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Secrets of Professional Tournament Vol. 3 – Book Review

9 Total Score

Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker Volume 3 is the third volume of Jonathan Little’s book series on poker strategy. He is one of the best poker players in the world today and a great coach. Jonathan has made more than five million dollars playing in poker tournaments…

  • Highly practical.
  • Written by a world-class tournament player.
  • Simple question and answer format used throughout the book. This allows the reader to think things through first. It then provides the author’s explanation of which play to choose for different hands and their outcomes.
  • Opinions are one-sided.
  • It is audience-specific.
  • Repetitive.
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In this day and age, it’s hard to choose an excellent practical poker book from the countless books available. However, the Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker Volume 3 (SOPTP III) is an insightful poker strategy book written by Jonathan Little, back in 2013.

Volume three is mainly a sequel to Little’s other books released in 2011 and 2012, respectively. But, unlike the first ones, which present a game plan for winning Hold ’em tournaments, this focuses on teaching readers how to implement the strategies and fundamentals described in the first two books.

The format used, question and answer, is easy to understand for both pro players and amateurs. Plays for each hand are rated on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the least good and 10 the optimal play. Scores are given after a reader answers all the questions provided for each hand. Then, for all the options, there are explanations offered for that particular choice. As Little puts it,

“In no time, I am clear you will have a clear understanding of why I play the way I do.”

Moreover, the author has included many hands from three different tournaments that he played in. Players learn how to analyze the limited information in a particular hand.

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Praise and Critique

This volume is different from the previous two SOPTP books by two-time world poker champion Jonathan Little: 

  • First, he uses a question-and-answer format whereby choices are presented as a set of four answers for each question. Each choice scores between 1 and 10 points. This scoring system gives readers a chance to examine each hand individually, formulate their thinking, and weigh up the relevant factors. However, even if you choose the best answer, it’s always wise to consider the reasons for choosing such an answer and whether your thinking matches up with the explanation offered for that choice.
  • Second, Little doesn’t focus on the theoretical side of poker. He simplifies complex thoughts and concepts. Jonathan has transformed his book into a question-and-answer workbook for poker players to sharpen their critical skills and examine their decision-making skills. Furthermore, he includes 150 hands in the book using a group of real hands played by him in three different poker games. These are the $2.5K World series of poker tournaments, the $1K WSOP, and the $25K World Poker Tour Championship.
Is the book for beginners or advanced players?

Little puts readers’ knowledge to the test and attempts to turn amateur poker players into pros using his experience as a World-class poker player. Still, SOPTP III provides little help to beginners on its own. It is best to read with the other SOPTP series books to learn the various concepts first before completing the workbook. Most beginners will find themselves a little lost going through the hands if they have not read the first two books. 

Another critique is that since Little uses actual hands and not hypothetical hands, there is a lot of repetition in the gameplay.


This final book in a three-volume series is a definite go-to book for taking your game to the next level. Having 150 explanations from a top tournament player for the choices made in actual hands also helps readers gain greater insight into the game. The question-and-answer style used makes it simple for anyone to understand.

I’d recommend it to anyone who wants to reinforce their skills in tournament poker. But, I wouldn’t recommend it to a newbie due to the advanced poker jargon and most hands coming from higher stake tournaments.

One more thing. Bookokpoker is an independent blog. I don’t get paid for it.

So, if you decide to buy any of the books, please do it via the links on this website. This way, I will get a tiny commission from Amazon (between 4-5% of the price) at no extra cost to you. It will help me to create more valuable content for you. Thank you!


It is important to always think about your opponents and their ranges. A player who plays a perfect robotic style will win significantly less than a good, but not great player who adjusts well to his opposition.

Understanding the right reasons for particular plays is the key to improv‐ ing at poker.

