Bets, Bluff, and Bad Beats
By A. Alvarez
(Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9780811827515, 128pp.)
Publication Date: February 2001
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A smoke-filled room. The clink of chips breaking the silence of furious concentration. The occasional muttering of "check," "raise," and "fold," as staggering amounts are wagered on a simple hand of five cards. In this fascinating book, acclaimed writer A. Alvarez narrates the history of poker-its most amazing stories, unforgettable players, and incredible hands. From the first great Las Vegas poker marathon, in which Nick the Greek played Johnny Moss for five months straight, to the more recent World Series of Poker, Alvarez captures a subculture rich with legend. His lively text is combined with a colorful array of poker-inspired art, advertisements, movie stills, and photos to create an entertaining ode to the pastime that is not so much a game of cards as a way of life.
A. Alvarez is the author of numerous books and anthologies -- of poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and criticism. He is also a contributor to The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books and perhaps the only published poet ever to participate in the World Series of Poker. His book about the series, The Biggest Game in Town, has become a cult classic. He lives in London.