From Library Journal
In the lush tradition of its leisure books by Barnaby Conrad (Absinthe, The Cigar, The Martini), Chronicle Books offers this coffee-table companion to poker by New Yorker writer, poet, and card shark Alvarez. The author, an Englishman with a taste for risk and things American, claims safely that he is "perhaps the only published poet ever to participate in the World Series of Poker." Alvarez has sat more than once at the table of poker's heavies that meets each May in Las Vegas, an experience he covered in The Biggest Game in Town (o.p.). This handsomely illustrated work is a mixture of social history and wry personal tribute to this psychological art, from poker's first published reference (to cheating) in 1844 through tales of the game's legends such as "Texas Dolly" Bronson, "Puggy" Pearson, "Amarillo Slim," and the most famous of all players, Wild Bill Hickok, whose death in a South Dakota poker game in 1876 gave us the expression "Dead Man's Hand" (two aces and two eights). This charming book won't help you lose any less money, but it will make your weekly game seem part of a grand American tradition. Recommended for poker enthusiasts and larger sports and games collections. Nathan Ward, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"A perfect introduction for beginners and a nostalgic romp for those already addicted to the game." -- Observer
A gossipy, anecdotal, none-too-technical amble through its history and high points, with loads of good stories. -- Literary Review
No one writes better about poker than Alvarez. -- Evening Standard
Written with a masters skill...He uses words like a consummate old pro..." -- Big Issue