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If you look around the table and you can't tell who the sucker is, it's you.
On any given Friday night, hundreds of thousands of Americans--men and women alike -- pile into kitchens, garages, and backrooms to play their weekly poker game. From basement games in the suburbs to illegal gambling clubs in New York City to the high-stakes World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Andy Bellin has anted up with some of the world's greatest players. In Poker Nation, he takes us on a raucous journey into the shut-up-and-deal world of professional poker.
Even if you don't know the difference between a flop and a river card -- or you do know exactly what it means to have "the nuts" -- Bellin is your ace in the hole as you navigate this uniquely American terrain. Look over his shoulder as he learns to count cards, read a legendary player's body language, hang in there when the chips are down, and, yes, take his beatings like a man. Watch what goes on behind the scenes in illegal poker clubs found in every major city in the country. Meet the colorful personalities and skewed psyches of the players, the dreamers, hustlers, eccentrics, and hucksters who are all part of this strange subculture.
Part memoir, part exposť, part how-to (or how-not-to), Poker Nation takes a frank and funny look at one of America's enduring obsessions. It's a sure bet.
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On his way to a master's degree in astrophysics, Andy Bellin made the fatal mistake of falling in love with poker. Leaving graduate school at age twenty-two, he has played semipro poker for ten years. His writing has appeared in such publications as Esquire, Details and Maxim, and he is an editor at the Paris Review. Bellin lives in New York City, where there are no fewer than four underground poker clubs within a mile of his apartment. You can find him at one on almost any given night.
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