Originally Posted by Ted_Thompson
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.
These are both first-rate novels, written by real poker players, with real poker steeped into the plot. There is a lot of autobiography in both of them. They're both 10's in my book.
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.
You are far too kind. This is a make-it-up-as-you-go-along book with no plot, only loose ends and holes left over from better authors. The author spends pages telling you what people eat or wear, then a couple of pages later they say they haven't eaten all day and are wearing something different. Every single poker hand contains a major error, which is really quite a feat even if you're trying. Players win with full houses on flops with no pairs, players are eliminated from the tournament on a fold, a straight loses to three of a kind; and there are more. I give it a negative 10.
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.
This is a serviceable mystery wrapped around some fun insider celebrity poker. Shameless plugs, sure. Namedropping too. Lots of inside jokes, some pretty sneaky. Some good poker advice. Fun if you know some of the people, or like reading about them. Okay if you don't and don't. 7 out of 10.
Dead Money by Rudy Stegemoeller. 8 (out of 10). Readable and involving. Set at a tournament at a Foxwoods-like casino in New England.
This is a first-rate mystery wrapped around a serviceable poker plot. The poker advice is about the level you get from average experienced players, not terrible, but not great. 8 out of 10.
You can flip the last two ratings if you care more about poker than mysteries.