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Straight Flush [Kindle Edition]

Ben Mezrich
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.35 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Book Description

Straight Flush is the true story of a group of University of Montana frat brothers who turned a weekly poker game in the basement of a local bar into one of the largest online poker companies in the world.

At its height, the group's online empire was bringing in revenues of over a million dollars a day. The industry they launched grew so huge so fast, and in such a grey area of US and international law, at first it was never really clear whether their actions were legal or criminal.

From setting up their operations in Costa Rica, to their efforts at building a veil of legitimacy in Vancouver; from embracing a hedonistic lifestyle of girls, drugs and money to becoming some of the richest people in the world; from engaging in operations against their competitors that sometimes escalated into near all-out wars to the legal battles that finally resulted in one of them heading to prison and another living life on the run – Straight Flush is an exclusive look behind the headlines of one of the biggest stories of the past decade.

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"Mezrich writes some of the most exciting non-fiction books I've ever read ... This is a fascinating tale ... Mezrich's huge strength as an author is that he manages to bring characters to life so quickly. Within a few chapters, everyone who he's writing about has been vividly described and I was desperate to find out what happened to each of them" The Bookbag "Peppered with fast cars, cocktails, parties and beautiful women, this is an exhilarating ride." Press Association, syndicated review "Ben Mezrich's Straight Flush reads like a thriller and it rattles along at breakneck speed . It's a well written book about an internet start up and how it all went wrong." Irish Times "Entertaining ... Hollywood's going to eat this up." Sunday Business Post

Book Description

The New York Times bestselling author of Accidental Billionaires and Bringing Down the House returns with the larger-than-life true tale of a group of hard-partying frat brothers who built a multi-billion-dollar on-line poker colossus – and what happened when the Feds shut down their operation, sending them on the run.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1408 KB
  • Print Length: 307 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0062240102
  • Publisher: Cornerstone Digital (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CA88G4M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #56,846 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars You should not buy this book. 17 Jun. 2013
You should not buy this book.

Why? The author attempts to re-write history and dress up what was the biggest scandal in the online poker. This is not a non-fiction book. This is a book based on real people, with the facts changed to suit the story tellers, who just so happen to be the subjects of the book.

The real-life subjects of this book, Scott Tom, Oscar Hilt Tatum IV, Brent Beckley, Greg Pierson, et al systematically cheated the poker community out of millions of dollars. They devised spying software which allowed the Absolute Poker (AP) and Ultimatebet (UB) company executives to view their own customer's private hole cards, and proceeded to then mercilessly cheat these players in a game that the customers could never win.

Only when the evidence was irrefutable was any action taken, and the cheaters then went into overdrive to cover their tracks and minimise the refunds rightfully due back to the players. To this day, many players never received the hand histories, meaning a proper analysis has been impossible. It is likely that only a fraction of the cheated funds were returned to players, the rest were pocketed by these crooks.

However, our UB and AP chums saved the best for last. Player deposits, rather than being held in segregated accounts, were syphoned off into the owner's own bank accounts. When the US DoJ clamped down on US-facing poker rooms in 2011, reputable sites like PokerStars immediately paid their players back with funds safely held on deposit. UB/AP players got nothing, their money had already been spent by Tom et al, the everyday players losing every dollar deposited or won.

Ben Mezrich will have you believe these guys were rough diamonds, entrepreneurs beaten down by an oppressive US justice system. The reality is these guys were crooks, cheaters, liars, and thieves that would make the great train robbers look like apple scrumpers.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfortunately nothing but lies. 7 Jun. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This should have been opening up to the masses what really happened behind the scenes during the biggest robbery in poker history, instead the author chose to go all Hollywood on the facts and try his best to get a movie deal out of a poor representation of the biggest scandal the dot com era has ever seen. Well written but you lost me the moment you tried to make the reader feel sorrow for criminals.

Criminals not because of the indictments but because they stole millions from poker players that trusted them, they are the victims in this, not these young men.

As someone who worked in this industry for many years, I'm actually completely disgusted with the author and his fiction being presented as non fiction.

Save you hard earned cash, I regretted this purchase before I finished the first chapter.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money, avoid 22 Jun. 2013
By GaryQQQ
It's ludicrous that this book is being marketed as non-fiction.

