Mark Rogers loves poker. You can see it in his writing and his book says it all. Titled 52 Greatest Moments-(The) World Series of Poker (157 pages, hard bound, $39.95), this tribute to the game, the tournament and most of all, to the players who have made it so, with many of the hands that made and lost millions, is truly a labor of love. Highlights, low lights, marvelous moves, quotes, philosophies about the game (how much skill vs. luck for example), is all captured and accompanied by many color and black and white photos. Stu Ungar, Johnny Moss, Doyle Brunson, Nick the Greek, Jack Binion, Puggy Pearson, the new generation of young guns, young ladies, the movie crowd, the characters and the foreign invaders get a call.
The book is indexed. It is a fine coffee-table-formatted work, worthy as a classy gift to a friend, relative or co-worker fascinated with the game.
An unusual book with a quirky title has crossed my desk; it’s How to Win the World Series of Poker (Or Not) by Pat Walsh (147 pages, paperbound, $13). This is an easy read-with observation, self-denials, colorful incidents and a look behind the scenes of poker tournament play, which, in its own odd way, becomes a comfortable primer for those dreamers who see themselves fighting off thousands of other players to make it at least to the final 10 tables in 2007 at the World Series of Poker. What’s it like to make that seemingly impossible leap from home or online player to the Big Show? In this book of self-examination and fiscal adventure amidst the new, wild generation of anything-goes holdÃ”em players, you can almost hear Walsh’s heart beating as he ventured bravely from the comfort of home into the jungle-like atmosphere of Nevada poker rooms, in particular, the Rio.
A former San Francisco newsman, Walsh does an entertaining job of offering details on what it’s like to meet the biggest names in poker, his opinions of them, their style of play and what it takes to survive “the grind” which often destroys the best-for a while anyway.