Andy Bellin is a pretty good poker player. Over the ten years he's been playing semi-pro, millions of dollars have passed through his hands. He's the kind of guy who can walk away from the table $5000 up. He's also the kind of guy who can drop $9000 - on a single hand. On his way to a master's in astrophysics, Andy Bellin made the fatal mistake of falling in love with poker. Too many years down the line, he's resurfaced from a life spent in high-rolling casinos and low-rent dives to tell us the tale. Part memoir, part expos-, Poker Nation is a mesmerising journey through the ups and downs of being a gambler, a trip to a world where the only thing 'weirder than a poker player is the guy sitting next to him'. -At once a witty history of the world's most popular card game, a how-to manual that really will make you a better player, and the story of one man's obsession, Poker Nation will leave you sharper, wiser, and maybe even a little richer.
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Readers who enjoy poker will love Poker Nation, an energetic and obsessive account of America's favorite card game, told with intelligence and panache. Andy Bellin writes in the first person and from the gut, recounting stories about poker fanatics (himself among them) and dispensing advice on how to play the game: "You have to maximize profits through guile and savvy, eke out every last dollar that your competition is willing to lose to you--and, when you don't have the winning cards, flee as fast as possible." Aphorisms leap off the pages: "The worst hand in poker is the second-best one at the table" and "People say the mark of a con is in the details." Whether readers prefer the anecdotes about double-bluffing and illegal poker clubs or the tips on when to hold and when to fold (there's even a table showing the "Chances of Drawing Helpful Cards from a Deck of Forty-Seven Unknown Cards"), anybody interested in its subject matter will find Poker Nation engrossing. --John Miller
About the Author:
Andy Bellin is an editor at The Paris Review. He lives in New York City, where he can be found playing poker at least five nights a week.
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