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Old 04-20-2017, 04:52 AM   #1
Mason Malmuth
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Gardena Poker Clubs

Hi Everyone:

I just noticed on Amazon the following book, Gardena Poker Clubs: A High-stakes History by Max Votolato should come out in June:

https://www.amazon.com/Gardena-Poker...5JRRWM1AG6JCZG

I know nothing about the author or the content of the book, but since Gardena is where I began to play a lot of poker, and I enjoy reading history, this has caught my interest. So does anyone know anything about this book or author?

Best wishes,
Mason
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:23 PM   #2
Tom Bayes
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Re: Gardena Poker Clubs

I am similarly intrigued with the book and haven't heard of the author.

A quick Google search shows he's a filmmaker and I found a Youtube link of an interview with him about poker. I haven't even watched the clip yet, but here it is.



So it seems Max kind of stumbled across the Gardena story and thought it would be interesting. He spent several years making a documentary about the town, which presumably includes the history of the card clubs. He wasn't around during the heyday of Gardena poker, so it's an outsider view.

It seems you can watch his full movie online.

https://www.freewaycity.org/full-movie/

Last edited by Tom Bayes; 04-20-2017 at 12:42 PM. Reason: watched the Youtube
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:20 PM   #3
BDHarrison
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Re: Gardena Poker Clubs

The book is a follow-up to his documentary, which I heard about when it came out. He's done a small interview about it at CardsChat.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:30 PM   #4
rivercitybirdie
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Re: Gardena Poker Clubs

what's that book about the gardena poker scene in 70's or 80's that was written by UCLA graduate student? or something similar to that? was like a sociology or anthropology - not sure that makes sense -study of bicycle club....
s
very highly regarded book and was expensive on A.com last time i saw it. hawalka or something... i'll try to google..

i know for sure mason knows this book and author very well.
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:32 PM   #5
rivercitybirdie
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Re: Gardena Poker Clubs

ok, i google answered my own question...

david hayano "poker faces" and it is an absolute classic - apparently
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Old 04-21-2017, 11:37 PM   #6
rivercitybirdie
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Re: Gardena Poker Clubs

re: hayano's book, not many copies available. but one cheap copy for the 1983 reprint version.

mason, how can booksellers have "new" copies of books that have been out-of-print for 30 years? or in memorabilia world you can buy "never opened or touched" complete set of 1965 Topps baseball cards?....... businesses inventory this stuff for 30 to 50 years? edit: i realize on baseball cards they could have had a few owners but never been touched but then i wouldn't think you could sell them as "new"
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:23 PM   #7
Tom Bayes
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Re: Gardena Poker Clubs

So I watched the Freeway City documentary. It's an interesting film about the history of the community of Gardena, but poker is pretty incidental and is mainly mentioned in the relationship between the clubs & their owners with the local politicians. If anyone is hoping for some interesting anecdotes about the players in those clubs, that just isn't in the movie.

Supposedly their was a lot of material Votolato didn't use in his film. Maybe some of it, including more poker-specific content, ended up in his book.
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