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Straight Flush Paperback – 22 May 2014
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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)
"Mesmerizing" (Sorted magazine - 5 STARS)
"A pacy read" (Sunday Business Post)
The New York Times bestselling author of The 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.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
But just found the story a bit boring, didn't really find myself caring what happened to the characters. In these sorts of stories I always find the struggle to make it big the most interesting part.
But first 25% of the book introducing the characters. Next 25% of the book they've got someone else to build the site and they're taking in tens of thousands a day.
The stories about wild parties and women are entertaining but ultimately nothing you haven't heard before and didn't really have any shock factor for me. Would rather it more focused on the business journey.
Definitely worth buying if you have a long plane/train journey and want a quick bit of entertainment.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished 24 months ago by Koby Gould
Not his best book but still a well written story that keeps you engaged.Published on 29 Nov. 2014 by Mr Christopher Pinkstone
Another great read.....interesting,wanted to read it all in one go.....Published on 18 Aug. 2014 by Andrew J Doughty
Love Ben's writing another great tale. Highly recommended if you liked the film 21 you'll love this it reads like a movie alreadyPublished on 14 Aug. 2014 by tony martin
Worth a read to hear the story of online poker but Ben`s Vegas books are a lot better and hold your interest.Published on 8 Feb. 2014 by Caroline Young
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 morePublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by ED Farr