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Customer Reviews

15
3.3 out of 5 stars
Straight Flush
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£4.35
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
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
on 7 June 2013
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
on 22 June 2013
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
on 5 June 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 Amazon.com

Not sure I can list the brilliant flushdraw.com

feel free to buy many of the other poker books from amazon.co.uk - but don't give this guy your money.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 July 2013
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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on 28 June 2015
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. That said, the fact that they allowed themselves to get caught up with ‘shady’ people, that should have made it obvious to them that things were going very wrong.

On balance, my sympathies are with the guys although I like to think that I’d have dropped out of the market with the other players who walked away, that I wouldn’t have stayed and taken my chances.

It’s fascinating to watch the guys, different characters and personalities, caught up in a whirlwind of wealth creation, watching a group of guys going from making nothing to making millions of dollars A DAY, in a very short period of time, and how it changed them. The wealth was, for them, intoxicating, to say the least!

I won’t say any more or I’ll spoil it for you.

Great book – enjoy.
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on 14 August 2014
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
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on 8 February 2014
Worth a read to hear the story of online poker but Ben`s Vegas books are a lot better and hold your interest.
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on 29 November 2014
Not his best book but still a well written story that keeps you engaged.
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on 18 August 2014
Another great read.....interesting,wanted to read it all in one go.....
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