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Old 02-06-2008, 12:18 PM   #26
sellthekids
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

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Originally Posted by Ted_Thompson View Post
the amazon reviews of Cards look like fake reviews. Anyone else think this?
this one is pretty spot on:
"If you're looking for a safe, politically correct poker novel, stay far away from this, because it's raw, real, no apologies. It seems the author didn't try to please his readers, instead, he wrote what he wanted, and out came easilly the best poker novel to date, probably ever. Strong and defiant."

it reminded me a lot of Jesse May's book. it certainly is plumbing the degen depths of addiction, but is compelling enough to want to read. by the end i was racing to see the end results.

i was actually re-reading it last night. so i think it has some second time around appeal too.
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Old 02-07-2008, 01:07 PM   #27
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Guess I was a little disappointed with "Shut Up and Deal", not sure if it was the thin plot or train of thought writing style. But, will admit I've picked it up a few times since after it's been several weeks between sessions or I'm having trouble sleeping. There's nothing wrong with "plumbing the degen depths", those things (hopefully) outside our normal work-a-day experiences can be very interesting. The segment where he discusses wanting to stroll down to the Taj poker room all rested in a green leisure suit, platform shoes, etc...at 4am to f*ck the minds of the stuck/tired players cracks me up...
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Old 02-08-2008, 04:44 AM   #28
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

I am surprised Johnny Hughes didnt respond to my comments about his book. What's 2+2 coming to if J.H. misses a promotional opportunity?
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:44 PM   #29
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

King of a Small World was great. Excellent portrayal of the gambler's life pre-Moneymaker, pre-internet. Very realistic to us old-school guys.
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Old 02-08-2008, 12:57 PM   #30
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Also, thought Broke was a joke. But I liked Shut up and Deal. I like the writing. Not really a plot-oriented book, more of a lifestyle description.

Johnny, I've enjoyed your posts here, I'll have to get your book. But you should read King of a Small World. I bet you'd like it, though it's about the generation after yours and before the current one.

Maybe poker can be broken down, generationally, into road-game days (Moss, Brunson, Hughes) of private games, then the King of a Small World days, a mix of home games and legal places, and now the day of internet play and televised tourney bigshots, which is waiting for it's great novel, Broke not being it at all.
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:50 AM   #31
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

I remember loving parts of "Shut Up and Deal" but didn't think it held up the whole way through. Great atmosphere and set pieces, but not too deep. "King of a Small World" is definitely the best I've read, though probably not as pure a "poker novel" as Shut Up." I'm glad to pick up some new titles from this thread.

Last edited by illdonk; 02-09-2008 at 12:56 AM.
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:36 PM   #32
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Just finished "The Professor, the Banker and the Suicide King", and I must say I found it rather droll. I guess since its all factual it comes out that way.
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Old 02-10-2008, 02:43 AM   #33
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

The Perfect Play by Lousie Wener is a good poker novel. I just finished it. It is a little bit wordy early on, but then it improves.
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Old 02-10-2008, 10:01 AM   #34
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Hautman appears to have written a ton of books in which gambling and poker play a role, although I'm not sure how many involve poker as much as The Prop did.
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Old 02-11-2008, 09:54 AM   #35
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

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Hautman appears to have written a ton of books in which gambling and poker play a role, although I'm not sure how many involve poker as much as The Prop did.
I read The Mortal Nuts by Hautman a while back. It was a good read, and I will read more of his stuff, but it had very little poker content. If I recall correctly , there was mention of poker games as background info on a couple of the characters. Hautman's style reminded me a little of Elmore Leonard, whose books I love.
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Old 02-12-2008, 11:11 AM   #36
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

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i just bought The Rebuy by Burto Deluchi, but have not started it. ymmv.
i'm not enjoying The Rebuy...and i am having doubts that i may even finish it.

in related gambling book news: i did breeze through I'll Do My Own Damn Killin', which profiles the gambling war between Benny Binion and Herbert Noble in Dallas.

pretty interesting stuff on the grandfather of the WSOP.
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Old 02-12-2008, 02:46 PM   #37
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

yeah, I avoided buying the Rebuy. It looked ******ed. It said it was based on a screenplay or a movie that I had never heard of, so it looked like a bad one.
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Old 02-12-2008, 04:25 PM   #38
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

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I have read a bunch of poker novels recently. Here are my quick ratings 1-10:

Broke by Brandon Adams. 7 (out of 10) Pretty good. A little short. It also just seems like a thinly-veiled auto-biography?

King of a Small World by Rick Bennet. 9 (out of 10). Strong. About a grinder in Philly. I wanted more.

Death on the Flop by Jackie Chance. 5 (out of 10). So so. Readable but a little dopey. Makes some errors about poker hands and calls a DVD a CD repeatedly.

The Prop by Pete Hautman. 8 (out of 10). Good book about a prop player at an Arizona casino and a murder mystery.

Deadman's Poker by James Swain. 7 (out of 10). Ok, but it seemed like the ending was missing or something.

Shut up and Deal by Jesse May. 7 (out of 10). Like Broke, just seems like a thinly veiled autobiography of a player in high stakes games in AC and elsewhere. Into small details and talks about changing his outfits a lot.

