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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've ever made a bet, buy this book
It's about time that a world-class writer told the world what it feels like when a semi-degenerate gambler and sorta-professional hustler parlays a couple hundred bucks into a legitimate shot at winning the World Series of Poker.
When you read Mr. Konik's recap of his unbelievable adventure into the underbelly of Vegas while trying to undermine an army of suckers and...
Published on October 30, 2001 by Maximillion Jones

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good poker story
The parts about World Series of Poker were good. Part about private life was slow reading. To many flowering words I had to stop and look up their meanings.
Published 12 months ago by Stephen Spiegelglass


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you've ever made a bet, buy this book, October 30, 2001
By 
Maximillion Jones (Las Vegas, Nevada United States) - See all my reviews
It's about time that a world-class writer told the world what it feels like when a semi-degenerate gambler and sorta-professional hustler parlays a couple hundred bucks into a legitimate shot at winning the World Series of Poker.
When you read Mr. Konik's recap of his unbelievable adventure into the underbelly of Vegas while trying to undermine an army of suckers and scamsters, you'll think that you're reading a Hollywood script, except that it's all true.
The other stories in "Telling Lies" feature larger-than-life gambling characters who really exist and really really make me wish I hadn't wasted my education on college.
For my money, this one of the 10 best gambling books ever written and maybe the finest first-person account of what it feels like to actually bet it all and.......Naw, you gotta read the book.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST read, August 19, 2001
This is the most amazing book ever written about poker. Michael Konik gives you a chance to have a real taste of how it "feels" to be sitting on a poker table with all these big poker players in the World Series of Poker. His honest psychological analysis of the game gives this book a very original flavor. It's not about odds. It's about people. The main story is preceded by a bunch of entertaining stories about some of the most intriguing characters and casinos of the gambling world. If you have any interest in the gambling world, it is a MUST read. Konik's book will probably change the way you look at gambling.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best, March 28, 2002
By 
phil (Sacramento, CA) - See all my reviews
This is the best book I've ever read about gambling in general and poker in specific. Anyone even thinking of playing in the World Series of Poker should read Konik's account of playing in the Big One. He captures poker in a way I've never read before. Its very personal but very applicable to everyone at the same time, and that's why I would suggest this book to anyone. Some "big" words but very easy to read. Excellent.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece, March 20, 2002
By A Customer
Other peole have already said it better than me that this book is a mastrpiece from a writer whose so much better than everyone else writing about gambling its not even close. So I didn't feel I had anything to add to a review until I saw someone claiming Konik's stories are made up. Well I've lived in las vegas for nearly 15 years now and I can tell you that everything in this book and in "Man With $100,000 Breasts" is 100% true. In fact I think sometimes the author left certain incriminating details out of his stories to protect the innocent! I know three of the people he writes about in his books, and its all true.They say truth is tsranger than fiction. Well in gambling that's for [darn] sure. If you want the TRUTH from someone who has seen a lot more than most gamblers ever will, you gotta have BOTH Konik's books. It don't getr any better. Nuff said.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, January 28, 2003
Every once in while a writer such as Michael Konik elevates Poker to artistic and emotional heights reserved for exceptional feats of art AND science. Spanier, Alvarez and Holden are other names of such conjurors who come to mind.
Like Sir Holden, Mr. Konik also is cursed with the helpless realization that inconsequential to his passion, and Matrix-like aptitude for Poker, he too shall never ascend to "physiological ascendancy" long enough to seize the Bracelet - not yet at least. Fortunately for us, his reluctant affinity to his "day job" will provide us the memorable glimpses into an intellect, a game, and a perspective that would otherwise remain cloaked by the trite interpretations of the Discovery/Learning/Travel channels, and kept regretfully shrouded in obscurity.
Michael does a superb job in this book about varied and unique gambling experiences which culminate into the grandest story of all:
His own WSOP heroics (or lack thereof), interwoven with the raw trials of his inner-demons (or goddesses in his case).
This latter and final segment of the book is a brilliant piece of writing that transforms Poker, with all its nuances, humility, "brute" refinement and fragility into Magic. Just when you think Poker can evoke only images of banal-minded, leather-"butts" that haven't washed their hands since three infections ago, nor read anything that didn't include a chapter or blurb on "check-raising UTG", Michael Konik uses eloquent references to Gericault, Milton and Goethe (naming but a few), shedding revealing insight into his own 'raison d'être', all the while exalting the virtues of a truly remarkable game.
This is definitely a must-read/must-own book appealing to readers of both intellectual and poker-aficionado qualities (especially for those gifted with the philosophical capacitates to appreciate the a posteriori relationship between "tabula rasa" and sizing up the guy in seat#2).
If you read this book just for the stories outside the Poker world, you'd still be doing yourself a huge favour, and by accident discover the best account of pocket 3's I think I've ever come across. ...
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledgeable and Genuine, March 30, 2002
By A Customer
Konik covers quite a bit in this book...the many aspects of gambling from all over the world, but this is more than gambling.
I'm referring to the title story of the book, "Telling Lies and Getting Paid." I was surprised to read how the author (bravely, I should add) opened himself up so much. This is more than just a fellow taking on the World Series of Poker, this is a guy who is trying to pick himself up after dealing with the most difficult situation in his life and doing his best to contend and fight back. He marks his failures and his achievements at the poker table and in life and contemplates the hand he played. The details are fascinating.
The parallel story is deftly written, but more importantly it emotes a feeling that we should all relate to...life, love is all a big gamble. The author gets it. He may have learned the hard way, but he's lived to tell it and he's told it well.
This is a genuine life story, a great read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Anecdotal based book on Gambling ever written., August 21, 2001
From sports betting to the "luckiest guy in the world" to the World Series of Poker -- this is a great book if you like stories about gambling and the characters that make their subculture so interesting.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book Written About Gambling, June 12, 2003
By 
My only complaint is that it WON'T teach you how to win the World Series of Poker since I'm not giving away anything to say that the author doesn't win the Big One which he writes about. Besides from that, this is the gambling book that all other gambling books have to test themselves against. What a writer! Also enjoyed his MAN WITH $100,000 BREASTS which is the second best gambling stories book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read and Learn, April 23, 2003
By A Customer
World Series of Poker time again. Plenty of strategy books out there. Only one about what's inside the heart and head of top players. I reread Konik's masterpiece the night before the last tournament I played. Won it. This is the book I'm going to be reading night before the Big One. Mr. Konik I salute you.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh My God!, July 8, 2003
By A Customer
I'm speechless. I read the one about the Binion's murders and playing in the world championship of poker and I thought that it was an extremely sophisticated look at the world of gambling. Then I read Konik's take on playing in the World Championship of cards and I'm speechless. I don't know if I want to cry or laugh or just read it all over again. If you play cards you need to read this book.
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