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Old 03-27-2016, 10:51 AM   #1
Garick
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Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

So I finally got around to buying Chuck Bass (Miikka Anttonen)'s e-book Once A Gambler.

Note that this is a memoir, not a strategy book.

I've long been a fan of his My Somewhat Different Poker Story thread in BBV, but I was afraid his book would basically just be that thread collected (not that that would be bad, but I've already read it). So far that has not been the case. The story is the same, of course, as it's a memoir, but there are a lot different details included and the voice is noticeably different. It's also got more on relationships and the poker parts are pretty carefully explained for non-poker readers, which seems odd for 2+2 readers.

What I'm finding strange is that knowing the author's story already, I find myself cringing when I come to the self-destruct portions of the story and almost don't want to read them.

Overall, I'm impressed, and pleased to see that Miikka finally saw it through. So far it's only available as an e-book. I'm hoping a physical version comes out, as I far prefer reading that way and don't really feel like I "have" a book if it's just on my Kindle.
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Old 03-27-2016, 02:34 PM   #2
Chuck Bass
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Thanks for creating this thread! I was dabbling with the idea of creating it myself, but I felt like it would be a bit spammy, so I was waiting/hoping for someone else to do it.

And, I'm glad you enjoed the read! You asked me in the other thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Garick View Post
OP, any chance your book will be coming out in an ink-on-paper format in the future? Not to derail this thread, but maybe you could answer in the Books and Publications thread?
Parts 1-3 (you read part 1) are coming out separately as e-books only, all this spring. The main reason is that I wanted the price to be low, because I wanted everyone to be able to read the story and get some resolution for the BBV thread in case they felt robbed after finishing it. I feel pretty good about putting it out there for the price of a pint, but if I were to publish the parts separately as printed books the price would be much higher because of all the printing/shipping costs. All parts will come out as one book in a few months in printed form, though, as it costs basically the same to print a 600-page book than it does to print a 200-page book, and that magnum opus I can naturally price higher (print book should end up being ~$16). I realize this is a bit of a strange approach, but as I said I really cared more about just getting people to read it than money per se, and wanted to ensure there was an option for people to get their hands on my text as cheaply as possible.


For those interested, the first few pages of the book can be read free of charge on the book's website*, if you want to get a feel for what it's about. A lot of poker celebrities make an appearance on the pages, including Ivey, Galfond, Lodden, Esfandiari, Jeans, durrrr, Antonius, Ziigmund, etc. I'd like to think that the book also serves as a nice look into the semi-early days of online poker when the likes of LarsLuzak and durrrr dominated the online poker world, and even the earlier days when Lodden was the king of the hill. But I'm of course biased, so I'll leave the validity of that claim up for the reader to decide.


I'll be happy to answer any questions, criticisms etc in this thread.

Have a degenerate Easter!

Last edited by Chuck Bass; 03-27-2016 at 02:49 PM. Reason: *I edited out the link because I wasn't sure if I'm allowed to post it
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Old 03-27-2016, 06:42 PM   #3
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

I enjoyed that thread, I need to buy this book
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:36 PM   #4
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Just finished volume 1 and can highly recommend it!

Fascinating insight into the life of a person who does the exact opposite of what I would do in every situation. In addition, it's a story of wasted potential in many ways - but that obviously goes for all of us if we ever wrote a book

Hopefully #2 will be out soon!
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Old 04-06-2016, 02:35 PM   #5
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

I just read this book and it is great. Sometimes you cannot read it because the author is sinking right to the bottom of his life. However, he has led an incredible life and I look forward to Part II.
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:10 PM   #6
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Dont buy the book, go and buy a pint and degen the fruit machines ftw.

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Old 04-16-2016, 07:34 PM   #7
Garick
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

So, interestingly enough, my wife has been reading this and with no prior exposure to the story, she has also joined the chorus of folks with the reaction "nooooo, Miikka, don't do that!" She says that the writing is very compelling, but the self-destruction parts are hard for her to take.

