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Poker Book Review – Part 3

April 30, 2008

So this time I’ll take a minute to talk about 2 poker books that were excellent reads. If you love poker, read both of these.

Positively Fifth Street – James McManus

This book is crazy. The story is that McManus, a Chicago family man and contributor to Harper’s magazine goes to Las Vegas to cover the murder of Ted Binion and women in the World Series of Poker (in 1999). He takes 1/4 of his advance on the article to play in a satellite and wins. This book covers just about everything all with the backdrop of the murder trial and the author in the tournament. In the morning McManus reads TJ Cloutier’s book and in the evening he’s playing against him at the table. In between he talks about just about everything else including: the history of poker, what constitutes cheating on your wife, the history of Las Vegas, his own family tree, game theory and just about everything else. The best part is the poker. If you’re like me you’ll find your hands sweating and heart beating when the author is forced to decide whether to call TJ’s all-in bet.


Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King – Michael Craig

So here’s a story. A banker from Texas visiting Vegas sits down and plays poker with Todd Brunson. He enjoys himself but wants to play a big game. He loves heads up poker so he challenges the biggest pros in the game to play for the biggest stakes. He plays against a who’s who of old school poker: Doyle and Todd Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Howard Lederer, Barry Greenstein, Ted Forrest and then some.  With Doyle Brunson playing the middle man, the banker ends up playing multi-day heads up sessions of limit hold ’em against the best in the world with $100,000/$200,000 blinds.  The hands are amazing. The stakes are crazy. You can’t believe that anyone could play this big but the banker does very well. There’s a lot of color from the characters in poker. This is an easy read and a fascinating book.  Your heart will beat hard reading about $1.5M suck outs and bluffs worth more than your house.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 30, 2008 4:05 pm

    Love the name of the first book!!

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