Unfortunately it's just a PR exercise carried out on behalf of the subjects of the story. The reality is they are a unsavoury bunch of crooks who ruthlessly stole and cheated from millions innocent people from the safety of a third-world country. This book is merely a whitewash and should be considered fiction.

There are multiple easily found online resources that will tell prospective purchasers the real story behind Absolute Poker, something you will not find in this lame piece of work.

Avoid, shame on you Ben Mezrich.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Complete Fiction and bad writing do not buy 5 Jun. 2013
Hi, this book is factually incorrect, poorly written, and although Mr Mezrich has a reputation for books like this... this time he has out done himself.

The poker community is up in arms over the lies and misrepresentation in this book.

Please remember these guys were criminals that stole millions of dollars - and not some cool frat boy superstars.

Do please check out and read the 1* reviews on

Not sure I can list the brilliant

feel free to buy many of the other poker books from - but don't give this guy your money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Mickey Mouse Book 18 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There is very little factual information in this book. It reads like some kind of film screenplay, and presumably with Mezrichs history, he's looking to make a film out of this. You could speed read this book in an afternoon.

This is aside from the fact there is no mention of the dodginess of the way they ran the business. But it is clear from the content that they were running the company by the seat of their pants, and barely in profit at any stage. No wonder the lavish lifestyle was funded by player funds, seems like the site barely broke even.

I wouldn't pay any more that £4-5 for this book. Very little meat in the book.
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A tornado of a tale, this true story of ambition, entrepreneurialship, focus, commitment, team building, ‘brotherhood’, success, money, power and collapse runs FAST from start to finish.

I must preface this ‘critique’ by stressing that I’m working on the facts as presented by the author, Ben Mezrich, that it may well be, of course, that the guys themselves may be unhappy with the way their story has been represented.

A group of guys with an entrepreneurial eye, who spot a void in the market, guys with a head for business but new to that world, they enter it naively, they run before they can walk, the business develops too quickly for them to be able to keep tabs on it and circumstances push them through doors which they wouldn’t, before they hit upon this great ‘idea’, have walked though…

What we see in this tale is how money can ‘change’ and destroy people who, at the starting line, are good guys, guys who wouldn’t dream of doing business with ‘shady’ characters.

I don’t want to spoil it for people who haven’t read it yet but I think I can say that there is an accusation of theft aimed at one of the protagonists, one of the founders of the business, and I can’t see how it could be true. Sitting on a business which is about to make him a billionaire, why, unless he is chronically greedy, would he steal $800,000 of clients’ money and put the company at huge risk of collapse?

Secondly, the US legislation which put the company into free fall was introduced very unfairly and the interpretation of the law should have been much clearer.

These guys, whilst the money clearly made them dizzy and clouded their views, the lack of clarity in the meaning and intention of the legislation added to their confusion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read as always
Published 2 months ago by tomc
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not his best book but still a well written story that keeps you engaged.
Published 10 months ago by Mr Christopher Pinkstone
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great read.....interesting,wanted to read it all in one go.....
Published 13 months ago by Andrew J Doughty
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic story
Love Ben's writing another great tale. Highly recommended if you liked the film 21 you'll love this it reads like a movie already
Published 13 months ago by tony martin
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not gripping
Worth a read to hear the story of online poker but Ben`s Vegas books are a lot better and hold your interest.
Published 20 months ago by Caroline Young
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping, dark, exciting and intriguing
This is a true story of a group of American University students who turned a part-time poker game into one of the worlds largest most successful online poker companies. Read more
Published 20 months ago by ED Farr
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
Well written and a great story. The moaners and groaned whining about this book and giving it unreasonably low ratings are doing so because they are poker players and have... Read more
Published on 30 July 2013 by Jamie Badman
3.0 out of 5 stars easy reading
Fast paced, great story, but felt like a rushed ending. Another Ben Mezrich book that would make a great film
Published on 11 July 2013 by Adam Bennett
4.0 out of 5 stars A good, typically Mezrich, read
I enjoy Ben Mezrich's books, taking good characters and stories and always spinning a great tale from them. Read more
Published on 9 July 2013 by The Jepson
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