The scene with the first date being too hard to follow through on, so going to the slots was particularly evocative for her. Her father was something of a degen, though pretty much poker only, afaik. That was a factor in the break-up of her parents, so as you can imagine, it was a point of discussion when I took up poker. I am so not degen that I'm often accused of nittery though, so it's never been an issue with us, but I suspect she saw something of what her parents went through when the gambling affected relationships (or potential relationships).
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Old 04-16-2016, 09:01 PM   #8
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

I've added this to my Wishlist based on the short reviews above. It sounds like a fascinating read.
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Old 04-19-2016, 06:20 PM   #9
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Sounds like an interesting read
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Old 04-21-2016, 01:20 PM   #10
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

FWIW, I read the sample chapter that Amazon sends to Kindle users if they request it, and was blown away by how readable it was. It seems very pacey. I imagine the whole book is unputdownable, so will definitely be purchasing in the near future.
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Old 04-28-2016, 04:11 AM   #11
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

This book was awesome. I was hoping for part 2 and so glad I just read there's gonna be a part 2 and 3. Great book man. The last few chapters, or the last half of the book was the best part. You had me dying to go to that place you took a trip to and then had me change my mind lol. Whens part 2 out?
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Old 06-06-2016, 03:20 PM   #12
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Where can I get parts 2 and 3?
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Old 06-07-2016, 03:24 PM   #13
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

They're not out yet. He posted a preview of Part 2 on his Facebook a few days ago, so that should be out before long, but he hasn't given a date yet for release.
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Old 09-05-2016, 12:36 PM   #14
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

I finished reading this a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed it immensely. I thought the author's use of the present tense was an interesting stylistic choice, as it added a charming naivety to proceedings, as it gave the memoir the flavour of a teenager's confessional journal.
The story arc is that of a coming of age novel, and the shortish chapters allow the action to unfold at just the right pace to keep the reader going back for more. Like some sort of Boy's Own adventure, it prosaically tells you "What hero did next", but simultaneously has you screaming "Oh no, he didn't!"
The occasional mentions of the music Miikka was listening to on his mp3 player (Bright Eyes, Interpol) got me all nostalgic for the mid-2000s, as I was listening to the same bands, reading the same books (Palahniuk), and going through the same "girl trouble" and similar existential crises as he was, although I have to say I was never attracted to the roulette wheel.

If you want to experience the vicarious thrills of a 'problem gambler' who goes from literally flipping burgers to flipping for his entire bankroll, this is a riveting read. I'm keenly anticipating part two.
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Old 09-19-2016, 10:32 PM   #15
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Bump. still waiting for the second book...
Miikka come on .
ヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノヽ༼ຈل͜ຈ༽ノヽ༼ ຈل͜ຈ༽ノ
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Old 09-20-2016, 08:30 PM   #16
Garick
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Miika posted in his PG&C that the other editions are being delayed by the publisher. He's finished them, but for whatever reason they got pushed back.
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Old 09-20-2016, 09:08 PM   #17
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Hey guys,

I don't intend to bump this thread in the future, just because Once A Gambler isn't a 2+2 publication and thus I don't think they'd like me doing that. But since this is a fairly specific question that I've been asked a lot - I have both parts II and III finished and delivered to the right people, so that if I died tomorrow for example, they'd still see daylight.

Part II got delayed for two separate reasons both completely beyond my control. They have both been solved now and I can promise you that OAG Part two: The Drift will be out during October 2016, and I should have a specific release date very soon. It will be available for pre-order within 10 days or so from now.

I won't be posting the links here, and I won't be bumping this thread for the aforementioned reasons when the book is out. It's obviously great that this thread exists, and I don't want to risk pissing off 2+2 mods by doing anything that could be taken for advertising. When I have the exact dates, they'll be posted on the book's Facebook page, twitter, as well as my own twitter account (chuckbasspoker). I'll also be happy to respond to any PMs etc. I will naturally be very happy if the book ends up discussed in this thread by readers. It's quite heavy on poker content with lots of cool stories, so I'm hoping they will generate a fair bit of discussion, I just can't be the one generating it.

