To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, May 2014: Every year, thousands of card players converge in Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, all hauling varying levels of hope and skill with them into the southern Nevada desert. As a regular in a neighborhood game, Colson Whitehead didn’t harbor that kind of ambition—until Grantland.com staked him $10,000 for a seat at the WSOP. Whitehead goes all-in with a Rocky IV-worthy regimen, hiring a personal trainer to prepare himself for the long, grueling table hours and a tournament-hardened coach to navigate the mysteries of Texas Hold’em. When he arrives at the tournament, he navigates using a set of laws essential to any aspiring card sharp: which casino restaurants provide poker-appropriate nutrition; how to hit the bathrooms ahead of the mad rushes of the game breaks; and, of course, the necromancy of a successful Hold’em hand. With its cast of poker-universe luminaries and aspiring misfits, the tournament stuff is fun, especially to this gambling rube. But Vegas is Vegas, and between the notes of the Wheel of Fortune slot machines, one can hear the suck of entropy. Whitehead--whose previous books landed him on the short-list for the Pulitzer, as well as a MacArthur "Genius" grant--has the wry sense of humor to observe the twisted reality of the “Leisure Industrial Complex” without mocking it; he’s the kind of writer who can see the human condition reflected in the windows of a failed Vegas market that sells only beef jerky (and other jerky-like products). Buy the ticket, take the ride.--Jon Foro
Whitehead drew me into the shabby gambling world. Even experiencing it at a distance was contaminating. I'll look for his other books and spend more time under his influence.Published 2 months ago by David Silverman
I wouldn't say it's the worst poker book I've ever read. Could you tell I was bluffing? This is a book about self loathing and sloth by a guy who dipped his foot into the world... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Brett Marcotte
Interesting in the sense that he references a lot of other writers, stories, etc and it's nice to be able to think "I get it, I get that joke". Read morePublished 5 months ago by C. S. Herrera
This is one of my favorite reads in the last few years. The writing is poetic and spectacular, a guerilla philosopher's commentary on fate and the addictive pratfalls familiar to... Read morePublished 6 months ago by JMarchant
Could not get past page 50. Book group disappointed as well. We cancelled discussion and our host pulled out a deck of cards and proceeded to teach us a simple poker game and the... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Seeker
Terrible book. There is a storyline here if you can find it amid the authors wisecracks. It seems like he is trying to show off his education instead of imparting information. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Burt