Tuesday, November 3, 2009

House of Cards

One more, while it's crossing my mind. This past Sunday, The Denver Post published my review of Cowboys Full by James McManus. You can get the full lowdown in the review but it's my humble opinion that this thing is the definitive history of poker up to this point.

I interviewed McManus by email, briefly, a few months ago and anybody who has even the slightest interest in the guy's work ought to chase him down for a longer interview. I have a feeling he pours most of his effort into his work but I'll bet he tells a great bar story.

He wouldn't tell me what attracts him to poker in the first place, and a lot of that angle is covered in Positively Fifth Street anyway. But I did get an answer to what turns him off about a game: "What repels me," he said, "Is how easy it is for a person to play his hand perfectly and lose all his money to an idiot who gets lucky on the final card."

And that's life, in a nutshell.

You can also set alternate takes on the book from Jack Broom at The Seattle Times, and even more intriguingly from Rick Kogan at The Chicago Tribune, who opines, "Now that this book is on the shelves and what should be a number of best-seller lists, perhaps he will have the time and the inclination to finish his long brewing novel about Las Vegas."

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