Arguably the most successful poker crew of all time, they took advantage of the online poker boom to win tens of millions of dollars before most of them were old enough to set foot inside a casino. Then they did what any red-blooded teenagers with mountains of cash and no responsibilities would do: They partied like rock stars, transforming themselves from Internet nerds with zero life skills into legends, at least in their own minds.
In Ship It Holla Ballas!, Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback trace the rise and fall of Internet poker through the eyes of its most unlikely stars: A group of teenage college dropouts, united by social media, who bluffed their way to the top of the game.
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 Where some of the World Series's simple charms have been lost, they have been replaced by a complicated human drama, huge in scope, where luck and skill forge an exciting and unpredictable intersection.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
Like a secret society, poker has its own language and custom—its own governing logic and rules of etiquette that the uninitiated may find intimidating. It's a game of skill, and playing well depends on more than just a good hand or the ability to hide emotion. The first step toward developing a style of play worthy of the greats is learning to think like a poker player. In a game where there are no absolutes, mastering the basics is only the beginning—being able to pull off the strategy and theatrics is the difference between legendary wins and epic failure.
The Sportsman follows Dhani's discovery that the parts of his life, which to many seemed to be distractions—including an off-season TV show that sent him around the world to learn and compete in other sports—actually served to cross-train him in ways he'd never imagined, enabling him to become more grounded, globally aware, and, most surprisingly, a much better football player.
Part travelogue, part workout guide, part inspirational memoir, The Sportsman is an invigorating account of Dhani's global sporting adventures and the lessons he learned along the way. From dragon boat racing in Singapore to carrying 300-pound rocks in Iceland and biking in Italy, Dhani's adventures taught him to be tougher, smarter, and stronger than ever. The Sportsman is a reminder that by connecting to the world through its people and customs and the spirit of competition, we empower ourselves in ways that can surpass our craziest expectations.