Lastly, I want to say that I'm extremely grateful for every post such as the many reviews in this thread, my pgc, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, etc etc. The only reason I haven't responded to the posts in this thread is exactly because I think it'd appear a bit too spammy. I have taken time to respond to every email and I've sent quite a few PMs especially to those who wrote longer reviews, but I've largely stayed away from the public discussion. BUT I just want to say that a book like this is incredibly difficult to market, and as an independent-ish author I basically rely entirely on word of mouth and the many great reviews you guys have written. So even if I'm not responding to everything in the thread (I might do a bulk post later on or something, depending on what 2p2 thinks my presence should be limited to), I want to absolutely encourage you to keep writing reviews, may they be good or bad. I am reading every one of them and I'm extremely grateful to everyone who's taking the time to write even just a few words. It not only helps my cause of spreading the word about the book, but constructive feedback also allows me to improve as a writer. If it was up to me, I'd just make all feedback public (I've received so many great PMs that have had me dying to post those reviews somewhere), but I also fully understand and appreciate every pm - I do realize that it feels a bit more personal and as a consumer I too tend to try to get directly in touch with the author. It's quite silly that I'm trying to encourage people to post publically, yet at the same time I often can't respond to the posts, but it is what it is. The last thing I want to do is step on 2p2's toes, since this site has given me so much and I intend to do lots of posting here in the future too.

I've also been pretty sick lately (somewhat serious thyroid condition that's sucked the life out of me for weeks now) so I really haven't been around the internet all that much and thus it's possible I may have completely missed a question/pm/email somewhere. It hasn't been intentional and if anyone needs to get in touch with me for whatever reason I'm still reading pms and emails (address is on the website) more or less daily.


PS. Here's a little story from The Drift that I thought 2p2 readers might find amusing. I'll put it in spoiler tags, although it doesn't really spoil anything with regards to the main story.


Spoiler:



Thanks guys, I can't wait for everyone to read this baby!


Miikka
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Old 09-20-2016, 10:54 PM   #18
Mason Malmuth
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Hi Chuck Bass:

You may want to look at our New Book Announcement Policy which is located here:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/33...olicy-1619293/

We're more flexible than we use to be and I think it will allow you to talk more about your book than you realize.

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 09-21-2016, 08:25 AM   #19
Chuck Bass
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mason Malmuth View Post
Hi Chuck Bass:

You may want to look at our New Book Announcement Policy which is located here:

http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/33...olicy-1619293/

We're more flexible than we use to be and I think it will allow you to talk more about your book than you realize.

Best wishes,
Mason

Hey Mason,

Oh, that's very cool - I hadn't noticed that! Thanks a lot. So I guess I'll be making a short announciation post (without links) when vol.2 is out.

Much kudos to you guys for having a lenient policy towards non-2p2 publications, I think it's great that there's a place to discuss all poker books out there.


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Old 09-21-2016, 01:07 PM   #20
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Mucho love bro, i love the first book
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Old 09-21-2016, 04:42 PM   #21
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Good news. Really looking forward to the second volume. Best wishes for a speedy return to health Miikka.
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Old 09-21-2016, 07:51 PM   #22
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Miikka,


Here is a proper review of the book.

The content was extremely entertaining, it was very nice because it reminded myself of when I was growing up, I too used to bet on many things with my friends. On top of that I also had a bankroll at one time for lottery scratch offs. ( I wish I would've kept that money) haha. I really like how detailed you were and that you managed to keep your thoughts organized.I also enjoyed the small suspense that you created by not speaking a word about poker until later on in the book, that really had me hooked, as it is obvious that I picked up the book because of the poker aspect in it. Whilst reading the book I did encounter some syntax errors. Some were very obvious. Regardless of that the book was very well put together. If you are in need of a proof reader or an editor, I would love to help out.

Keep on writing, I feel like you can make a lot of stories based on your adventures.
Good luck.
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Old 09-29-2016, 01:12 AM   #23
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Just finished the book today. I really enjoyed it! Although one must get through quite a bit to get to the actual poker part, I actually enjoyed the first half. Author was very authentic and I admire how open and honest he was about his childhood and addictions.

I look forward to Vol. 2. When can we expect it?

There were some typos and minor grammatical issues. However, it did not detract at all from the book entertainment or readability wise. Great read and recommend.
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Old 09-30-2016, 10:29 AM   #24
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

Quote:
Originally Posted by igoturgeld View Post
Miikka,


Here is a proper review of the book.

