What historical books/sources would you recommend?

tigon

Straight
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
784
Reaction score
198
Location
Canada
This place is like an encyclopedia. I wonder what sort of literature either in book form or links about the history of gambling/poker in the US, Nevada (especially the outlying regions), underground games, chip manufacturing, etc. some of you have. I'm sure our membership has books that only ran once or twice and will never be printed again (and any excerpts would be much appreciated), but recommendations for more easily obtainable sources would be great.
 

jbutler

Royal Flush
Joined
Oct 28, 2014
Messages
10,669
Reaction score
10,623
in addition to the excellent Professor, the Banker, and the Suicide King, already mentioned by moose, i liked all of these quite a bit:

Cowboys Full
gives a relatively thorough (for a general reader book) history of poker who also wrote Positively Fifth Street about playing the 2000 WSOP main event. both are very readable and i remember them being well-sourced.

The Biggest Game in Town is a classic and takes the form more of player profiles and narrative excursions (which makes sense since it originally appeared as a series in the New Yorker), but also intersperses a fair bit of history throughout.

Blood Aces is a biography of benny binion and therefore a history of poker in vegas. i can't comment on quality, but it's waiting on my kindle to be read, so one of these day's i'll get to it.

The Odds profiles sports bettors and most of the action takes place in vegas. one of those profiled is a young alan boston who is extremely bright and beyond entertaining. gives a really good feel for the sportsbook culture of vegas.

When the Mob Ran Vegas is pretty self-explanatory. obviously plenty of pretty amazing stories. hard to separate fact and fiction from this time period, but it's a good read.

Whale Hunt in the Desert is a fucking riot. Many hilarious degen stories from Steve Cyr, casino host to high stakes players. he was on the 2+2 podcast a couple of times and has a great dry sense of humor.
 

courage

Full House
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
4,255
Reaction score
6,508
Great reads so far. Will add:

One of a Kind: the rise and fall of stuey ungar... by Nolan Dalla. Amazing read.

Born to Lose: memoirs of a compulsive gambler, Bill Lee. A lesson in degeneracy.
 

tigon

Straight
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
784
Reaction score
198
Location
Canada
Professor is a fun read despite reading like a horse results sheet towards the end. Really incredible that the live high stakes scene could have been dismantled seemingly overnight. Blood Aces sounds like a great place to start. Thanks!
 

tigon

Straight
Joined
Nov 4, 2014
Messages
784
Reaction score
198
Location
Canada
Blood Aces is a really interesting read so far, it's certainly not a ringing character endorsement! I got it off TUEBL.ca (don't think it's up any more) but it's well worth buying a hard copy.
 
Top Bottom