Al Alvarez touched down in Las Vegas one hot day in 1981, a dedicated amateur poker player but a stranger to the town and its crazy ways. For three mesmerizing weeks he witnessed some of the monster high-stakes games that could only have happened in Vegas and talked to the extraordinary characters who dominated them--road gamblers and local professionals who won and lost fortunes on a regular basis.
Set over the course of one tournament, The Biggest Game in Town is botha chronicle of the World Series of Poker--the first ever written--and a portrait of the hustlers, madmen, and geniuses who ruled the high-stakes game in America. It is a brilliant insight into poker's appeal as a hobby, an addiction, and a way of life, and into the skewed psychology of master players and fearless gamblers. With a new introduction by the author, Alvarez's classic account is "the greatest dissection of high-stakes Vegas poker and the madness that surrounds it ever written" (TimeOut [UK]).
"A classic . . . There is no better book on America's national pastime."--James McManus, Author of Positively Fifth Street
"Probably the best book on poker ever written."--The Evening Standard (UK)
"A magnificent book. Beyond the straights and fullhouses, Alvarez has written a book about people who are extremely good at what they do, and about America."--San Francisco Chronicle
"[Alvarez] endows the game with all the desperate fun and wry futility of life itself."--New York magazine
"Conveys an understanding of gamblers and their milieu that can appeal to someone who has never seen a casino or doesn’t care to."--The Philadelphia Inquirer
"Thoroughly entertaining . . . both perceptive and literate."--The Washington Post