The content was extremely entertaining, it was very nice because it reminded myself of when I was growing up, I too used to bet on many things with my friends. On top of that I also had a bankroll at one time for lottery scratch offs. ( I wish I would've kept that money) haha. I really like how detailed you were and that you managed to keep your thoughts organized.I also enjoyed the small suspense that you created by not speaking a word about poker until later on in the book, that really had me hooked, as it is obvious that I picked up the book because of the poker aspect in it. Whilst reading the book I did encounter some syntax errors. Some were very obvious. Regardless of that the book was very well put together. If you are in need of a proof reader or an editor, I would love to help out.

Keep on writing, I feel like you can make a lot of stories based on your adventures.
Good luck.
Quote:
Originally Posted by avatar77 View Post
Just finished the book today. I really enjoyed it! Although one must get through quite a bit to get to the actual poker part, I actually enjoyed the first half. Author was very authentic and I admire how open and honest he was about his childhood and addictions.

I look forward to Vol. 2. When can we expect it?

There were some typos and minor grammatical issues. However, it did not detract at all from the book entertainment or readability wise. Great read and recommend.


Hey guys,

And thanks so much for the well thought-out reviews. It especially warms my heart to hear that you liked the non-poker bits - the other two books are ~90% poker when in the first book that number would only be 40% or so (although still with lots of additional stuff on other forms of gambling/degening). Making the beginning of the story work was by far the biggest challenge for me in the project, so it's great to hear that it, too, worked for you.

Regarding the typos - it's honestly a little surprising for me to hear that there were any grammatical issues sticking out. I don't mean to get all defensive - quite the opposite, I'm very glad for any issues people point out, as it's not too late to fix them for the paper version. But I'm mainly surprised because we really went through the whole thing SO many times. My editor has a journalistic degree from UNC and does editing for a living, and she worked her ass off on the project so I'm not entirely sure what we've screwed up. I read the book myself over 20 times cover to cover before putting it out, and by this point it had already been edited three times. (I'm just including this to point out that we definitely had a very perfectionist attitude, and put a LOT of effort into ensuring there are no grammatical errors in the text).

Having that said, I'm aware of a few issues specifically regarding the Amazon version. Originally when we put the first edition out (only as a PDF), over the first month or so we discovered (/were reported) a total of 11 typos/grammatical errors if I remember correctly. As an example, at one point in the book the word "orange" was spelled "orance". I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. Not only have I known the correct spelling since I first learned English on third grade, I obviously ran every possible automatic spelling check before even sending it to my editor. Then she edited it, assumedly going over the thing many times, then I read it 20+ times. And the same word appears in the book a few times spelled correctly, but in that one spot... I have no idea how that possibly made its way through every possible check. Anyway, once we learned about these, we fixed them for the PDF, but fixing the Amazon version is significantly more difficult since updating the file requires re-formatting the whole thing as well as going through a very long/annoying process with Amazon themselves. So in the end we decided that going through that whole process wasn't worth it just to fix these typos - just part 1 has something like 400k characters, so having 11 of them wrong didn't seem like a big enough deal.

These SHOULD all be fixed for the PDF version, and especially if anyone who's purchased the PDF after mid-March has found any typos then it's very concerning and I'd love to learn what they were.

And really, if anyone finds any typos or grammatical errors from any of the formats / parts of the book, I would hugely appreciate if you could point them out via PM/email (address is on the book's website). I really don't want anyone to read the book the first time around with the intention of finding typos, because I think that would take away from the experience quite tremendously, but you know, if anything sticks out that you still remember after reading, I'd absolutely love to learn about them. I would also be very happy to give you proofreading credits for any future editions of the ebook and for the upcoming paper version (if you wish to be credited, please include your name or whatever screen name etc you want to use in the email).

Something we did regarding part 2 was using a few outside proofreaders. This was something we didn't do with part 1. I think the reason why errors like "orance" can make it to the book despite so many checks is precisely because when you read over the same thing too many times your brain just becomes accustomed to it, and an outsider view can help to point out potential errors.


Anyway, Part 2 is now available for pre-ordering (links on the website/twitter/facebook etc). The official release date is October 30, pre-orderers will likely get it a few days in advance unless I get overly neurotic and keep going over and over it until the very last second in search for typos
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Old 11-01-2016, 09:52 PM   #25
Garick
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Re: Once A Gambler (Chuck Bass' book)

I see that the second book is out on Gumroad, but IDK what kind of format Gumroad offers, as Gumroad is down for maintenance, apparently.. Will it be out on Amazon for Kindle soon?
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