Howard Lederer, The Professor of Poker, and holder of 10 major titles, teaches you everything you need to know to elevate your game fast. As an added bonus, Howard provides you with a powerful and easy to understand chart... more », making it easy for you to make« less
"Howard Lederer is certainly one of the top poker players in the world and I have followed his incredible play on TV as have many poker fans. His nickname at the table is "The Professor" so I was certainly expecting to hear some pearls of wisdom from this legend of poker.
To say I was disappointed was an understatement. The entire DVD looks like a home movie filmed on an old camcorder. Clearly The Professor did not want to invest heavily in this project. He began the DVD with the assumption that viewers already knew how to play Hold'em which really seems odd given that only a complete beginner would learn much from this DVD.
The DVD begins with a tedious explanation of how one might play a tournament at home. This explanation included instructions on how to set a kitchen timer so you know when to increase the blinds. He even personally demonstrated how to tape two playing cards together to hide the card at the bottom of the deck. I am not kidding, I got to watch one of the best poker players in the world apply four pieces of sticky tape to two jokers, while explaining his actions. During the rest of the video he kept referring to several information tables that were supposed to be included with the DVD, they were not.
A high profile player like this should have been able to produce a more interesting and informative DVD, but frankly it seems like Howard just wanted to cash in on his name and the current popularity of the game. I just wish he had done this the right way by producing a product worthy of his name.
Weirdly this review vanished so I have reposted it."
Learn the fundamentals (review from sweetfreerolls.com)
SweetFreeRolls.com | Michigan | 11/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is the first volume in the Howard Lederer DVD series. Most people looking at this site are probably familiar with Lederer, one of the best professional poker players in the world and a regular on TV via both the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker. His nickname among poker fans is The Professor, so it's fitting that in his series of DVDs he is attempting to teach you the principles that will take you from a beginner to an intermediate or good player.
This video is just under an hour and a half long and primarily covers the fundamental elements of being a tight, aggressive player with a few general tips sprinkled in. The biggest areas of focus for the video are pre-flop strategy, how to set up a home tournament, draws and odds plus a few tells and Lederer throws out some ideas about reading the board and your opponent.
I imagine some people will be happier with the presentation aspects of the video than others. This was a rather low budget affair, and most of the video is just Lederer alone sitting at a poker table talking to the camera. This did not bother me, and in fact I found a few things to like about it.
Unlike the horrible "Poker for Dummies" starring Chris Moneymaker, it was obvious that Lederer is not reading cue cards or working from anything but the most basic of scripts. While at first glance that may seem like a bad thing, in real life application it is not at all. Where Moneymaker sounded phony and looked uncomfortable, Lederer looks really comfortable and is a very articulate and likable guy. (I'm not saying that Moneymaker is a bad guy, but since he doesn't get to be himself in the video it just sucks.) In fact, after watching these DVDs I am a big Lederer fan. There aren't many people in the public realm that can be serious without being arrogant or condescending. Lederer's sincerity stands in glaring contrast to the egomaniacal Bill O'Reilly's of the world. You actually get the impression that he is a decent person.
I've read some bad reviews for this volume, (most notably the one up on Amazon), and to be honest I don't think they're fair at all. This video brilliantly doesn't try to do too much. It is a starting point. It articulates the basic elements of poker strategy in an impressively organized fashion and basically says "master these concepts and then you can start thinking about how to twist things a little bit to become unpredictable and dangerous."
I think too many poker books and presumably videos are too ambitious, and a lot of that is probably because of super high expectations from the customers. People, you're not going to read a book or watch a video and instantly become amazing at poker. There aren't literally secrets that you can learn and use for 100% victory. That seems to be the consumer expectation, and so in attempting to meet that demand, books and videos are produced that try to be useful to both beginners and experienced players and end up not helping either very much.
The Lederer videos, to me, are among the exceptions to that rule, thankfully. Lederer himself seems more realistic about the help his video can provide, and unlike others who try to sell a quick fix, Lederer stresses practice. You will not watch this video and instantly become a brilliant poker player, but it can be a building block, and if you practice a lot and get to where you have a good command of these concepts, you'll either start thinking of ways to mix things up yourself or you can watch the next DVD in the series and get some ideas about starting to become more unpredictable.
The next volume in the series does go a long way toward making you a legitimate threat at the poker table, but I highly recommend picking up this one first if you're relatively new to poker, and thus making sure you have the fundamentals of the game down and that you understand the concepts that define those fundamentals.
Conclusion: I'm a big fan of the Lederer DVD series. If you've never played poker before, and you don't know the hand ranks and other essential info about how the game works, this video is not for you. If you've played a little poker, and are ready to delve into the first phase of poker strategy, these videos are awesome. They are organized, articulate and give you plenty of things to think about. While watching this, I didn't necessarily feel like I was learning a ton of completely new material as much as finally organizing all the basic poker concepts I was familiar with. Finally connecting the poker dots, so to speak."
"Elements" NOT "Secrets of No Limit Hold'em
Christopher Kronen | North Las Vegas, Nevada | 12/23/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"For me personally, this DVD was a disappointment. I purchased it, watched it once and then resold it on E-Bay to get my money back.
The use of the word "secrets" in the title is clearly a marketing ploy. There are no secrets to be learned here! The DVD contains nothing but the most basic elements of how to play no limit hold'em.
A large section of the DVD is also "wasted" with a lengthy and, in my opinion, uneeded tutorial on how to run your own no limit hold'em tournaments at home.
More subtantive strategic game information in place of this "filler material" would have been greatly appreciated.
I can only recommend this DVD for the "rank" beginner with no or very little knowledge of the game - especially the type of person who has just recently discovered poker as a result of the current poker boom on television and the Internet.
Long-time cash game and tournament poker players will not learn anything in the least bit "secretive" here."
Secrets of how to make a crappy poker video
Dave M | Alexandria, VA | 12/30/2004
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Howard Lederer borrowed a 1994 model camera to make this video and shot in his basement with no budget, no lighting, and no script. I'm thinking about making my own poker video, it apparently isn't hard.
Howard Lederer may be a world class poker player, but he is as boring as a dial tone. 90% of what you learn in this video you learn in the intro to Texas Hold 'Em you see in the WSOP intro or the WPT into to the game. I'm incredibly glad I didn't buy this DVD. My friend wasted money on this video. If you're smart, you won't waste your money either."
Not too bad
Kevin Hanrahan | Mitchell, VA United States | 02/14/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD is helpful for beginning players, but is too tight and predictable to be used by itself. I would also recommend reading a book on Hold 'Em from Sklansky's library or playing hands on a free money poker site before viewing this video. It's for beginners, but not for those with no experience at all. Some things are done very well, but others are pointless fillers. Worth checking out for cheap, but don't put all your chips in on this one."