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Breaking Vegas [Paperback]

Ben Mezrich
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 5.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

6 July 2006

For nearly five years, he was known as the 'Darling Of Las Vegas'; the biggest high roller to hit Sin City in decades, a hotshot, twenty one year-old kid with a seemingly unlimited bankroll and an even more unlimited lust for big money action. His name was Semyon Dukatch, and stories swirled in his wake. Some said he was a Russian arms dealer, others a pop star from Eastern Europe. But the truth was even more unlikely: he was a twenty-one year old graduate student who had a plan that would one day make him richer than anyone could possibly imagine.

The Darling of Las Vegas quickly became a legend in the casino world. He is the only person banned from the island of Aruba. He was held, at gunpoint, in a cave in Monte Carlo and told that if he ever returned, he'd be murdered. And he made millions of dollars playing blackjack, using three simple techniques that gave him the edge, techniques that are revealed in this book for the first time.

This is his story, the ultimate true story of Las Vegas, the book Vegas doesn't want you to read...

Frequently Bought Together

Breaking Vegas + Bringing Down the House: How Six Students Took Vegas for Millions + The Wolf of Wall Street
Price For All Three: 17.47

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow; New Ed edition (6 July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099490994
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099490999
  • Product Dimensions: 2.3 x 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ben Mezrich is the internationally best-selling author of The Ugly Americans, Busting Vegas, Rigged and Bringing Down the House:The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions; which was made into a film (21) starring Kevin Spacey. Ben Mezrich lives in Boston.

Product Description


"Riveting . . . [Mezrich has] become a master at delivering fast-paced, tightly structured narratives that keep readers engaged every step of the way. . . Most impressive . . . What [Mezrich has] done, beautifully, is craft a riveting story about kids with excess brainpower taking on casinos with excess money. He has penned a gripping true-life adventure that will keep you reading well past your bedtime" (Boston Globe)

"A very enjoyable read that makes you feel like you're right there in Vegas playing along. Semyon's story is a fascinating, true life adventure" (Kevin Spacey)

"Very stylish and captivating. . . Mezrich brilliantly captures the tension and excitement. . . A must read at all costs" (Daily Mirror)

"Glamorous, exciting and true, it's a tale to send the Oceans Eleven back to bussing tables for tips" (Arena)

"It's fast paced and believable, but does it really tell you how to win at blackjack? To find out, you'll have to buy the book, a small price to pay for the thousands you could make" (Daily Express)

Book Description

The book Vegas doesn't want you to read...

Another page-turning true story of the underbelly of Las Vegas from Ben Mezrich, a successor to his bestselling Bringing Down the House.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars they say 26 Feb 2007
What a fantastic read! Ben Mezrich is a such a skilled writer - okay, he was given a great story, but he made the main character, Semyon Dukach, totally sympathetic rather than arrogant and conceited as I thought he might be and the romantic sub-plot between him and Allie was intriguing. In fact, I would have liked the book to be longer and learned more about the casino trips that didn't end in trouble. Easy to read and fascinating.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An easy read 19 May 2008
This was good fun to read and helped kill a lot of otherwise dull time on aeroplanes and in airport lounges. Very easy to read and the plot line keeps the reader interested enough to turn the next page even when your flight is being called. This isn't just a book for the hardened Vegas visitor and you don't need a genius IQ to understand what the MIT students are up to, all you really need is a macabre enjoyment of reading about the casinos being taken for a fortune - it worked for me!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mezrich at his best! 19 Feb 2006
First let me start by saying that Ben Mezrich is a great author. Aside from 'Breaking Vegas' i've also read 'Bringing Down The House' and 'Ugly Americans' and he's written them both fantastically as well.
'Breaking Vegas' is a true story about a young MIT student called Semyon Dukach. The book follows him and a group of fellow students as they proceed to win hundreds of thousands of dollars by playing blackjack in Casinos around the world and all they use is three simple techniques to give them the upper hand.
Mezrich, as always, has written the book with his usual flair and has produced something truely great. Whether you like blackjack or not, whether you like gambling or not, hell, whether you like books or not this is sure to keep you hooked until you've finished it!
Highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars very good 25 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly entertaining, maybe a little padded but still a very good read. Ben Mezrich really is a very talented writer
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book 15 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read, thoroughly enjoyed the character and setting details, would have enjoyed further details on how the group spent their money.
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you have read Ben Mezrich's "21: Bringing Down the House", don't bother with this one - it's virtually exactly the same story line. It is as if the publishers had given him a big advance, he'd knocked this together in a couple of days after spending the money (probably in Vegas, using the "powerful techniques"), and they couldn't be bothered to make him rewrite it, or get their money back.

The writing style would not be out of place in an english essay of a 14 year old, and feels as if somebody has just scattered cliched phrased throughout an already written manuscript, but not bothered to read the rest of the sentence to make sure it still works. At least once a chapter, you need to stop and re-read a couple of sentences, to double check it said what you thought it said!

Not to give the storyline away, but you know almost exactly what is going to happen inside 20 pages of the book, and you will be shouting at the "MIT geniuses" for being so stupid in their choices. You do not have to be a maths genius to see how fundamentally flawed their plans were; their betting patterns are a prime example. One would have thought that people with the brains described in the book would have figured it out for themselves.

Finally, as interesting as the "powerful techniques" are, they require no complex mathematics (as stated throughout the book), instead they are simple counting and card manipulation. They are nothing that you couldn't teach to a teenager without a Maths GCSE, so the stated need to the an "MIT geek" to carry it all off just doesn't wash.

My wife and I read it at the same time, and the main enjoyment came from mocking the writing style, and terrible decisions made by the supposed team of MIT geniuses.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 26 July 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Writing this only cause its needed... a bit stupid isnt it? you could just rate... It's a far more objective metric
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad at all 27 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I found this very easy to read. Fast paced and interesting. But I don't think I'll be busting out Vegas anytime soon
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