McManus was able to penetrate the wild, wacky, talented, in-for-the-kill world of gamblers—with a keen eye and a sensitive ear to those who have the ability to handle a $100,000 raise at the poker table. “Lying in wait is what good poker players do best. More than any other character flaw, overeagerness is what does in the rest of us,” McManus observed—not only the weakness of too many amateur poker players, but of Sandy Murphy and Rick Tabish, two individuals tried and convicted of the murder of Ted Binion.
McManus, a great admirer of game theorist John von Neumann, writes about the science of poker; bluffing; how poker imitates life; how the new generation of players hone their game, with advanced books; computer software. He details the way class players view life, money, the power to destroy opponents with a subtle move here, a hidden pair there. What's it like fighting your way to the final table of a poker tournament where the buy-in is $10,000? McManus weaves together his World Series adventure, the murder, the trial, the outcome, the life surrounding high-stakes poker and the underbelly of the Las Vegas gambling scene.
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