❮Read❯ ➬ Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country Author Andy Bellin – Horse-zine.co.uk


  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country
  • Andy Bellin
  • English
  • 07 February 2018
  • 9780060199036

10 thoughts on “Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country

  1. says:

    Both regular poker players and fans from afar who are fascinated by what they see on tv might enjoy this book It is a light, quick read The author includes some elementary poker definitions and strategy, but his primary focus is on describing the people who play the game regularly He includes a lot of personal stories about himself and the local players he has encountered over the years Most of his experiences resonate with mine, and I particularly enjoyed reading about the local poker rooms and local players.


  2. says:

    Gives an insider s look at professional poker Entertaining as a read, but it makes professional poker sound like a compulsion, not a game.


  3. says:

    Fine piece of participatory journalismIf I had a nickel for every poker book I ve read I d have a couple of bucks than I have now That s a tidy number of poker books Of those books I ve still got about thirty of them around the house none is interesting than this fine piece of work by Paris Review contributing editor Andy Bellin.It starts out rather mundanely with a not entirely promising poker story that he doesn t finish until the penultimate chapter There are some familiar quotes and some even familiar poker stories including the Wild Bill Hickok yarn about aces and eights , a table listing the ranking of poker hands oh, boy and another giving the odds and frequency of being dealt various hands in either draw poker or five card stud How valuable is that when those games are seldom spread any But then it gets interesting because what we discover is that Bellin really does know what he s talking about He s been there and done that Not at the highest level see, e.g., Doyle Brunson s According To Doyle or Bobby Baldwin s Winning Poker Secrets for life there but at the semi pro level and as a journalist He covers the poker experience from New York to Los Angeles through personal experience and from interviews with some of the personalities of the game including Benny Binion, Erik Seidel, Huck Seed and assorted rounders Some of his information is from research, the Harry S Truman story, for example He doesn t glorify the game or the players and he doesn t make himself a hero or a disinterested non combatant either In fact, the real value of this book is in the portrait of Andy Bellin, bright, very well off, one time Vassar boy, who embarrassed his family and himself by spending a good part of his youth worshiping Pocahontas In this part memoir, part participatory journalistic endeavor, Andy makes amends and demonstrates to all who care that actually he wasted nothing and has nothing to be embarrassed about.First of all, this is a poker book about real poker and real poker people, not the great geniuses of the game and not the low lifes hanging about although there are a few of those but about the fanatics, the degenerates, the semi and sometime pros who play like addicts or devotees of a bizarre and unforgiving religion Pocahontas is the player s goddess of poker Second, Bellin reveals himself blemishes and all, admitting that he sometimes cheated and got caught, that he spent some time in jail, that he wasn t as good as he thought he was, and that, like most of us, he fooled himself a whole lot All this makes for a most interesting and disarming read.The chapter on cheating in which we see that the cheater need only cheat once or twice a night to ensure being a consistent winner, is excellent The chapter entitled Small Time Pros in which Bellin focuses on a man and women combine who worked the clubs in Los Angeles a few years ago actually they played at the Hollywood Park Club, I can tell by some of the information Bellin gives in fact I think I played against them , we learn of the trashy glitter of sex, drugs and pocket rockets, or how to be wasted, and waste your life while you re at it I also liked his seemingly gratuitous idiot jail story in Appendix A.By the time we get to the second to last chapter and get to see the other guy s hole cards we realize Bellin s point and why he slow rolled the show down but don t EVER do it again, Andy What he wants to demonstrate is that the quintessential thrill of poker lies in that second or two or three between the time you ve made the final bet and the time you get to see the other guy s cards.Andy Bellin understands the psychology of playing poker and the lifestyle He knows what going on tilt is all about, and proves it by showing himself on tilt on page 132 as his jacks full get cracked by quads And he understands what money means to the player It means being in action, first and foremost because being out of action is the player s death And he recognizes that even winning poker players usually end up broke And he knows why Dennis Littrell, author of the mystery novel, Teddy and Teri


  4. says:

    The ramblings of a writer and expert level poker player he played, and was knocked out of, the World Series of Poker one year It s clear that Bellin is primarily a magazine article writer, for his book is plagued by Short Attention Span Syndrome Bits of autobiography are scattered here and there, between chapters on probability, poker tells, a primer on bluffing, a few thoughts on cheating, the perils of gambling addiction, portraits of professional poker players, even a chapter on casino mogul Benny Benion, for some reason.The book is peppered with distracting poker lingo, which doesn t exactly help one sail through the passages on the probabilities of drawing various poker hands yawn The chapter on tells is interesting enough, but how is a study of the individual idiosyncrasies and tics of Bellin s friends and associates going to help the reader A general assessment of the common tells or probable tics eyes darting away, hands covering the face, etc would be much useful The book is rambling, there are odd segues, and Bellin both repeats and contradicts himself for example, on whether poker has a romantic mystique, on the benefits of his personally stacking a deck And as if Bellin s aware that he doesn t have the material for a book length project here, he relies heavily on very lengthy quotes from his subjects poker pros, female players, his own friends The bottom line is this is an interesting subject, but there s too much ground covered over too short a time Bellin s prose is clear and simple, but he s a mediocre writer when it comes to the big picture, and there s a lot of filler here.