The Picasso Flop by Vince Van Patten and Robert Randisi. 8 (out of 10). I liked this one more than I thought I would. A few too many shameless plugs for Hollywood Poker and The World Poker Tour. Sometimes the writing sags, but the general story kept me involved.

Dead Money by Rudy Stegemoeller. 8 (out of 10). Readable and involving. Set at a tournament at a Foxwoods-like casino in New England.

The Rogues' Game by Milton Burton. 9 (our of 10). An artfully written novel set in Texas after WWII. Cool book.

If anyone has any suggestions for other poker novels to check out, I would love to hear them.
johnny hughes is pretty good!
dont read hunting fish, thats quite boring, i mean i didnt read it to the end but what i read was pretty boring. the best book though not a novel but its verry novel like is frank wallace how to make a milion with poker or something with poker the best book!!
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Old 02-13-2008, 06:28 AM   #39
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Thanks, Ted. And thanks to Toro, MrMore, and ILOVENEDAHAJIZADEH..wow!

Thanks to the absolute miracle of TwoPlusTwo, the Internet, and Amazon, Ted could start a thread, read my novel, TEXAS POKER WISDOM, and comment while we are still having a conversation about novels.

Some of you are writers. Let me encourage you to plan on a book, novel or not. It is very easy. PM me if you have questions. This would have all been impossible a few years back. Given some things Iggy is teaching me about, the Long Tail and the Cluetrain, all these novels will be for sale for years and years. I think mine has as good or better reviews than those mentioned. Please check the reviews on Amazon.

TEXAS POKER WISDOM is succeeding in reviews and sales around the world beyond my wildest dreams. However, fiction won't make a lot of money unless someone buys the movie rights. Get busy. Write your own book. Now!

Again, thanks.

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Old 02-15-2008, 03:08 PM   #40
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Yeah, I did enjoy Johnny's novel. It follows a player in Texas undergound games and his nephew/protege. They both go to Vegas together and play also. And then some "other stuff" happens (dont want to give it away). Anyway, Hughes shows a good natural writing style. After reading the book you will want to sit down and play hold 'em with Hughes.
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Old 02-18-2008, 02:37 PM   #41
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Thanks, I'll be around the World Series playing the cash games. I have started King of Small World. I have about three books going and magazines I need to throw away. The information overload syndrome.

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Old 02-19-2008, 05:35 AM   #42
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

The Music of Chance, by Paul Auster.

More on the novel side, slightly less on the poker side. I haven't read any of the other actual works of fiction in this thread but I can pretty much guarantee you this is written better than any of them.
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Old 02-21-2008, 08:27 PM   #43
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Another book I would suggest is Rogue's Game by Milton Burton. I don't know him except over the telephone. We both gave each other good reviews on Amazon. His book is about the oil business and intrique right after World War 11 in Texas.
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Old 02-22-2008, 03:40 AM   #44
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

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The Music of Chance, by Paul Auster.

More on the novel side, slightly less on the poker side. I haven't read any of the other actual works of fiction in this thread but I can pretty much guarantee you this is written better than any of them.

It's been a few years since I read it, but, though well written (I like Auster generally), I remember it as being seriously poker-flawed. Something along the lines of the hero's stake horse being in a 3-handed game...against two brothers.
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:51 AM   #45
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Big Deal by Anthony Holden is a superb read. It's a little dated now but still well worth purchasing.

Bigger Deal - the sequel which goes all the way up to Jamie Gold's ME victory - is also good. However, I found it didn't have the same flow as the first book and Holden clearly yearns for the pre-poker boom days where he was regularly comped by the Horseshoe I think it portrays the massive commercialisation of the game very well though.
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Old 02-24-2008, 05:33 PM   #46
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Big Deal and Bigger Deal are not novels. I am currently reading Cards by Jonathan Maxwell. It is good. But it is very depressing. The guy is deep in the world of degens and his lack of patience seems to have him always broke.
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Old 02-25-2008, 08:07 PM   #47
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

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I am currently reading Cards by Jonathan Maxwell. It is good. But it is very depressing. The guy is deep in the world of degens and his lack of patience seems to have him always broke.
The above is pretty spot on. It's a strange book, the one poker book you can say there's just too much poker. About 90% of the book is the narrator sitting at the table, folds, bluffs, bad beats, hand after hand. There's practically no human interaction, barely any scenes that aren't either inside, going to or leaving a casino, no plot to speak of.

Maxwell can write, though, and he does successfully take you inside the head of a degenerate poker addict. We've all played at the table with this guy, the one making move after move, without any idea what to do with the winnings besides buying into a bigger game. It's very well done, but I ended up appreciating it more than enjoying it.
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:10 PM   #48
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

Yeah, Maxwell is a damn good writer. But like a lot of these small-publisher poker novels, there are typos and other errors a good copy editor would have found and corrected. At the end of the book he says he doesnt play much poker any more. No surprise, huh? Guy was a huge degen surrounded by even worse degens.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:11 PM   #49
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

I'm just about done with The Rogues' Game.

Damn fine book.
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:28 PM   #50
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Re: Poker Novels--My Quick Ratings.

yeah, Rogue's Game is art
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