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Hunting Fish: A Cross-Country Search for America's Worst Poker Players [Hardcover]

Jay Greenspan


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (8 Aug 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312347839
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312347833
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 14.5 x 2.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,861,333 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Were we the fish? 21 Feb 2008
By Jerry B - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I left the book wondering if we were the fish for buying the book. I expected far more stories of soft games and how he exploited inexperienced people. However, the book is really more about the problems and experiences related to trying to play poker professionally. The book is valuable as a realistic look into the real poker world; hours of boredom for a few minutes of excitement.
I wish he was able to tell us more about the people he played against but since he skipped from game to game that probably was impossible.
I enjoyed his self-awareness that this wasn't the lifestyle for him. He seem so be a good tournament and internet player, so it makes you wonder why he ever left home to start with.
I agree with other reviewers that some of the hands he played were long-shot hands not normally played. However, I wasn't sitting there and didn't have the feel of the table or the players. Many times you make a play with 7,2 offsuit against a weak player to steal the pot but that may come only after you have built a super tight image and they believe you have the best hand.
Overall, I did like the book and it re-enforced my idea that the television version of poker is massively over hyped. The reality, not told in this book is that very few poker players make real money compared to the masses that play. At least, he shared his feelings and concerns about other poker players and what he might become if he continued. His decision in the end was correct and, perhaps, a lesson in gambling for all of us.
12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars terrible book from wannabe pro 21 Oct 2006
By Thomas M. Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
this book has 2 problems - the author and the narrative. first, he spend the entire book building up to his shot at 10-20 nl, then spends 2 pages there. huh? why did i stay for this?

second the author has an extremely vaunted opinion of his poker skills. oh, hes a semipro? who isnt. in 1 memorable part, he 'thinks' he picks up a tell on a big pro, bluffs him off a pot, then assumes that he can now wash that pro anytime he likes. any thought to randomness here? no, he jumps right to the conclusion he is now one of the worlds best. minutes later when he busts out, he says 'on any given day i can beat the best'. ohhhh, really? guess what, on any given day, so can anyone. thats poker
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining, insightful read 3 Nov 2006
By M. Suescun - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a great read, compelling from start - what's more compelling than reading about a poker player getting robbed, literally, of his bank roll a week before setting out on a cross-country poker trip? - to satisfying finish. The hand descriptions are precise and vivid, but it's Greenspan's excellent description of the color around the game - the various tablemates, the tedium of long sessions - and, most impressively, his thoughtful chronicling of his internal journey that the great gift of this book. A wonderful yarn, and a thought-provoking read for anyone who's ever considered going pro.
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in league with "big deal" as one of the best poker narratives 26 Aug 2006
By G. Ecker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
this book tells it like it really is. I've read many many poker books and I found this to be among the most riveting and realistic narratives. I would rate it up alongside Big Deal by Tony Holden as one of the most entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable poker books ever written. The author comes at it from a fairly unique angle, as a budding semi-pro player who is trying to make a living at a game he loves. Poker is about different things to different people, and this book tells a realistic tale about making a living as a "blue collar" cash game specialist.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Riveting Poker Odyssey 9 Aug 2006
By Booklover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I know almost nothing about poker beyond the basics. A friend who makes his living playing pro poker gave me this book with the comment, "This will help you understand me better." And it certainly did. I was immediately hooked by Greenspan's description of the unglamourous world he had entered when he decided to embark on a three-month trip across America playing Texas Hold'em in casinos and back room joints. The conceit of the book, that he is always on the lookout for a "fish" to outplay, holds up. The real strength of the book, however, is Greenspan's realization that the world he has entered is not quite what he had expected. He is also disarmingly frank about his own limitations as a player and how much that old rascal Luck enters into the game. Greenspan's decision about how to frame his future, the experiences that contributed to that decision, and his reflections on his tour across America is what made the book a fascinating read for me. Experienced poker players will probably also enjoy the descriptions of poker hands he plays along the way.
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