  5. says:

    Andy Bellin seems to accomplish two things in his book, Poker Nation While it is presented as entertaining poker memoir, it s also a lesson on how to be a better player As I was reading and laughing at his stories and characters, I noticed he would slip in situations that asked the reader to consider strategy It s the same strategy you might find in a Sklansky book, but Bellin gives you a better feel for actually being at the table and trying to make the decision For example.He talks about Rich who had a good job and a good wife, but lost everything, because he couldn t fold a hand He had to play everything to the river Who hasn t been tempted to play anything to end a losing streak That s the genius of his book It was an interesting story and a cautionary tale about foolish play.Between anecdotes he slips in the advice that it s tough to get back to even after you ve lost half your money Life is really just one big poker game Forget whether this one session is successful It s better to leave a game that isn t working and make your money in a future game that suits your style of play He also advises that having a cap on winnings is foolish for the same reasons Why can t you win a ton in one session Bellin talks about check raising and pot odds and position and all the things that the instructional books talk about, but he offers these things in the format of situations he has encountered Also he shares many great stories of famous and not famous players and how different people come to play poker for fun or for a living The book is not only quick and fun to read, but it offers some great advice between the lines.


  6. says:

    This is probably the third time I ve read this book all the way through, and probably the fourth or fifth time I ve read certain chapters This book has a little bit of everything and I d highly recommend it for any poker player who wants to take the game even semi seriously If you play poker and you have any desire to win, even just a little at the weekly game with all your buddies playing for nickels, dimes and quarters, you must read this book If you have a friend or family member who plays poker and takes it even somewhat seriously and you want to know a little something about what makes them tick, then this book will interest you greatly.Bellin flawlessly weaves explanation and instruction with stories both from his life and others, both at the table and away from it When I first read this book it was for tips on how to become a better poker player and Bellin taught me the fundamentals in a way that both helped me and stuck with me But I ve re read this book for the stories Some are short anecdotes to illustrate a point he is making about how to play, others are just to pull back the curtain and take you deep into the poker world Both triumphant and tragic, the book can also serve as a cautionary tale to those considering taking poker very seriously If you are thinking about becoming a professional poker player, read this book first and then make your decision.


  7. says:

    Poker Nation is a fun, light read but deals with some surprisingly weighty subject matter I ve been a casual poker fan for a few years now, following ESPN s coverage of the World Series of Poker as well as reading a few books A lot of this book came as nothing new to me However, I really enjoyed some of Bellin s interviews with actual players, as well as the anecdotes of his own experiences as a poker player I still find the poker world quite fascinating, with Bellin s descriptions of underground poker clubs and the unique lifestyles of those who play poker as a profession The account of the pro who left his job as an accountant to become a poker pro, only to end up a drug addict in a failed marriage, was quite sobering I know I could never be a professional poker player for a number of reasons, but this book removed any possible desire to do so I appreciate the fact that Bellin tells it straight and does not paint the profession in a glamorous light.


  8. says:

    This is a book that is heavy on memoir and light on strategy, tactics, and how to In that sense it is different from most of the other poker books which claim to help you get rich 90% market share I d guess.You need to appreciated the subtext of the book to understand for instance the effect of the ban on online poker in social terms Though not his point his narrative details why Poker ought to be regulated differently to keep it above board.My other observation is that his Poker Nation is probably like 99.5% in New York City at underground semi legal, semi illegal clubs A step above home games run by mobsters and such.It s also might be taken as the northern version of the way Amarillo Slim and Doyle Brunson used to go from town to town playing in back rooms and carrying guns Of course this didn t happen in the 60s but in the 90s.


  9. says:

    The subtitle of this books reads A High Stakes, Low Life Adventure in the Heart of a Gambling Country I went in with disillusioned expectations I love hearing degenerate poker stories, the thrills and scares of playing in illegal back room clubs and stories about the poker celebs I went in expecting 100% of this but only got about a third of that The rest is just basic history and introduction to poker When Bellin stuck to the 33% that supported his intent, it was magic gold The rest I couldn t burn through fast enough This is good if you know little to nothing about Poker or the culture, otherwise just listen to the old guy at your poker table who won t shut up with the stories and you ll probably hear most of what I read anyway.


  10. says:

    I m really familiar with poker and recognized the names of the pro players in the book A lot of it felt like reviewing poker basics and the statistics glazed my eyes over, but I enjoyed the personal stories and experiences the most I think this would be a great book for a beginner player or someone who doesn t know much about the game Personal preference would have been heavier on the personal experiences rather than the poker lessons Overall, this was a good book for someone interested in reading about a poker player.


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About the Author: Andy Bellin

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Poker Nation: A High-Stakes, Low-Life Adventure into the Heart of a Gambling Country book, this is one of the most wanted Andy Bellin author readers around the world.