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Deadman's Poker [Mass Market Paperback]

James Swain

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Price: 4.70 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

9 Aug 2008
Tony Valentine is an expert at spotting cheats. He’s tossed them out of gambling casinos from Atlantic City to Las Vegas and Monaco. But though Tony has never met a scam he couldn’t crack, his son and partner, Gerry, has just walked into one with a body count.

What started with a conman’s deathbed confession turns into a deadly Las Vegas grudge match during the world’s biggest poker tournament. While Gerry and his shady friends tangle with the Vegas mob, Tony enlists the aid of an aging grifter who’s fleecing suckers with a dazzling array of improbable betting stunts. Tony’s been hired to save the tournament (and stop a blind player who’s out to heist it), while Gerry’s just trying to stay alive–now that murder is in the cards.

Featuring insider tips for catching poker cheats, as well as a glossary of card hustler terms!

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Deadman's Poker + Deadman's Bluff + Loaded Dice
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  40 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swain does it again! 28 April 2006
By Michael J. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jim Swain has done it again! This latest novel will appeal to numerous audiences. First, to the hardcore Tony Valentine fans out there, this is another in the excellent series that Swain seems to be able to so easily churn out. Second, with the extreme popularity of televised poker (such as the World Series of Poker on ESPN, the World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel, High Stakes Poker on the Game Show Network, the National Heads-Up Championship on NBC and many others) this novel and the next one should appeal to those readers that have an interest in the game of poker, especially tournament poker. Numerous plots hit you from the opening chapters and they are expertly woven together as the latest Valentine saga takes you down the path of the crossroader. From the very likeable rogue Rufus (who seems to be based on the larger than life "Amarillo Slim" Preston) to Valentine's son Gerry and the up and down (and up again) relationship that they have, the characters once again leap off of the page and make the timely story come to life. I picked up my copy that morning as soon as the stores opened and had finished it by early that evening. A wonderful page turner that will keep you entranced and anxiously awaiting the release of the sister book to complete the story.

As a reviewer, I think it important to mention that not only have I had alot of pleasure from reading the Tony Valentine series, I have had the extreme pleasure of meeting Jim Swain in person. Through a mutual friend, I was able to sit down with Jim over dinner and have him entertain me with stories of the famous and infamous crossroaders and cheats that he has come into contact with. Additionally, I had him absolutely amaze me with his skill using a deck of cards. The casinos should be lucky that Mr. Swain has the morals not to go to their establishments and supplement his book writing income by utilizing the skills that he has with the pasteboards. Not only is Mr. Swain privy to the methods of the crossroader, he has the skill with a deck of cards to expertly show them to you. His moves are absolutely amazing. And in regards to this, it was very nice as a budding amateur magician with an interest in card cheating to see Mr. Swain pay homage to Steve Forte and Darwin Ortiz. For the magicians and crossroaders that read this series of books (and I know that both do!), it is nice to see and is something that will bring a smile of knowing to the lips of many.

If you are already a Tony Valentine fan, this book fails to disappoint and is another excellent read. If you are a fan of poker, then you are soon to be a new Tony Valentine fan. If you are a fan of a good story that is well written and told to you by an expert in the field, then do yourself a favor and get on the Tony Valentine bandwagon. Do so and you won't be looking back any time soon!

And for those that have not caught on or figured it out, this story is continued in Jim's next book "Deadman's Bluff" that is due out at the end of May.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beware...#1 of a Two parter 19 Jan 2007
By Peterack - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The problem with some author's today is that they decide (or their publishers encourage them) to write a 2 part-er. Then, they do not let you knw this on the cover (probably so if you read the paperback, you can then buy the hardcover). The problem with these books is that the 2nd part usually spends a lot of time covering the same ground as the first book, and (as reviewers already state for book #2 - Deadman's bluff - you do not even need to read this one to appreciate that work!).

Otherwise this would get 4 stars. Swain's writing is much better, and his plot points no longer carry the huge unbelievable stretches of imagination (like actual mind reading monkeys) that his earlier works do. One good aspect of Swain's books is that the author allows us to enjoy Vegas while at the same time not hiding his personal distain for the gambling mecca.

I recommend this, as long as you know it is #1 of 2 and though side plot points will be solved, the main case will not until you read "bluff."
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swain is Back and as Good as Ever!! 8 July 2006
By John R. Linnell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was introduced to James Swain's character, Tony Valentine in his book, Mr. Lucky. After finishing that book I immediately ordered all the previous ones and had a most enjoyable time as Mr.Valentine brought card cheats (and worse) to justice. The hook in his books is that someone is doing something which either no one has heard of before or if they have heard of it, they can't seem to find out how it is happeneing.

You expect to find certain types of characters in these books and you are not disappointed. While I am not one who has been to professional gambling locations very much and have never been to Las Vegas, I am fascinated with such settings and the opportunities for story lines that can be found there.

This novel deals with the World Poker Showdown which is being held in a new casino in Las Vegas. An amateur by the name of Skip DeMarco is leading the tournament. An old timer, Rufus Steele has been busted out of the game by DeMarco and has accused him of being a cheater. That accusation causes the head of the Nevada Gaming Control Board to ask Valentine to get involved and like a fly being drawn to a wet sugar cube, it isn't long before he is on the way.

Previously in the novel, Tony's son Gerry a former bookmaker and now an associate with his father in the business of sniffing out casino crime has had a friend murdered. The friend claimed to be onto a scam that was unbeatable. His last words to Gerry are that he has been killed by a hitman who was hired by guys that he taught the scam to because they were afraid he would squeal. He holds out a card to Gerry. It is the ace of spades from the Celebrity Hotel in Vegas where the tournament is being played. He dies.

Acting out a sense of vengence Gerry and four of his pals from his former life head to Vegas to get to the bottom of who is responsible for his friend's death.

Needless to say it is not very long before both Valentines are in all kinds of hot water and as the twists and turns of the story play out, the reader is treated to a variety of interesting and sometimes hilarious antics.

James Swain is a clearly gifted writer who is extremely knowledgeable about his subject matter. If you already know that, get this book and the one that follows it, Deadman's Bluff.

If that is news to you, get all of his books. You will not regret it.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love to learn the trick? 3 May 2006
By John Bowes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Swain goes behind the curtain and let's us in on numerous scams, while providing another fine entertainment. Not all the questions are answered, we'll have to wait for the next book. If you haven't yet discovered this series, time to get busy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colorful characters 5 Aug 2006
By ckmorell - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
All of Jim Swain's books are real page turners. Deadman's Poker is no different. I find the setting of the World Poker Tournament interesting, and main character Toni Valentine's love interest entertaining. As always, I find the book hard to put to down, wondering "who done it"; but as thrilling and entertaining as these books are, there is a deeper, tender quality to the writing in that even the crooks and bad guys have humanizing qualities. Perhaps that is what draws one in to these novels over and over again. And there is the truly endearing Toni Valentine - I am so attached to this character and see each book a chance to catch up and see what is going on in Valenines life. Deadman's Poker is another winner!!
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