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McManus details his battles not only against his opponents but also against "Bad Jim," the portion of his own personality that needs to get in on a poker game in spite of both common and fiscal sense. Besides telling his own story, he relates the considerably more unpleasant tale of Ted Binion, whose grisly death was blamed on Binion's former stripper-girlfriend and her ex-linebacker beau. In the hands of a lesser author, the pursuit of these separate through lines of poker and the seedy personal lives of wealthy casino heirs may have lead readers to wish the author had picked just one subject. But under McManus's careful watch, they're really pretty similar: steeped in adrenaline, mystery, deception, and skating on thrillingly thin ice. Each story underscores the other, a neat little "narrative as metaphor" device, while also painting a vivid picture of Vegas casino life. Poker, as anyone who has lost at it will tell you, is an intricate game and it's nice to see a top-notch author and player relate its finer points in an entertaining style that will appeal even to non-players. The author's hilariously self-aware and at times self-loathing style make Positively Fifth Street a fun read. But beyond that, his account of nearly winning the biggest poker tournament in the world and subsequently watching as the verdicts are announced for Binion's accused murderers makes for a great story. Even if it wasn't the one he was sent there to write. --John Moe --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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No new information. All could be found in the newspapers. Also, lots about poker and poker hands. I found it useless, but if you are interested in Texas Hold Em you might find... Read morePublished 8 months ago by lgw
Too long and too many digressions. I only really cared about his world series of poker experience. The murder trial was fodder. Not very well written, but has great parts to it.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
I bought this book to read about the Ted Binion and his family. I was not disappointed. Not only does the author write about the trial, he is (lucky or talented enough, take your... Read morePublished 12 months ago by J. Madden
I first read this book when I started getting into poker a few years back. Thought it was a really good book. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Snickers99
Really enjoyed this book. Funny. McManus writes with a sense of humility and self-deprecation I enjoy. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Sean J Twyford