All In is the story of the greatest tournament in the world--the World Series of Poker. It began in 1970 as a mere gathering of Texas road gamblers who rendezvoused at Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas each spring. Today it has become a cultural phenomenon, attracting exhaustive national television coverage, legions of fans, and thousands of players, from legendarAll In is the story of the greatest tournament in the world--the World Series of Poker. It began in 1970 as a mere gathering of Texas road gamblers who rendezvoused at Binion's Horseshoe in downtown Las Vegas each spring. Today it has become a cultural phenomenon, attracting exhaustive national television coverage, legions of fans, and thousands of players, from legendary professionals to amateurs with little experience outside of their home games. And with good reason. The prize money for the 2005 tournament was more than the purses of the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, and Wimbledon combined. Professional poker players themselves, authors Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback combine interviews, firsthand accounts, and extensive archival research into a comprehensive and highly entertaining look at this incredibly unique experience, recounting its history through the breathtaking and sometimes brutal hands played at the Horseshoe's tables. They introduce colorful and seemingly fearless characters who, over the tournament's thirty-five-year history, have been lured by huge paydays--and the chance to play against the best in the world, including the legends: · Veteran road gamblers like Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim, whose success at the tables helped push poker into the national spotlight· The troubled poker savant Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, who would eclipse his unlikely debut at the World Series with an even more improbable comeback· And many others like "Poker Brat" Phil Hellmuth, who proved that you didn't need to be old or from Texas to master the game, and Chris Moneymaker, the man with the impossible name who parlayed $40 into $2.5 million All In is a no-limit look at the phenomenal transformation of poker from a vice hidden in shady back rooms into the hottest game on the planet. Where some of the World Series's simple charms have been lost, they have been replaced by a complicated human drama, huge in scope, where luck and skill forge an exciting and unpredictable intersection. Simply put, there is nothing else like it in the world. "If my old pal Benny Binion were still with us, he'd wet his britches seeing that his little publicity stunt in 1970 between a few Texans became a tournament with over $25 million in prize money. If you've ever played a hand of Texas Hold'em, you won't want to miss this book." --Amarillo Slim Preston, 1972 World Series of Poker champion and author of Amarillo Slim in a World Full of Fat People"Reading this book is like having Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Amarillo Slim, and every single one of the World Series of Poker champions over to the house for dinner, a beer, tall tales, and a fine game of No Limit Texas Hold'em."-- Phil Gordon, coauthor of Poker: The Real Deal and cohost of Celebrity Poker Showdown...
|Title||:||All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker|
|Number of Pages||:||320 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker Reviews
Reviewed for Card Player magazine; terrific history of the WSOP.The History of the WSOP: How a small event for professionals became the biggest game on earthIs there a competitive event anywhere that rivals the World Series of Poker? I’m not just talking about the enormous sums of money on the line, which are indeed enormous; as the jacket copy of this excellent new history of the WSOP points out, the “the prize money for the 2005 tournament was more than the purses of the Masters, the Kentucky Derby, and Wimbledon combined.” I’m talking about something else that makes the event unique: the fact that an amateur, like Chris Moneymaker in 2003, can beat the pros on their own turf. I can think of no other large-scale competition where that’s even remotely possible, and that’s what makes the WSOP so compelling to players and nonplayers alike.Of course, today’s WSOP is a far cry from the event which got started 35 years ago as a publicity stunt by the legendary casino owner Benny Binion. It was conceived as a contest of professionals: thirty eight players, known to one another if not to the world at large, vied for three days at a variety of poker games at Binion’s Horseshoe in Las Vegas. But it wasn’t really a tournament at all; the participants voted to crown Johnny Moss the “World Champion Poker Player” at the end of the event. Nonetheless, Binion had started a fire, one that would burn bigger and brighter over the next three and a half