Leaked Dara O’Kearney Book Will Be a Game Changer for Endgame Play

  • The new publication about the endgame of poker tournaments and ICM comes out this October
  • It follows on from O’Kearney and Carter’s bestselling Poker Satellite Strategy, PKO Poker Strategy
  • The leaked section talks about the benefits of late registration in poker tournaments
  • O’Kearney’s book leans into the knowledge gained over his successful 14-year poker career 
Irish poker pro Dara O'Kearney with other poker players
The new book by O’Kearney (pictured above) and Carter focuses on vanilla tournaments and the key situations when ICM has its most significant impact. [Image: Flickr.com]

O’Kearney, Carter planning October book release

This week, VegasSlotsOnline News got hold of a leaked section of a new and as-yet-untitled book on poker endgame strategies and ICM by Dara O’Kearney and Barry Carter. How did we get this? If we told you, we would have to kill you. 

the third collaboration between the pair

The book, due out in October, will be the third collaboration between the pair, and Barry Carter’s fifth. Together, they wrote the bestselling Poker Satellite Strategy and PKO Poker Strategy. Carter is also the co-author of The Mental Game Of Poker and The Mental Game Of Poker 2 with Jared Tendler. 

There is a common thread in O’Kearney and Carter’s previous books which is present again in this new one. The duo is preoccupied with poker tournaments, specifically the way in which situations in different tournament formats change the value of a player’s chips. They excel in explaining when, how, and why a player should make adjustments because of those changing values. 

Co-authored publications to date

In Poker Satellite Strategy, incidentally the biggest-selling poker strategy book of the last five years, O’Kearney and Carter focused on a format that creates the most extreme ICM spots in poker. The cover of the book features a player folding pocket aces, something which can be the correct thing to do at the business end of a satellite.

In PKO Poker Strategy, they analyzed the many differences prompted by the popular game type in which half the prize pool goes to knockouts. In this variant, the impact of ICM is countered by the ‘Bounty Factor’, creating complicated mathematical puzzles for players as they decide how tight or light to make their calls.  

In this new book, the pair have turned their attention to vanilla tournaments and the key situations, mostly late on, when ICM has its most significant impact. There is, however, one aspect that applies to the start of the tournament, and that is the section VegasSlotsOnline News got its hands on. 

Late is great 

Ahead of her time when it came to poker ICM, Marilyn Monroe once said: “I am invariably late … sometimes as much as two hours. I’ve tried to change my ways but the things that make me late are too strong, and too pleasing.” 

O’Kearney and Carter agree. In fact, they observe: “Perhaps the most immediate way in which understanding ICM can improve your bottom line is informing when you register for a tournament …When you register late for a tournament you get an instant ICM boost… [You] start closer to the money and [y]our chips are worth more because they have a greater upside.”

The co-authors provide graphs and a detailed explanation about the relative value of each chip as players get eliminated. They present the concept of ‘punishment factor’, explaining how a tournament payout structure caps the chip leader’s upside, with the knock-on effect being the reduction in the value of every additional chip in a stack. 

enter the tournament when the stack-to-pot ratio is lower and as such the professional players have less of an edge”

They also make the excellent point that if you are a recreational player whose focus is on making money, late registration is additionally incentivized because you “enter the tournament when the stack-to-pot ratio is lower and as such the professional players have less of an edge over [you].”

Irish poker legend on a hot streak

O’Kearney took up poker in 2007 at the age of 42 in the twilight of a successful ultra-running career. In the 14 years since, he has amassed a fortune without ever depositing a cent, having built up his role from a $151 freeroll win.

It stands, then, that his advice comes from a wealth of experience on both the live and virtual felt. O’Kearney teased the release of the upcoming book on this week’s episode of his web show The Lock-In:

The prolific writer’s advice was previously dispensed via his entertaining and informative blogs. Earlier this year, one of those blogs went viral as it explained to the next generation of poker pros how best to get sponsored by a big site. These days, his books provide his greatest distillation of those ideas.

Now a Unibet Poker ambassador and the host of the GPI Award-winning podcast The Chip Race, O’Kearney has been on a particularly hot streak of late. He notched up over $50,000 in cashes last week, including a huge Sunday:

VegasSlotsOnline News reached out to O’Kearney for comment. His reply? “So help me Lappin, if you leak one word of my book, I will sue you.” 


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