer!