The Poker Book Club 2024–Jaime Staples’ quest to enrich poker literacy

Mo Afdhal
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Posted on: January 24, 2024 6:29 pm EST

There are dozens of great books that delve into various aspects within the game of poker. Memoirs, practical strategy guides, theoretical strategy guides, mindset manuals, gambling rags–so on and so forth.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and hard to know where to start. Well, try to imagine a world where those decisions aren’t made by you.

Boom–welcome to your new reality, welcome to Jaime Staples’ Poker Book Club 2024.

You may know Staples from watching his poker livestreams on Twitch or his content on YouTube, but what you might not know is that Staples’ career as a poker professional stretches back across the last thirteen years. Nowadays, he’s part of Team PartyPoker and produces poker content regularly.

Over the course of the next eleven months, Staples will take book club members on a journey that touches on all of the topics listed above. From Barry Greenstein’s Ace on the River to Alex O’Brien’s The Truth Detective to Dylan Linde’s Mastering Mixed Games–there’s something on the list for everyone. And, if you’re not particularly interested in a particular book, there’s no pressure to force your way through it.

Staples decided to kick off January with a bang, leading with the late, great Doyle Brunson’s The Godfather of Poker: The Doyle Brunson Story. It’s an engrossing read–perfect for a jumping off point given that Brunson’s life story stretches across a large swath of the history of poker. There’s a reason he’s known as “The Godfather of Poker” and the book leaves no doubt as to why.

The rest of the year’s schedule can be found in the Twitter thread above, check it out and see which books you want to get stuck into and find out more about.

“It will make the game a richer experience.”

PokerOrg reached out to Staples to learn about his motivations behind starting the Poker Book Club, his goals for the year, and the book selection process.

What was your motivation behind starting the Book Club?

Jaime Staples: It’s combining two of my favorite things! I have enjoyed getting into reading literature these last 4 years as my main hobby outside the game. One of the downsides is that it’s solitary. Not many people like to read and they don’t always like to talk about what they are reading.

In this book club we get to experience what we are reading together, and talk about it as we do. Bringing some of these old stories and discussions alive again at least for a brief moment. 

What’s your overall goal for the book club throughout the year? And for yourself?

JS: My hope for the book club is to explore the complete literary works of poker. Strategy books, memoirs, mindset books, historical retellings, poker variants, business of poker, etc. It’s to get the lay of the land of our great game.

The goal for myself is to develop more meaningful relationships in the poker space of some like-minded people. And to fill in some of the gaps of knowledge I have about our game. I imagine there are quite a few ‘online first’ players like me who did their poker learning on video sites. Deuces Cracked, Pocket Fives, Card Runners, Run It Once, Raise Your Edge, etc. That’s been effective at pragmatic advice but what can be lacking is the historical, the social, the foundational stuff.

This club will fill in the holes. It will make the game a richer experience.

What did the selection process for the books look like?

JS: There are way too many poker books to consider for just one year! So, I tried to select some quantitative, some practical, some mindset, some mix games, and some memoirs.

A lot of the foundational works in each genre. The memoirs of some of the greats. The contemporary release of the year. The most important mindset books in our history, etc. So many options are on the cutting room floor but it’s exciting to look forward to where we may go in the future. 

As the Poker Book Club makes its way through the slate, check back here at PokerOrg for updates and key takeaways from each of the selected works.