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Ship It Holla Ballas!: How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker's Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew Paperback – 15 Apr 2014

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (15 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1250041929
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250041920
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 2.3 x 20.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 450,899 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"In "Ship It Holla Ballas!", Grotenstein and Reback share the lives and games of the incredibly young, ridiculously successful superstars of the Online Poker Era. The authors handle the fast pace, shadowy lives, and multiple players and locations with the skill and dexterity of Good2cu, Raptor, or durrrr 20-tabling."
--Michael Craig, "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King"

"The loud narcissism and adolescent degeneracy of these talented 'ballas' ain't pretty, but the testosterroneous world of high-stakes online poker in America before Black Friday, in all its doomed glory, steadily throbs in Grotenstein and Reback's swift prose."
--James McManus, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Positively Fifth Street

""An infectious tale, told with the speed of a rocket sled, "Ship It Holla Ballas!" puts us in with a gang of under-age poker geniuses as they turn Las Vegas on its ear, making off with the gelt as well as the girls." --Bruce Porter, "New York Times" bestselling author of "Blow"

About the Author

JONATHAN GROTENSTEIN is a former professional poker player and the author or co-author of eight books. His first book, "Poker: The Real Deal" (with Phil Gordon), remains one of the bestselling poker books of all-time.

STORMS REBACK is a former professional poker player and the co-author of two books, including "All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker" (with Jonathan Grotenstein).

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An enjoyable fast moving story about how a bunch of college kids take up online poker, drop out of college, party like rock stars, move to vegas and make millions. A great coming of age story with a twist.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Would not recommend this book to a non poker veteran. For poker enthusiasts its a decent read but there are a lot better ones out there.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fun read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars 80 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ship It! The Book Rocks 13 Mar. 2013
By Bernard Chapin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love watching Tom Dwan and Andrew Robl play poker so this book naturally appealed to me. It's very entertaining and really does read as if its a movie. I read 100 pages before I even knew that I opened it, lol. I finished it in a day. I play poker and I have nothing but reverence for their styles and talents. What they do I could never do and all I have to say about them is...respect! It was especially cool to see so much of the focus here on two-plus-two forums. I used to post there and seeing all those poster's names that I recognize in the text was great. The authors understand poker and are true to the era of the poker boom. Many have fallen, but Dwan and Robl remain. College is important, its essential for many of us, but not for them. They're unique and awe inspiring. If you admire what you cannot do then this book is for you. I may just read it a second time.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story behind some of the best of today's poker stars. 7 Mar. 2013
By Bell Howell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You see them on TV - at the final table of some of the biggest tournaments or in the largest cash games. They're the young veterans of millions of hands of internet poker. They started out as college students or the guy working at a minimal job. Many of them met up in Vegas and honed their skills playing together, living together, and very often wildly partying together at Vegas hotspots. They soared, they crashed, and some of them survived to soar again. This book is the story of a few of them. Well written and entertaining. There's some time given to what the survivors learned from their experiences and to how they've grown - but the emphasis is on the journey - not the destination.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like most relatively young males 21 July 2015
By Adam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Was a bit let down by this book. Like most relatively young males, I've had occasional daydreams of striking it rich through professional poker. I expected to become entirely immersed in the life of these young poker stars. Live vicariously, if you will. This was true at the start of the book during their transformation from "average joe" to poker star. Shortly thereafter, the stories became repetitive. Poker wiz crushes online tournaments, goes to Vegas and gets into wild situations, learns a life lesson, repeat. It often feels as though the author is a fanboy in awe of their juvenile behavior, rather than a biographer chronicling complex characters.

It’s an easy read with moments of excitement, but I’d much rather have spent my time reading Michael Lewis or Ben Mezrich.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting , couldn't put it down!! 7 Mar. 2013
By D. Beck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked this book because I was just leaving the professional gambling world as these young guys were starting in. we would watch these guys quietly sit at a machine looking at their little "cheat sheets" for the correct answers. We also knew somehow they were college kids just trying their luck I was probably the age of their grandmas when they were starting in. We laughed thinking they would find out fast enough this was not the best way to make it rich. Reading this most interesting book let me know we were somewhat wrong. Little did WE know what they were really doing. We also went on to doing the card on computers but certainly not in the manner they did. I loved this book because of my background but I think the interest is there for anyone who has ever been to Las Vegas or any gambling venue.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars S*** it! 14 Mar. 2013
By Jason - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am both a poker player and a poker fan. I like following the poker news, following certain players, and watch the high stakes games on television. I also love to read poker history and strategy books. In fact, I think I own over thirty poker books! The most recent poker book that I read was Ship It Holla Ballas!: How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker's Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew by Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Rebac. I heard about the book online, read what it was about, and then bought a copy on my kindle. And the book was awesome!

Ship It Holla Ballas! profiles the meteoric rise (and partial fall) of a handful of young college students who found Internet poker in the midst of the Moneymaker Boom. The book covers how this poker crew went from broke college students to being millionaires in some cases. The book is a must read for any poker fan. The two main characters in the book are Raptor and Good2cu. Raptor is David Benefield and Good2cu is Andrew Robl. Benefield and Robl are the main characters covered in the book, but the book also profiles well-known pros Tom Dwan (Durrrr), Phil Galfond (OMGClayAiken), and Peter Jetten (Apathy).

Ship It Holla Ballas! is over three hundred pages, but it is so well written that it ends up being a very easy read. It is definitely a page turner. I highly recommend this book for any poker player or poker fan. If you are familiar with these pros and their online poker story, then you will definitely find this book to be a worthwhile and entertaining read.

-Jason Rothman
Editor at bestpokerbooks.org
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