decades, and All In tells the story of how that little gathering became today’s WSOP juggernaut.Grotenstein and Reback (both men describes themselves as writers and professional poker players) make the evolution of the WSOP their main narrative element. Readers will learn, for example, that the first true WSOP tournament, using the freeze-out format, took place in the event’s second year, when seven players sat down to play Texas Hold’em, and Johnny Moss beat a field that included Jack Straus, Puggy Pearson, Jimmy Casella, Sailor Roberts, Amarillo Slim, and Doyle Brunson. They chronicle the growth of the event, in numbers of games, participants, and, of course, prize pools. But the real story concerns the people who played, from pioneers like Moss, Slim, and Brunson to some of the characters who are well-known to poker fans today: T. J. Cloutier (who supplies a foreword to the book), Stu Ungar, Phil Hellmuth, Johnny Chan, Chris Ferguson, and many others. It’s nice to be reminded that most of these players had to work hard to learn to play well (only Ungar seems to have been born with a poker gene). Johnny Chan, for example, says “I was a sucker for a long time,” though no one would question his talent today.Hand stories represent one of the main attractions of poker narratives, and All In is full of them, detailed and well told. I think most readers are like me when they read an account of a specific hand: I try to imagine what I would have done in the same situation. But I’m also honest enough to know that most of the time, there’s just no way I could play hands with the courage and insight of the pros. Imagine, for a moment, if you’d have the guts to do what Cowboy Wolford did against Jesse Alto in 1984: After calling a preflop raise with 5-3, he bet to the river with a board of Ac, Kd, 9c, Kh, and 2s, taking down a huge pot when Alto didn’t call. And the authors provide some detail on some great hands that even casual players recognize, like the 10-2 that turned into a full house in the 1976 main event and is now enshrined as the “Doyle Brunson.” I was especially glad to learn the details behind the Jack “Treetop” Strauss “chip and a chair” story. He’d made a big bet in the 1982 WSOP and lost the hand, but as he got up to leave the table, he found a single $500 chip under the bumper. Since he had not declared “all in,” it was not part of the pot, and he transformed that one chip into a bracelet and a purse of $520,000.All In is a powerful, colorful history of what has become the richest tournament in the world, the story of how poker has been transformed, by television and money, from a slightly disreputable backroom activity to a mainstream pursuit. In fact, this book may be the best narrative on the WSOP to be published since the classic 1983 title The Biggest Game in Town by A. Alvarez, which focused on the 1981 WSOP but covered a lot of the tournament’s early history. (It remains one of the best books ever written about poker or, for that matter, any game.) Don’t buy the book to learn how the pros play; you can pick up a few nuggets of strategic advice, but All In doesn’t provide much instruction. What it does do, very effectively, is furnish a window into the event that has captured our imagination.
Nothing new to any fan of the professional poker world, but the entertaining writing and the fact that it's all collected in one place makes it worth the read; if you *aren't* into the poker world, this is a good look at the people who populate it, written with insight and clear affection for all the wacky stories.
A chronological history of the main event of the World Series of Poker. A short synopsis of the action from most years. While it provide very little in terms of specifics, it does do a good job in giving you an overview of the tournament. It also talks about the history of the Horseshoe casino and the family that owned it, the Binion's.
The book was a good piece of history on World Series of Poker. The authors attempt to intermingle backstories of each of the world champions helped bridge a connect with them and led the reader to warm up to them. I would recommend this book as a starting point for those who want to understand how and why WSOP has become a cultural phenomenon and one of the biggest sports in recent times.
While an impressive amount of research went into this (the bibliography is massive), I was surprised at how little there was here that I had not read before. The authors presented much of the same material found in James McManus's Positively Fifth Street - including some material about the history of poker that has long since been shown to be untrue.
Another great read - difficult to put down!
A short history of the World Series of Poker, told mostly through stories. Needed more stories. But not bad.
History of every WSOP up to 2005, with many anecdotes and little-known details.Good yarns for poker buffs