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4.3 out of 5 stars
Breaking Vegas
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2006
Ben Mezrich is a good author but I doubt the authenticity of much of his work. I believe that this is not a true story at all. Story, yes but true ? I don't think so. I base this belief on the fact that I was one of the few bj players in the UK to be using the 3 techniques outlined in the book in the late 70's and early 80's and there is absolutely no way these techniques could have been used in Vegas in the 90's. Better players than me had already used the techniques in Vegas much earlier and casinos had taken counter measures like using another card to cover the backcard.

So my feeling is that Ben has taken the techniques that were certainly used at some stage in Vegas and has woven a good story around his ideas of what could have happened. But to sell this as a true story based on some mysterious MIT students is more likely to be a pack of lies.

Its still a good yarn and worth reading.
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on 12 November 2014
It's a very good, fascinating read. It ends quite abtuptly though and has a feel of 'riding off into the sunset happily ever after' about it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 21 August 2013
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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on 15 March 2014
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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on 8 January 2015
Simply amazing the talent that these guys showed taking on the casinos! Great book. Can not wait to read another by Mr Mezrich.
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on 25 March 2014
Thoroughly entertaining, maybe a little padded but still a very good read. Ben Mezrich really is a very talented writer
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on 27 January 2013
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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on 26 July 2013
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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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 18 February 2006
Its a story of greed, fun and if you do let your self into it, of excitement. I do agree with the reviewer on the fact that sometimes you think "is this what reall happened?" but I think in the world it was taken from it could so easily happen.
You really get to know the characters and understand why it ends up as it does. Overall a great book and if you like las vegas or blackjack then you'll love it!
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on 1 August 2010
Book arrived promptly and as described, many thanks!
Great read for holiday would recommend!
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