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Check-Raising the Devil Hardcover – May 12, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Cardoza; 1 edition (May 12, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580422616
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580422611
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,229 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mike “The Mouth” Matusow, one of the top professional poker players in the world?—?and the most compelling?—?is a favorite among the millions of television viewers who have come to count on his outrageously candid comments, emotional outbursts, and constant taunts that make for great television theatre. He has over $7 million in tournament earnings, made an amazing 13 final tables at the World Series of Poker (WSOP), and won three coveted WSOP gold bracelets.

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Customer Reviews

Easy read, good story.
James T. Menuez Jr.
This is a must read for any poker players!
Steven R
This is more of a life story.
Eve

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Randall Glover on May 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Spend a night with Mike and the most beautiful hookers in Las Vegas. Spend a day at the final table with Mike at the World Series of Poker and see how he stares down and beats the best in the world. Spend six months with Mike at the Clarke County Correctional Center, and see how his poker skills enable him to match wits and survive against the most hardened criminals in Las Vegas.

I could not put this book down. Even if you are only a casual poker player you will love this book. I also recommend this book to anyone who wants to understands how the human mind reacts to extreme stress, mental illness, and drug abuse.Mike Matusow: Check-Raising the Devil

Randy Glover
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Paul McGuire on November 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In America, we're suckers for a rags-to-riches-to-rags-to-rehab-to-riches stories.

Mike Matusow epitomized the American Dream and an E! True Hollywood Story all rolled up into one... white trash roots, lived a wild yet misunderstood childhood, harnessed an innate genius to become famous and rich, partied to excess, got in trouble with the law, went to rehab, and bounced back into the spotlight as one of the most noticeable pros in the game.

Check-Raising the Devil was not the first attempt at extracting an autobiography from The Mouth. Michael Craig was originally attached to the project circa 2006 and spent the better part of the Christmas holiday in 2006 interviewing Matusow in Las Vegas. Within a couple of weeks, Craig left the project due to creative differences with Matusow's agent, and that's when Amy Calistri and Dr. Tim Lavalli (aka the Poker Shrink) got a crack at the book. They officially jumped on board after the 2007 WSOP and they have been attached to the project ever since. Craig even offered up all his notes and interview tapes that were approximately fours hours in length. It total, the Shrink accumulated over 70+ hours of audio interviews with Matusow which were the genesis of the book.

I'm friends with both authors and obtained first-hand knowledge regarding the trials and tribulations of the entire process. From the get-go, Amy and the Shrink had major obstacles to overcome beginning with hold-ups and delays in securing the contract to write the book. There were plenty of challenges dealing with a volatile personality such as Mike Matusow and keeping him focused enough to talk about specific and difficult points in his life.

The book was not an easy birth.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. Moore on May 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Mike's story is so interesting and crazy. I could not stop reading! If you like reading about poker, fast living and brutal/honest confessions about drugs and depression, then you will love this book. A lot of rich young poker players who live in Las Vegas have so much more temptations and do fall prey to them. I'm so happy he found help and some peace in his life. Being rich is a blessing but could also be a curse as it was in Mike's life for a little while. I hope I can meet him some day and tell him how compelling his bio is and most importantly, what a terrific player he is. I know he's going to win many more bracelets.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By John K. Dziki on June 8, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is great because it is actually three books. First, this is one of the best poker bios that I have read. Mike has been in the middle of the poker boom from the beginning and gives a great insite to what was happening during it. It is also an addicition/recovery story because of his drug abuse and recovery. And finally it is a book on dealing with a chronic mental illness. I could especially relate to Mike because I suffer from the same mental illness as he does. Only I was very lucky in that I am one of the few bipolars that I know that didn't self-medicate with drugs or alcahol. You should buy and read it...you get 3 books for the price of one.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Steve on May 13, 2009
Format: Hardcover
As someone who has hung out with Mike's brother Scott, and has met and had dinner with Mike, I have had a glimpse of Mike away from the felt. I too suffer from bipolar and a previous drug history, and there were times when I couldn't get out of bed. I understand just where Mike is in his life.

Mike Matusow is all heart and wears it on his sleeve. That's why he is arguably the most liked and fascinating pro out there. He is rags to riches and his story shows the scars he has to prove it.

All in all, great reading and insight. A real look into the sex, drugs and lifestyle of the Las Vegas party scene. As a Vegas resident I can say firsthand that this town can be seductively brutal.

5 Stars.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Herman Jackson on June 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love him or hate him, if you know who Mike Matusow is you'll want to read this one.

This book arrived in yesterday's mail. It is such a compelling story and so well written that I literally couldn't put it down until I finished it. Then I realized I'd read it so quickly I missed some of the deeper lessons to be learned. I'll have to read it again more slowly and contemplatively.

I tend to be a bit of a nitpicker, being easily annoyed by poor editing. Not with this book. The quality of editing is outstanding - I didn't spot a single typo or grammatical error. That doesn't mean there are none, just that the book has been edited as if it really matters.

The story is compelling and the writing is superb. The book is essentially an autobiography of a unique individual who happens to be among the world's best poker players as well as having significant emotional/neurological problems. Mike Matusow has been tried in ways most of us can't even imagine. And he appears in the end to have won his match with the Devil.

This book can be viewed in many ways, among which are Mike's struggle with his personal mental problems, Mike's drug use, and Mike's lesson in how law enforcement works. Though it isn't written as a "how to play poker" book I think there are also some poker lessons in how this outstanding player approaches the game, and most of us who enjoy the game can benefit directly from that.
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