Table Of Content

Notes on the Scoring System

  • 1 $25,000 WPT Championship

Hand 1 Bad flop with little equity
Hand 2 Good flop with lots of equity
Hand 3 Tricky turn card
Hand 4 Weird turn spot
Hand 5 Big river decision
Hand 6 Representing the nuts
Hand 7 Tough river spot
Hand 8 Tricky flop decision
Hand 9 Flopped flush
Hand 10 Facing a continuation-bet
Hand 11 Scary turn
Hand 12 Valuetown
Hand 13 Fearing aggression
Hand 14 Cold-call of your reraise
Hand 15 Big pot
Hand 16 Facing turn aggression
Hand 17 Another set
Hand 18 Going to Valuetown
Hand 19 Tricky flop situation
Hand 20 Middle pair in a big pot
Hand 21 Finding value
Hand 22 Standard pre-flop situation
Hand 23 Avoiding trouble
Hand 24 Tricky spot
Hand 25 A-K against the tilter
Hand 26 Good flop, bad river
Hand 27 Tricky turn spot
Hand 28 Continuation-bet size
Hand 29 Double gutshot
Hand 30 Bad flop
Hand 31 A flush!
Hand 32 Facing a maniac
Hand 33 Post-flop against a shortstack
Hand 34 Round two vs. the shortstack
Hand 35 Looking for a set
Hand 36 Extracting Value
Hand 37 Top pair
Hand 38 Facing flop aggression
Hand 39 Going for value
Hand 40 Tricky spot
Hand 41 Facing a button raise
Hand 42 Small mistakes
Hand 43 Applying pressure
Hand 44 Thinking about ranges
Hand 45 Aggression from a tight player
Hand 46 Bad flop for Q-Q
Hand 47 Rockets
Hand 48 Turning a strong hand
Hand 49 Applying pressure pre-flop
Hand 50 Going for value
Hand 51 Fun river
Hand 52 Blind versus blind
Hand 53 Tough spot
Hand 54 Continuation-bet
Hand 55 Going for it
Hand 56 Poor flop
Hand 57 Attacking the aggressor
Hand 58 Pressure
Hand 59 Flopped monster
Hand 60 Tough flop
Hand 61 Inducing

  • $1,000 WSOP Event

Hand 62 Decent draw
Hand 63 Getting in
Hand 64 Flush draw
Hand 65 Nice turn
Hand 66 Dry flop
Hand 67 Pot control
Hand 68 Grinding the shortstack
Hand 69 Facing an all-in
Hand 70 Facing a calling station
Hand 71 Squeeze?
Hand 72 Tough river
Hand 73 Top pair
Hand 74 Tricky turn
Hand 75 Fun turn
Hand 76 Facing a maniac
Hand 77 Tough flop
Hand 78 Flop decision
Hand 79 Blind battle against tight kid
Hand 80 Fun turn spot
Hand 81 Facing a flop lead
Hand 82 The trap
Hand 83 Late position brawl
Hand 84 Facing a tilter
Hand 85 Monster
Hand 86 Blind battle against a tiny stack
Hand 87 Thievery
Hand 88 Tricky situation
Hand 89 Button aggression
Hand 90 Near the bubble
Hand 91 Flopped nuts
Hand 92 Fantastic odds
Hand 93 Facing a strong player
Hand 94 Check-raise
Hand 95 Pot control
Hand 96 Common button situation
Hand 97 Getting action
Hand 98 Standard shortstack situation
Hand 99 Trying to build a stack
Hand 100 Decent odds

Hand 101 Tiny all-in
Hand 102 Shortstacked
Hand 103 Shallow-stacked
Hand 104 Tough spot with a shortstack
Hand 105 Facing a nit
Hand 106 Shortstack situation

  • $2,500 WSOP Event

Hand 107 Ace magnets
Hand 108 Blind skirmish
Hand 109 Multiway
Hand 110 Control
Hand 111 Fun turn
Hand 112 Getting maximum value
Hand 113 Paying attention
Hand 114 Trapping
Hand 115 Gathering info
Hand 116 Standard flop play
Hand 117 Good turn card
Hand 118 Lots of options
Hand 119 Bad flop
Hand 120 Getting tricky
Hand 121 Facing a cold 4-bet
Hand 122 Facing a 3-bet
Hand 123 Numerous tricky spots
Hand 124 Bad flop
Hand 125 Dealing with an all-in
Hand 126 Facing a crazy guy
Hand 127 Pressurizing a shortstack
Hand 128 Terrible flop in a multiway pot
Hand 129 Taking the initiative
Hand 130 Caution
Hand 131 Nice flop in multiway pot
Hand 132 Lots of action
Hand 133 Missed flop
Hand 134 Top set
Hand 135 Tricky post-flop situation
Hand 136 Blind skirmish
Hand 137 A shortstack on the bubble
Hand 138 Fighting a bully
Hand 139 Getting aggressive
Hand 140 Big decision
Hand 141 Stealing
Hand 142 Premium hand
Hand 143 Good odds
Hand 144 Tricky pre-flop spot
Hand 145 A bit out of line
Hand 146 Shortstacked
Hand 147 Not as good as it looks
Hand 148 Facing a nit
Hand 149 Good odds
Hand 150 Early position battle

Video - Jonathan Speaking About The Book

Book Details

  • Title: Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker, Volume 3
  • Author: Jonathan Little
  • Number of Pages: 434
  • Game/Theme: Tournament 
  • Live/Online: Both
  • Required Skill Level: Advanced
  • Format Available: E-book, Paperback
  • Free with Kindle Unlimited: No
  • Free with Audible: No
  • Publication date: May, 2013
  • Special Features: Yes
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