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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 19 March 2017
pressie
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on 27 April 2003
A slot machine ringing as it hands out a jack-pot, or a world champion poker player sitting behind a mound of chips are the more popular images of las vegas.
This book tells the truth, good or bad.
Whether it be the tragic gambling losers, or the women that try to earn a buck one way or another, its all here. And by the end of the book despite asking yourself why? its also seems a perfect way of selling a holiday to las Vegas.
An Amazing read!
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VINE VOICEon 20 April 2003
I bought this book because I am a poker player and the author has been a likeable acquaintance at poker rooms in London. The book was first written in 1983 and I was aware of it and wanted to read it but had never seen it in print until just recently. Having read poker books by other English authors that post-dated Alvarez's ("Total Poker" by David Spanier and "Big Deal" by Tony Holden) I was familiar with some of the material already.
The book is purely about Las Vegas, its poker players and the World Championship in 1981 but it is more about people and places than the game of poker. In his autobiography "Where Did It All Go Right?" Alvarez said it was "the only book I have ever enjoyed writing" and "I think it was the first of its kind - a poker book about the characters who play, rather than about the strategy of the game". Given these restrictions it works well. At 181 pages it is a short and racy read.
The author has obviously gone to some effort to make any descriptions of the game accessible to inexperienced players or people not familiar with the game. This can sometimes be frustrating to experienced poker players because when he describes some key deals he omits information that is important, like how much was in the pot, how big the blinds were, etc. However, this is to be expected given the type of book that he set out to write.
As you would expect from someone with Al Alvarez's background, it is more literary than the average poker book but that does not stop it being readable and entertaining.
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on 11 July 2003
This is a very entertaining book about Poker and the people who play it. A series of loosely connected anecdotes and life stories of professional players from the early 80's, written by a man with a keen sense of atmosphere and description. You'll enjoy it more if you play poker yourself, but it also stands in a study of the psychology of some very unusual people. Well worth reading, although it might tempt you to start playing in bigger games than you can manage...
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on 1 August 2009
Many might say a bit out of date now, I'd say quite a classic. Being a writer, rather than a poker player trying to write, Alvarez always delivers.
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on 4 October 2015
I'm not finished with the book yet but it arrived on time in an excellent condition. Highly recommend and from what I can judge so far, the content of the book as well
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on 6 January 2016
Brilliant evocation of the WSOP back in the day - 1970s vegas, stetsons, rattlesnakes, big characters. The real thing. A brilliant book.
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on 10 November 2013
A bit dated now, but if you like poker, then this is well written, absorbing, and simply a good read.
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on 16 July 2015
Interesting but a bit dated now
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on 24 March 2016
Asked for refund
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