By Mike Caro
This book by Michael Wiesenberg — among the most respected and prolific poker analysts of our time — makes history. Why history? Because it’s the first comprehensive and authoritative compilation of poker terminology ever published.
Whether you play poker in casinos or in home games, you will use the Official Dictionary of Poker to figure out what your opponents are saying. And you will also use it to figure out what you should have said right back to them. This reference fills an important gap in poker literature, and I wish I’d written it. That’s too bad for me. But good for you, because if I’d written it instead of Michael Wiesenberg, it wouldn’t have been nearly so complete or carefully constructed.
Poker’s secret language
Here’s a book that unmasks the sometimes secretive language of poker for the first time. Nothing’s missing. Everything makes sense. You’ll be told which terms are nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, even adverbial phrases like a real honest-to-god dictionary. But Wiesenberg doesn’t stop there. He peppers his definitions with good humor and sometimes real-life experiences, making The Official Dictionary of Poker a book you can read A to Z for pleasure, whenever you don’t need it as a reference.
Of course, I’m just getting to the real reason why I’m so enthusiastic about The Official Dictionary of Poker. In 1977 twice world champion of poker Doyle Brunson asked me to contribute to his book Super/System A Course in Power Poker. In my draw poker chapter, I mentioned a poker rule book from a casino in Gardena, California that included a simple warning: No going the overs. Problem was, no current manager had taken part in drafting of the original rule, and opinions differed as to what it meant.
I imagined myself ignorantly going the overs, being arrested and locked in a Gardena jail cell. Well, after all these years, I just learned from these pages what going the overs means. Wiesenberg defines it this way:
going the overs
(n phrase) 1. Overblinding. See OVERBLIND (definition 1). 2. Playing at a higher limit than the house has set for the game, usually for the purpose of paying time to the house at the nominal rate for the game. For example, playing 8-limit stakes in a 6-limit game, or playing 4-8 in a 3-6 game. See discussion at SOFT (definition 2).
So, not only does The Official Dictionary of Poker — the first really useful poker dictionary — fill a conspicuous gap in my bookshelf, but I finally know how to stay out of jail in Gardena. — MC