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Ship It Holla Ballas!

How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker's Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew

Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback

St. Martin's Press

Who were the Ship It Holla Ballas? 

Arguably the most successful poker crew of all time, they took advantage of the online poker boom to win tens of millions of dollars before most of them were old enough to set foot inside a casino. Then they did what any red-blooded teenagers with mountains of cash and no responsibilities would do: They partied like rock stars, transforming themselves from Internet nerds with zero life skills into legends, at least in their own minds.

In Ship It Holla Ballas!, Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback trace the rise and fall of Internet poker through the eyes of its most unlikely stars: A group of teenage college dropouts, united by social media, who bluffed their way to the top of the game.


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For reasons that had little to do with taxes, April 15, 2011, was not a good day to be an online poker player in the United States of America—a group that, at the time, numbered somewhere between 2.5 million and 15 million people. Those who tried to log on to any of the biggest virtual cardrooms that Friday morning were greeted by official government seals and an ominous message: “This domain name has been seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”
While smoke had been in the air for a while, the shutdown had come without warning. Americans were suddenly
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REVIEWS

Praise for Ship It Holla Ballas!

“In Ship It Holla Ballas!, Grotenstein and Reback share the lives and games of the incredibly young, ridiculously successful superstars of the Online Poker Era. The authors handle the fast pace, shadowy lives, and multiple players and locations with the skill and dexterity of Good2cu, Raptor, or durrrr 20-tabling.”
—Michael Craig, New York Times bestselling author of The Professor, The Banker, and the Suicide King

"The loud narcissism and adolescent degeneracy of these talented 'ballas' ain't pretty, but the testosterroneous world of high-stakes online poker in America before Black Friday, in all its doomed glory, steadily throbs in Grotenstein and Reback's swift prose."
—James McManus, New York Times bestselling author of Positively Fifth Street

"An infectious tale, told with the speed of a rocket sled, Ship It Holla Ballas! puts us in with a gang of under-age poker geniuses as they turn Las Vegas on its ear, making off with the gelt as well as the girls." —Bruce Porter, New York Times bestselling author of Blow

In the Press

Kirkus | SHIP IT HOLLA BALLAS! by Jonathan Grotenstein, Storms Reback
A brisk history of Internet poker through the eyes of a group of teens who aced it.
- Kirkus Reviews

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback

  • JONATHAN GROTENSTEIN is a former professional poker player and the author or co-author of eight books. His first book, Poker: The Real Deal (with Phil Gordon), remains one of the bestselling poker books of all-time.

    STORMS REBACK is a former professional poker player and the co-author of two books, including All In: The (Almost) Entirely True Story of the World Series of Poker (with Jonathan Grotenstein).

  • Jonathan Grotenstein © Kristin Muller
    Jonathan Grotenstein
  • Storms Reback
    Storms Reback
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Ship It Holla Ballas!

How a Bunch of 19-Year-Old College Dropouts Used the Internet to Become Poker's Loudest, Craziest, and Richest Crew

Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

St. Martin's Press

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